I finally got the pictures from the autism walk downloaded to my computer, and finally had time to look up how to post them on my blog. 🙂 Our family participated in the annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks on the National Mall for the second time this year.


Last year, one of our sweet youth girls came with us, as well as my parents, AKA “Gran” and “Papa”. We ordered shirts that show a green puzzle piece (Sam’s favorite color) with the words “A Future and a Hope” on the front, with “team i am sam” on the back.

Back: Kelly Stottelmeyer, Gran, Papa and Kyle

Front: Ben, Josh (little guy in the middle), Sam and Mommy

Walking on the mall

 This year, we had a great time with Gran and Papa. Mom brought snacks for the walk and Dad put Josh up on his shoulders just like he used to do with me when I was little. I really enjoy the comaraderie of our family walking alongside hundreds of other families who are all on the same journey. The fact that we are not alone is most realized when we are literally surrounded by others who are also touched by autism in some way. Some are simple supporters, some are friends, but most are the actual families who know the joys and griefs of living with autism.


We are Team I Am Sam, and we walk every year to show the future and the hope we KNOW we have through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Samuel loves his daddy and wanted to be carried part of the time. It was so sweet, he snuggled his face in Kyle’s neck as they walked.         ===>

Benjamin, “checking” out the carousel


Samuel, on his favorite horse

A favorite feature of the event is the carousel the boys love to ride after we complete the walk route. I think Sam would ride all day long if we let him. He is SO happy going around and around. It is so calming to him, he just rides and enjoys with a smile.

After the carousel, we hit up a small McDonald’s stand for lunch. While we ate, we watched an eagle hunt and kill a squirrel on the grounds right beside us. He grasped the squirrel in his talons and flew across to a tree where he dropped it, then perched standing guard over his lunch. He went after a second squirrel, but that one got away. Very cool lunch entertainment!
<=  Before heading home we looked around in the National Air and Space Museum.
                         One of my favorite
             pictures of me and my boy

The whole fam:

Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Team I Am Sam
Oct 22, 2011

Team I Am Sam is more than just the 7 people shown above. Our team is full of incredible family and friends across the country, and just because they’re not physically walking with us, we know they’re still walking with us with their prayers, their words and their hearts.
Thanks to my mom and dad for coming out and walking with us. You are a great blessing to us in supporting our family. Thanks for your patience, your understanding, your encouraging words, babysitting, family dinners, and your great love for a special grandson. We are so thankful to have such loving grandparents for our kids. I don’t want to leave out Uncle Matt who had to work that day, but he is a great brother to me, brother-in-law to my husband, and is a great uncle to my kids!
Thanks to our family far away – Kyle’s parents are in Indiana, “Mimi” and “PaPaw”, and if they lived nearby, we know they would have been out there walking with us along with Uncle Troy and Uncle Cory. Thanks for all your support from afar, for the invites year-round, the care packages, encouraging words, and the weekly phone calls to show us and our kids that you love us. You are a great blessing to us and we are so thankful our kids have such loving grandparents and uncles.
Thanks to so many others who support us – to our local church family at Poolesville Baptist for your sweet and kind words of encouragement, for working with us to help Samuel learn well in Sunday school, and for being great friends to our family.
To those friends in other states who keep up via FB and this blog, for your encouragement, your comments, and your support. We love you very much and are thankful for so many great friends who love us!
Team I Am Sam will be back again next year at Walk Now for Autism Speaks 2012! Hope you can join us!

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