My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Important Letter from my Good Friend Lisa

Dear Friends,
Help me Spread the Word to End the Word. I invite you to be a fan of respect and join me in a campaign to stop the use of the “R-word.” On 3.31.09 thousands of people across the country will pledge to end the use of the word “retard.”

One of my best friends has Down syndrome and is considered "intellectually disabled". She graduated from high school last summer and is involved in a job training program where she works at the Cleveland Food Bank.

I have never used the r-word out of respect to her and others. If you asked me who in my life has had an impact on me, I would not hesitate to say that she is one of the most influential. I have attached a picture to the email of us together. We are asking every person - young and old - to help eliminate the demeaning use of the r-word - a common taunt used to make fun of others. Often unwittingly, the word is used to denote behavior that is clumsy, hapless, and even hopeless.

But whether intentional or not, the word conjures up a painful stereotype of people with intellectual disabilities. It hurts, even if you don't mean it that way. The Special Olympics recently completed a multinational public opinion survey. It revealed that, throughout the world, a large percentage of people still believe that people with intellectual disabilities should be segregated in schools and in the workplace.

We need to change this attitude! I urge all of you to make a conscious effort to not use this word, especially in a derogatory way.

As a social worker, I work everyday to help my patients and families overcome barriers in their lives, whether they be physical, emotional, mental, or societal. I know that many of you do the same! We in the United States have been successful in the past at removing derogatory terms from our language...lets make this the next one! Visit and take the pledge and pass this email along to all your friends. Help us get 100,000 pledges and spread the word.

Thanks, Lisa

(Lisa sent this letter out today to her e-mail and Facebook contacts. Thank you Lisa)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Daddy's Girl

Never too old to be daddy's girl.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Outdoor Ride of Spring

A perfect day for riding.

Meet Ridge. He is the horse I ride every week.

We are doing maneuvers around the cones and over the logs.
Doug encourages me on. He is a volunteer that has been with me for many years. I made a video for him. You can watch it by clicking on the link above this post.

I was really happy that my little brother came to see me ride today. Thanks Matt.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally...the carpet is HERE!!!!

Do you remember our house rehab story? The last I wrote, the carpet was defective so we had to wait for a few weeks, so I was sleeping on plywood with nails around the floorboards. Well finally, I see trucks in the driveway when I get off the bus and when I walk in I see the carpet is here!!!

TJ's room...

the family room...

I hear the vacuum cleaner upstairs...

I think my room might be done...

YES!!! My room is done and there is my backpack with all my breathing supplies waiting for me. Hurray!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Late Breaking News ~ Happy 21st Birthday Leesa!!

Today was my friend Leesa's 21st Birthday. She had a big party at the Winking Lizard.

Here I am with Leesa. I have known Leesa since we were little girls. We went to EI together. That means we have known each other for almost 20 years.

Leesa collects can tabs for the Ronald McDoanld House. She asked everyone to brings tabs to the party. Look at this full box. There are thousands of them. GOOD JOB LEESA.

There was a journal book everyone was writing messages in for Leesa to keep. Hmm, what should I say?

Happy 21st Birthday Leesa, from Sarah.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Greens of Lyndhurst ~ Assisted Living

So back to my Girl Scout memories. Once we became Junior Scouts we decided to volunteer once a month at The Greens of Lyndhurst which is an assisted living facility for older persons. Each month we had a theme and we did crafts, sang songs, ate yummy snacks and visited with the residents. I LOVED it.

September ~ TIME TO CATCH THE BUS FOR SCHOOL...After everyone introduced themselves, I read the book "Bus Time" and we played Bingo.

October ~ won't see me. I was hiding behind the counter the entire time because I HATE costumes.
November ~ TURKEY TIME...How do you like my Indian headband?
December ~ CHRISTMAS MAGIC...I got to lead the Christmas carols. The residents had gifts for all of us. I got a Beanie Baby.
January ~ FROSTY THE SNOWMAN...We acted out the book like it was a play and we ate cute little Frosty Snowman marshmallow fluff balls. Mr. Davis was Frosty.
February ~ We were going to have a Valentine's party but we could not go because they had to shut down the facility to outside visitors because of a flu epidemic.
March ~ Wild and Woolly...Do you see me with my binoculars? I was hunting for lions. We played a memory game.

April ~ APRIL SHOWERS... I was the line leader for our umbrella parade. Mr. Davis had a duck call whistle and so he took us outside so we could call for ducks.

May ~ April Showers BRING MAY FLOWERS... We played tic-tac-toe with big flowers. I am sitting next to Mr. Davis again. I really like him. We painted flower pots.

June ~ LADY BUG, LADY BUG... We played tic-tac-toe again. This time we used lady bugs and leaves. First we had to make them. We also made but little lady bug brownies.

That brought our year to a close. We will be back soon though. We had so much fun and made so many new friends that we decided to come back in the fall. Want to hear an interesting tidbit? It turns out that Mr. Davis is the grandfather of the woman who cuts my hair. No wonder I liked him so much.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This is Our Man!!

Wow! I am bowled over :) at all the responses to my letter yesterday. Thank you. I would love to go to the White House but I have found someone that is even more deserving. Meet Kolan. He is amazing. He is Our Man to give the President a tip or two.

Please take the time to watch this video.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Late Breaking News ~ A Letter to the President

Dear President Obama,
My name is Sarah. I am an excellent bowler. I understand you need some help with your bowling. A few years ago, I took my little brother with me to Freeway Lanes to teach him. Here are a few pictures from that day. As you can see, I have great form and frequently roll strikes. On the frame in the photos, I had a split. Do you know what that is? It is very difficult to hit both pins, so I aimed for the one on the right. Guess what? I knocked it down. That is why I am pretty pumped up.

