The best realtor ever

Brent Herman is a good guy. Along with his wife Connie and partner Carla, Brent throws a ‘family day’ each year to show his appreciation for clients, friends and family. He rents the Broadway Theatre, doles out the popcorn and drinks and we have a party with herds of kids. Today, it was The Lego Movie, perfect for a chilly, grey Saturday morning. What a fun time! And yes, that was Billy Dee Williams as the voice of Lando…and there were even door prizes! We’ve known and worked with Brent for a long time and have referred many people who need a good realtor. This family/community event Brent, Connie and Carla do every year just reminds us why we do that.  If you need a good guy to sell or buy your home: Brent HermanRealty Executives, (306)341-2001, BrentHerman.com

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If ‘cost’ is more than ‘worth’

This is a heart-stopping story by a mom who takes a deeper look at why society still assumes someone like Zariah (see my previous post, You Go, Girl) shouldn’t be allowed to exist. This puts that attitude into a bit of an historical perspective. I learned long ago that people with disabilities were the first Germans used to test out the gas chambers. Some people don’t believe that, as if that atrocity was somehow impossible compared to what followed. Tonight at bedtime, I read another chapter to my son (he loves reading before he goes to sleep) and, as always, I asked him what he wants for breakfast. “Toast and paJAMas,” he laughs yet again at this favourite nighttime joke. What would our lives be like if his had been determined not worth it?

 

Beautiful day to celebrate

A year ago today, our youngest, Benjamin, married our gorgeous inside and out daughter-in-law Julia in Tulum, Mexico. We’re not together for their first anniversary, but we did go for a hike out at Cranberry Flats to mark the occasion. At 29 C, it was almost as warm as Tulum and it was a beautiful afternoon out in the countryside overlooking the river. Saskatoon is such a wonderful place to live with such accessible nature only 20 minutes out of the city. A place to stretch your legs, fill your lungs and think about what’s good in life.

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Chris Burke and his mom

Marian Burke wrote a lovely introduction to our book, Sexuality: Your Sons and Daughters with Intellectual Disabilities (Brookes, 2000) that I put together with Dave Hingsburger. Here’s a ‘where are they now’ piece on Oprah.You might want to give it a listen. Marian was very genrous to lend us her thoughts as a mom and the pride in her son Chris was clear. My family and I were tickled to present a media award to the Life Goes On producers at the Warner Brothers Sudios in Burbank from the Canadian Association for Community Living.  I interviewed producer Michael Braverman, and were happy to be given free reign to wander the set; we met Bill Smitrovich, Chris, Andrea Friedman, Kellie Martin, and we watched an episode being filmed.  Chris is 48 now, wow, hard to believe as we think back many years ago when we watched the Life Goes On series and saw our own family played out in so much of it. I was happy to have a glimpse of Chris and his life today. Here’s a review about Sexuality:

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‘This warm and sympathetic book is designed to help parents build their children’s self-esteem (whether their children are prepubescent or already adults) and educate them about sexuality and safety. It explains what to teach, when to teach and how to teach. It addresses issues such as self-acceptance, values, parallel talk, privacy, appopriate behaviour, abuse, physical and emotional development in the teen years, relationships, marriage and parenting. The authors introduce “guides” – individuals with disabilities and their parents – whose experiences serve as examples throughout the book. These guides, as well as the authors’ anecdotes and conversational tone, make information that is often presented awkwardly (or not at all) easily accessible to parents. The information and the stories that show how much is possible for young people, regardless of their disabilities, will help parents to accept their children’s sexual development and to interact with their children in ways that will allow them to develop into confident, aware adults. The authors also include answers to frequently asked questions and sections for parents to reflect and plan how to broach different issues with their children.’