Saturday, May 31, 2008

This N That...

Sorry for the delay in updates, once again! I have been busy this week getting things organized for Philadelphia. There is just so much to think about that has to be done in advance. I can't believe it's only 1 month until Kennedy's surgery... June is going to fly by fast for us. 

Kennedy's GI appointment in Cincinnati got postponed again! I'm not sure what the reason was this time, but we are now going on June 13th. Please pray they can find an answer to her diarrhea before surgery. 

I have a few other prayer requests tonight. First, I asked you in my last update to pray for our friend, Matthew Litchfield. Unfortunately, they learned on Friday that his Leukemia has returned. We are just so sad for Matthew and his family. They need prayers more than ever. They will go back to Vanderbilt on Tuesday to plan Matthew's next step in treatment. Please pray they can get him back into remission quickly! 

Second, one of the Soldiers we used to go to church with was injured in a helicopter crash in Iraq today. His name is Gary Linfoot. He broke his back and has several other smaller injuries, but as of right now he has no feeling in his legs at all. He is currently en route to Germany where he will have surgery. Please keep him in your prayers that the feeling comes back to his legs and he can make a full recovery. Please also remember his wife Mari, and his children Allyssa, Kylie and Hayden in your prayers. I know they have to be so scared right now. I'll keep you all posted as I know more. 

Also, as we enter the month of June, please remember the families of Cody Myers (cp: codymyers1), Charlie Porter (cp: charlieporter) and Rayley Kocurek (cp: rayleyrose) as they cross over the one year mark without their children. It's going to be a long month for all of them. Cancer sucks.  

I am thankful for all Kennedy's prayer warriors out there!

Prayers for a Soldier...

One of the Soldiers we used to go to church with was injured in a helicopter crash in Iraq today. His name is Gary Linfoot. He broke his back and has several other smaller injuries, and as of right now he has no feeling in his legs at all. He is currently en route to Germany where he will have surgery. Please keep him in your prayers that the feeling comes back to his legs and he can make a full recovery. Please also remember his wife Mari, and his children Allyssa, Kylie and Hayden in your prayers. I know they have to be so scared right now. I'll keep you all posted as I know more. Thanks!

PS. I just heard that Gary's co-pilot, Greg Cooper, was also injured in the crash. Please keep him in your prayers as well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Keeghan's Birthday Pictures

Trying something new... what do you think? Not user friendly enough? You gotta check it out! The cake pictures alone are worth it!!

Click to play Keeghan's Birthday

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Wii've been doing...

So you may have noticed my blog has been a little quiet the last couple days... besides being busy running all over town, thanks to gifts from gift cards from family that I've stashed away, we got a Wii... and thus the blog suffers. Sorry! The thrill will wear off soon, I'm sure! ;) Wii'll be back!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prayers for a sweet boy!

This sweet little boy is Erik Jackson. Last Wednesday, Erik was at Mother's Day Out, where he had been going for about a year. He was playing in an area where kids do not normally play, and he fell, head first, into an old sump pump. He was there for about 5 minutes before anyone found him.

Erik is now in critical condition at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. We know he is in the BEST of hands there, but he can still use all the prayers he can get! Please keep Erik, and his parents, Bruce and Kelly, in your prayers. Visit his page and let them know you are praying! You can also send Erik a free e-card by clicking here.

Miracles are happening for Erik already! Pray hard that those miracles keep coming!

The Lost Crown

The Lost Crown
By: Kassidy Jean Garcia


Once upon a time there was a king who was very kind. He gave money to people who did not have enough to buy food. The king shared food, too. But one night a bad person came into the king's bedroom and stole the crown! The next morning the king was so upset that his crown had been stolen, so he told everybody, "We all must find my crown!" So everybody looked and looked and looked but nobody found the crown. The king did a big sigh and said, "It is not your fault that you can't find the crown. Whoever took it is hiding, and it we don't find it they will probably be able to keep it." Then a small little boy came and said, "I think I know where your crown is." "Where?!" asked the king very excited. "I think that the bad person took it while you were sleeping and didn't come out of his house so nobody would ask him if he took the crown," said the boy. He looked very proud. And when the king asked the bad person if he stole the crown, the bad person did a sigh and said, "I just thought that you were a fake, but I guess I was wrong and from now on I will not steal anything." Then they all celebrated and nobody ever stole anything again - Even the GOOD person. And they all lived happily ever after. Then End.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A couple questions answered and more name stuff...

Are there any (Groovy Girls) she doesn't have?
Ohhh you wouldn't believe! For everyone that she has, there are 2 that she's missing. I have a spreadsheet. (I'm OCD, remember?! LOL)

Are you guys normally Scrabble fanatics like we are or was that more an "out of the blue" idea?
Well, I love scrabble and used to play online all the time until they took the site down, but I will never play with Frank because he kicks my butt every time! haha Now Yahtzee... THAT'S my game! LOVE it! As for using the Scrabble theme for the name series, it was the first thing that popped up on Google and I thought, "OH that's a good idea!" :o)

Also, I forgot to mention in my name posts that we threw around "D" names for awhile at the beginning. Danika, Delaney, Dominic and Donovan... but then I wouldn't have my Special Ks. haha We also talked about Presidential names once upon a time. We'd still have our Kennedy of course and then there is Taylor, Madison, Jackson, Carter, Grant, Tyler... SO many choices! Ahhhhhh Maybe I can talk Kassidy out of Zack and Zoey?! haha

Watch for my next Mini-series... very soon!

The art of naming my kids (Part 4)

How Keeghan got his name... so by now you've figured out that the kids all have K names with 7 letters. When we got pregnant with Keeghan we threw around a bunch of names to fit this criteria. For a girl we had it narrowed down to Kaelynn or Kellsey. For boys we had several on the list including: Klayton (vetoed by Frank thanks to Clay Aiken lol), Kaidenn (which is who Kennedy would have been had she been a boy), Kainaan (Frank's favorite), Keeghan, Karsten or Kiernan. As with Kameron, we were stumped, so we polled our friends and family. Opinions ran high and there was a 3 way tie between Keeghan, Kaidenn & Kiernan, so Frank and I finally decided on our own. Then we kept it to ourselves ;).

So obviously, we chose Keeghan and his middle name is Joel.

So let's really get down to my the truth of the matter.

Kassidy Jean
Kameron Jack
Kennedy Jean
Keeghan Joel

Their first names all have 7 letters and start with K.
Their middle name all have 4 letters and start with J.
The girls' names end in "Y", the boys' names end in "N".
The 2 oldest start with Ka and were both born in November (due on the same day but born 1 day apart).
The 2 youngest both start with Ke and were both born in May (due 1 day apart but born 15 days apart).
November and May are exactly 6 months apart which makes perfect timing for pictures and a long gap between joint birthday parties (See, God can be OCD sometimes too! haha).

Their middle names are all family names. We have 6 women in our family with the middle name Jean. Including me. I hated it growing up and swore I wouldn't do it to my daughter. I did it to both. They can seek therapy later. After I gave Kassidy the name we decided Kennedy would be left out if she didn't have a family name too. In hindsight, I wish I would have mixed it up a little and did Jane or Jena, but then I wouldn't get to call her "Kennedy Jean the drama queen". So I guess it all works out!

Kameron's middle name, Jack, is after my grandfather (Jack) and my mother (Jackie).
Keeghan's middle name is after his Godfather and one of our best friends, Moises. (His middle name is Joel)

So there is how our children got their names... Do you all think I'm crazy yet? It's ok, me too.

My friend Heather made a good point in my last post that I have not posted about Kennedy's birth, and all the emotions that went with that. It may make a good mini-series! haha Watch for that soon... it's a story you won't want to miss.

PS. Spell check has had a hay-day will all the names in this post! Kennedy is the only one spelled correctly! haha

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - The Beatitudes of the Exceptional Child

Over the last almost 4 years I have collected MANY poems and stories about Down syndrome and special needs in general. Since a lot of my readers have kids with special needs, I thought I would post one poem or story every Monday. Chances are you'll find one you've never heard along the way!

"The Beautitudes of the Exceptional Child"
By: Andre Masse

Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech,
For you help us to know that if we persevere, we can be understood.
Blessed are you who never bid us to "hurry up" or take our tasks from us,
For we often need time rather than help.
Blessed are you who stand beside us as we enter new and untried ventures
For our failures will be outweighed by the times we surprise ourselves and you.
Blessed are you who asked for our help,
For our greatest need is to be needed.
Blessed are you who with a smile, encourage us to try once more.
For one day that once more is when we will succeed.
Blessed are you who never remind us that we asked the same question twice.
For your answers help us grow.
Blessed are you who respect us
And love us just the way we are.

For more Monday Moments, Click here.

Pictures from Washington Part 3

In honor of Memorial Day I thought it only fitting to post the pictures from all the Memorials I had the priviledge of visiting while in Washington. It was so touching. The most emotional, by far, was the Vietnam Memorial Wall. So many names... so many lives lost... so many families forever changed. Be sure to thank a Soldier today.
(There's a slideshow here for you RSS readers)




This letter and picture was left for one of these Soldiers by his Sergeant. It says that he went to visit his mother, as promised, and that he would never forget that day.

To all the Veterans of all wars, thank you. Thank you for our freedom. Thank you for loving this country enough to fight.

To my husband: You're my hero. I love you.

(For more pictures from Washington, click here or here.)

Happy Memorial Day!

Please remember to thank a vet today and remember all those who lost their lives for our freedoms. 

Nothing much to report here. Keeghan has a virus, we think. He started in with a 102 fever yesterday after church so I took him in to the doctor today, sure that it was his ears again, and it's not. His ears look perfect and it's not strep so the doc is chalking it up to a virus. Fortunately, Tylenol and Motrin is keeping his fever down a bit. Kennedy is doing ok, she took a LONG nap this afternoon and has been very whiney, so hopefully she's not catching whatever this bug is. 

We're waiting once again to hear from Shriner's so we can get this trip planned. We need to know if Kennedy has any pre-op appointments that she needs to be up there early or not. Hopefully we will know by tomorrow.

Please keep our Vanderbilt friend, Matthew Litchfield, in your prayers. He has Leukemia and went through transplant over a year ago. Lately some of his numbers have been off and his doctor is concerned. They are scheduling a bone marrow biopsy soon to make sure everything is ok. Please visit and let them know you're praying!

If you want to visit my blog you will find Kennedy and Keeghan's birthday portraits about 3 or 4 entries down. They are fabulous! You won't want to miss them!!!


I am thankful for Jamie, our photographer. She always gets amazing shots of the kids!

The art of naming my kids (Part 3)

So, when I left off in this post about how Kameron got his name, I mentioned that if we ever had another girl we wanted to name her Kennedy. We also chose the name Kaidenn if he happened to be a boy... had to have 7 letters, you know!

When I got pregnant in the Fall of 2003 I prayed HARD for a girl. I really wanted Kassidy to have the sister that I never did. On December 19th (my anniversary) my mom and I went to my ultrasound (Frank was in Iraq) and I found out that YAYYYYYY There was a baby girl in there!!

There really was no debate at all over her name. Frank and I both liked it and we started calling her Kennedy right away. But like with all things, it doesn't end there...

When Kennedy was finally born and we learned she had Down syndrome, we were devastated. We received outdated, inaccurate information and no one could even tell us if she was going to live or not. (That's another story for another day.) At one point, before we signed her birth certificate, Frank and I had a tear filled conversation (tears were from me, not so much from him) where we readdressed her name. I didn't know if Kennedy was right for her anymore. She definitely wasn't the baby we had been planning for... she wasn't the Kennedy I thought I "knew". And so very briefly, I wondered if we should name her something else... with a K of course!

But then we realized that God knew exactly who our Kennedy would be from day 1, and just because OUR expectations weren't going as planned, He knew what He was doing and this was STILL our Kennedy. And so, Kennedy Jean was named... and I'm SO SO glad we didn't change it because I just can't see her as anything else. She's the most beautiful little Kennedy in the whole world!

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Keeghan's story and how really obsessive compulsive I am. You ain't see nothin yet!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The art of naming my kids (Part 2)

So I left off in this post telling you how Kassidy got her name. Not long after she was born I decided that I LOVED the name Kennedy for a little girl... and Kassidy and Kennedy flowed so well together! Frank agreed it was cute and so we decided that should we ever have another girl, her name would be Kennedy. More on her later.

When Kassidy was 14 months old we found out we were pregnant! I prayed HARD for another little girl because I "had no idea what to do with a boy." (Sometimes I STILL don't! haha) About 5 months into my pregnancy we found out that we were indeed, having a boy. I cried. It's ok, I'm over it now. ;) So the name debate began.

We had agreed that we would go with another K name, so at least we only had one section of the baby name book to look through! This made our job 25 times easier! haha Frank really liked the name Kobe. I really liked the name Kaleb. We went round and round. We polled our friends and family. Everyone was split 50/50 and we just couldn't decide.

About a month later Kassidy and I took a trip to Michigan to visit my grandmother. Frank stayed home to work. One night I had a dream where I was holding a baby boy named Kameron... AND it has SEVEN letters! Just like Kassidy!!! I was so excited to tell Frank about my idea when he called. The next day, Frank called me and before I could even get a word out he said, "Hey babe, how bout the name Kameron? We could spell that with a K." And thus Kameron Jack was named. (To be continued...)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Sneak Peek!

Our most amazing photographer, Jamie Wright got some great shots of Kennedy and Keeghan for their birthday portraits! Here are a few and you can check out the rest here. But hurry, that album will only be up for 1 week!!





If you live in the Middle Tennessee area, book a session with her! You won't be sorry! And tell her I sent you, then I earn free pictures! :)

The art of naming my kids (Part 1)

SO over the course of this blog... and in day to day life... I have encountered SO many questions about my kid's names. You think we just picked some random K names? OHHHH it goes SO far beyond that! haha SO if you're bored and have nothing better to do, or you're just dying of curiosity, read on...

When I was pregnant with Kassidy, Frank and I debated on names forever. We finally narrowed it down to Kassidy (my pick) or Ashley (Frank's pick). Why the K? Honestly? It's prettier to write than a C. Stop laughing. Anyway when I was about 8 1/2 months pregnant we talked my OB into letting me go to a church retreat up in the mountains. We mapped out the quickest way to the nearest hospital, just in case. During dinner that first night, one of the ladies walked over to me, handed me a little piece of paper, and said "God told me to give you this." I opened the paper and it had the letter S on it. Frank and I were completely baffled. Throughout dinner I had several more people hand me several more letters all saying that God spoke to them and wanted me to have this paper. Finally Frank suggested that we should see if the papers spelled anything. I worked and worked on those darn things and couldn't figure it out. Finally Frank said, "Here, maybe this will help!" and he handed me a K and a J. The light in my head finally turned on and I could see that it spelled "Kassidy Jean"! Obviously Frank was the mastermind behind this the whole time. He had set it up while I was taking a nap earlier that day. Thus Kassidy was named. Good thing too as she was born 4 days later! And the naming sickness began... (to be continued).

Friday, May 23, 2008

How many K kids...

Can you fit on one bench?!
(From left to right) Keelan, Keedance, Keeghan, Kassidy, Kameron, Kennedy, