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Just beautiful.

Posted Sep 12 2013 8:43am

marquee2013

Last week, we had two great adventures with our friends the Minors and their kids Jay and Joy. The first adventure, on Labor Day, was the Rapson family’s first-ever trip to our county fair. Even though it is close to our house, I’ve never been in all my 36 years! The second adventure was the Buddy Walk for our local Down syndrome association, where we walk with the Minors in honor of Joy and to raise funds for all the wonderful people in our area with Down syndrome and their families.

Both adventures were fabulous! First, the fair! I really can’t believe I’ve never been before. We had a great time!

Sophie and Jay are the same age and both pretty fearless, so they were inseparable the whole time. Jessica and I *may* have already started planning their wedding.

SophieJayCollage2

Joshua was typically less adventurous (shocker!) He liked exactly two rides, both of which stayed on the ground but spun so fast they made me ill! He rode this one, with Jonah, but Jonah bailed before it even started. :)

jonahjoshuacar

Jonah did however, LOVE the big slide. And by big I mean HUMONGOUS!

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I loved it too! It was SO fun! But it killed my tailbone. Stinks getting old! Anyway, we had a great day. Here are some more fun pics from our day at the fair.

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I just love this pic of these sweet girls enjoying each other!

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jessjoyfair

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It really was a fabulous day. At the end we all went home happy and tired. Success! We had a great time with our pals, and it was nice to spend some time together just chillin’ before the big event we had all been waiting for…the Buddy Walk!! Saturday morning we got up early to join a couple thousand other people at our Dayton Dragons baseball stadium, 5/3 Field.

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Team Peace, Love, & Joy was pretty BIG this year! And we raised almost $3,000 together! My family alone raised over $600. THANK YOU to everyone who supported us! This was the first year we had Joshua and Sophie raise funds, and they raised $40 and $45 respectively. I was very proud! Thanks to their big supporters! :) I think they are starting to “get” why it’s important to raise funds for our friends with Down syndrome.

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Team Peace, Love, & Joy 2013

My little fundraisers!

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Guess what? They had face painting at the walk. :)

Here’s the star of our team and her beautiful mom:

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Out sweet team t-shirts!

Out sweet team t-shirts!

Buddy Walk buddies! I have known Joy and Jay’s dad, Paul, since KINDERGARTEN!

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Can you see my halo?

As we set off on our walk, Joy got very protective of her special wheels!
JoysWheels

The walk was awesome – it was so great to see ALL those people coming out in support of their friends and family members with Down syndrome.  My favorite part was at the start when a few dozen college baseball and basketball players from the University of Dayton formed a tunnel for kids to run through and get high-fives. The joy those special kids were feeling as they were cheered on – wow! To watch it was priceless! I am very thankful to those college kids for coming out and helping some people with Down syndrome feel really COOL.

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(My big fail of the walk was forgetting to bring my good camera to get pics. Grr.)

All in all, it was a beautiful event. And I was reminded again that people with Down syndrome are just like us. They have an extra chromosome but they’ve got two arms, two legs, and a want to live happy, full lives chock with good relationships, fun experiences, hard work, achievement, disappointments, ups, downs, good, bad, adventures and everyday normal.

After the fair Monday and again on Saturday, my husband, who has a soft spot for little girls as many daddies do, said, “Man, Joy is just so beautiful. She is just such a pretty little girl.”

He didn’t say, “She’s so beautiful for a child with Down syndrome.” Because she’s just beautiful.  Beautiful, period. Just like any child (except for you know, she’s exceptionally beautiful. Not that I’m biased) you might see who takes your breath away.

I think her life is going to be filled with a lot of “She’s so ________!” Period. Exclamation point! I’m very happy to be one of the friends and family who will support her on her way.

Thanks again everyone who supported our efforts in raising funds for our friends in the Dayton area with Down syndrome. It matters!

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