I love bowling. You know what else? I am quite fond of the Special Olympics. I think you owe them an apology Mr. President. You owe me an apology. You see, I bowl with an extra chromosome. That's right, Down syndrome. My friends and I don't think your remark was too funny. As a matter-of-fact, it was rude and insulting.
But I am going to forgive you this one time. I think your job is pretty tough right now. I have an idea. You know all that money that those greedy AIG executives were going to get as a bonus? Let's give it to the Special Olympics instead. That way more young adults like me could travel to other cities to participate in Special Olympic events. It would really help the economy too. We would buy more gas to travel, our families stay in hotels, and we eat in restaurants. But most important, we show the WORLD that we are able and worthy and not meant to be the butt of late night jokes.

P. S. I am on spring break the week of April 13-17 and I would be happy to come to the White House to give you a few bowling lessons.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Know Bones About It

My troop was selected to participate in a pretty neat project. Doctors at Case Western Reserve University got a large grant from the NIH to teach young girls about their bones. For one year we got to do lots of neat things. Here I am getting a bone density scan and filling out some paperwork about what I eat.

We had pre-testing completed. Then for several months we had doctors, nurses, nutrionists, psychologists, and physical therapists come in to teach us about taking care of our bones.

We learned about food, excercising, and using our mind to choose good snacks. And most important to drink milk. I love milk so that was easy for me. After a year they repeated all the tests to see how much we learned about our bones. During the project we got a lot of free stuff to keep like jump ropes, water bottles, key chains, squishy balls and yummy recipe cards.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Look Out Below...

Our troop decided to take a field trip to the Cleveland Rock Gym.

I am going to climb up that wall... the very top. Look out below, I have to zoom down now. Wow, that was fun!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Basic Aid Training

Our troop arranged to have a First Aid Day for all the Junior troops in our area. There were 185 girls participating. We learned how to do the Heimlich maneuver, bandaging and CPR.

Here I am checking for my pulse. We also practiced calling 911 from many different kind of phones. There was even an old fashion one with a circle dial. It was hard to do because my finger kept getting stuck. We earned our Basic Aid Training certificate.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

We did something new at camp this year. We learned to row a rowboat. First we learned the arm motions on land and then we very carefully got into the boat.

We took turns rowing and learning how to gently change seats while we were in the middle of the lake. If you are not careful the boat will tip over. We were lucky, no one went for a swim in the yucky water.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Look Out for Skunks

Yep, that's what we always do at spring camp...look out for skunks. Oh we had so much fun. Strawberries for breakfast, swinging on the vines, hikes and...

...horseback riding again. One of our favorite things to do.

This year we got to go on a trail ride. And look who was leading the line, ME.

2000 in 2000

It's cookie time again. The year is 2000 and we set a goal of selling 2000 boxes. We did it!!!

We had a booth at Richmond Mall to help us reach our goal. That's where we are in these photos. We sold a lot of Thin Mints and Samoas, and we ran out of Tagalongs. Those seem to be the favorites this year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Millennium Celebration

Back in 1999 everyone was going crazy with the year turning to 2000. So we planned a big outing at the Holiday Inn Holidome in Richfield.

Girl Scout rules require a lifeguard on duty for us to swim. The hotel did not have one, so my mom had to take a six week lifesaving class before we could go. She was 40 years old and the rest of the class was mostly 15 and 16 year olds. But she passed. And we got to swim all weekend.
Do you like my tie-dyed pajamas? We did them at camp last summer. Our millenium party was fun.

Brandywine Falls Hayride & Fun Fest

We went into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a Fall Fun Fest. There was a fire and we cooked hot dogs.
Then we got ready for a hayride. It was bumpy but fun. We also got to pet a big horse.

After the hayride we came back and sang songs by the campfire.

I Started a Fire!!!

We learned how to safely light matches at camp. We each had to start a little fire on a piece of aluminum foil. Lisa came along to help us.

Do you see that arrow? It is pointing to a caterpillar on the tree. I found it. We were allowed to bring our bikes to this camp because it has a nice bike path. That was fun.

I was assigned dish patrol. That means that I had to wash the dishes after lunch. Check out my rubber gloves. That is becasue we boil water on the campfire to wash the dishes. It is hot.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Girl Scouts Love Horses

One of my favorite things to do at Camp Crowell/Hilaka...

Cosmic Bowling at Midnight

How crazy is this? We went cosmic bowling at midnight. Do you know what cosmic bowling is?

It's when all the main lights are out and they have special lights that make things glow in the dark. That's why I am wearing all white. And the balls are day-glo colors.

We had so much fun. Look at my friend Jenny jumping in the air when she got a strike.

Memories and Friendships that Last Forever...

...That is the theme of Day Camp 1999. I had such a good time. I met lots of new girls and learned many new things.

Look at this snake I found. Don't worry it is behind glass. This picture of me taking a hike is one of my mom's favorite pictures. I found a great walking stick and I have my Mott's apple juice.
We got to stay overnight on Thursday. We created a tent city. I am in the big tent on the left. I was not even scared.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cookie Profits = Chuck E. Cheese

In 1999, my troop voted to use part of our profits from our cookie sale to have dinner at Chuck E. Cheese. I was really happy about that because I love it there.

Do you see how silly we are being in our group photo? Girls just wanna have fun.

GS Night at the Cleveland Rockers

It's Girl Scout night at the Cleveland Rockers. I love the Rockers. My mom and me have season tickets and go to everygame we can. So I was excited when they had a Girl Scout night so my friends could come too.