Want To Make Some Kids (and Adults, too) Really Happy?

Class Picture 09-12 - Cropped - 620 x395

Rebecca’s GOS Class Picture, 2012-13

Dear Friends and Family,

I know you are frequently asked for donations or to buy something for a fundraiser. We all know there are LOTS of really good causes. Because I know many of you already give to many community programs, it is likely you do not feel like giving even more to an unfamiliar or distant non-profit. However, I would like you to please just consider my request of you today. For some this request will seem small, while for others this is no small amount.


Today (September 22), Green Oaks School is participating in North Texas Giving Day. Would you please consider making a donation of any amount to support this super school?

To donate, just go to: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/story/Gos-Hs2  and make your donation by clicking on the “Donate Now” button. No donation is too small, and every donation helps support a wonderful group of people (this link will take you to Rebecca’s class donation page).

In addition to donating, will you please forward this to your friends and/or post on your Facebook page? 


Please let me tell you why this school is so dear to our family’s hearts:

Green Oaks School and Green Oaks Adult Learning are very specialized, unique programs for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Those of you who know us are already aware of what a ray of sunshine Rebecca has been in our lives.

Twenty-one years ago, when Paul and I were still trying to wrap our heads around our “new normal”, one of the first things that we worried about (after her health, of course) was whether or not she would ever be able to learn. We also wondered if she would have friends as she got older.

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Celiac Awareness Day – “One Grain More”


….We’ll discover foods that even vegans have forsworn…..

In honor of National Celiac Awareness Month, I HAD to share this hilarious video (please note – the Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs shown in this video are NOT gluten-free; they contain barley malt extract).

As anyone with food allergies knows, navigating restaurants and grocery stores can be a real challenge – especially when you are first starting out. When Rebecca was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008, we got a crash course in gluten-free living and “Alternative Foods” – it’s been a real education!

I have to give credit to all of our friends and family – they’ve been very patient with us on this journey, and they are always sending us stuff that they think might be of interest to us. One of my Cyberfriends*** sent me this a while back – I had to pick myself off the floor when I saw it:

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A Somber Remembrance – Thoughts on the Anniversary of 9/11

I suppose every generation has its share of “Where were you when….?” moments – those “somethings” that happen that are so big, so life-altering, and which affect so many people that the vast majority of them have a memory etched into their mind of where they were when they heard the news, how they felt when they heard the news, and how it changed their life forever.

I can still remember that morning – it started off like any other morning. Rachel had gotten up early and was already dressed and on her way to high school with her friends, Michelle and Sarah were getting ready for school, and Paul was getting ready for work. I was resting in bed, waiting for Rebecca – who had turned 2 months old the day before – to wake up for her morning bottle.

Paul came into the bedroom and said he had just heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and it was on fire.

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For Bev – “Again Someday”

(l to r) Bev and Me, 1964

(l to r) Me and Bev, 2004

Today would have been my little sister’s 60th birthday.
Miss you like heck, Sis….

(“Again Someday” by Blackmore’s Night – available on CD or MP3)

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Five Years Later

We miss her so much.

Michelle Elise Koch – 1991-2017


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“Over The Rainbow” (Eva Cassidy)

This is one of my favorite arrangements of this beloved song –

It’s just a beautiful, soothing song, don’t you think?:

(“Over The Rainbow” by the incomparable Eva Cassidy – available on CD or MP3)

Posted in Annual Posts, Contemporary, I Love America, Inspirational, Just Because, Michelle, Music, Tuesday Tunes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Hallelujah” – k.d. lang


There are so many wonderful versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” out there – originally covered by John Cale, the version performed by the late Jeff Buckley is perhaps the most well-known of them all (the song has also been covered by Bon Jovi).

I think the first time that I heard this song was on the movie ““>Shrek” (sung by Rufus Wainwright). There is an amazing 4-part arrangement out there by the Norwegian quartet Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes, and Holm.  Heck, it even sounds good in Italian when performed by Il Divo.

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“The Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre


In 2004, Eric Whitacre set Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Seal Lullaby” to music:

Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us,
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.

Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow,
Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas!

Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936

His arrangement is absolutely breathtaking:

In hectic and chaotic times, music like this truly calms the soul.

(“The Seal Lullaby” is available in CD and MP3 formats)

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“Be Still My Soul”

Honestly, one of the most beautiful arrangements of this beloved hymn:


(Performed by the BYU Concert Choir, from their CD “All Creatures of Our God and King” from Tantara Records, directed by Mack Wilberg. This is also available at Amazon, but that link doesn’t have samples available for listening.)

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Happy 30th Birthday, Sarah!

Thirty years ago today, a spirited whirlwind of a girl blew into our lives:

Watch out, world – this one is loaded for bear…..

….and we have never been the same.  Where has all that time gone?

God has a wicked sense of humor – ask any family that has more than two kids, and they will tell you that the third kid threw them for a loop.  Just when you think you have the whole “parenting” thing figured out – you’re thinking you know everything there is to know about raising kids – the third one comes along, and you realize that you don’t have the first CLUE…..

By the time Sarah came along, we had been parents for 6 years.  Poor Sarah got the “leftovers” – we were a lot calmer about things, but we were also just plain tired.  Rachel was starting kindergarten and Michelle was only a year old, so Sarah got whatever energy we could muster up at the end of the day.

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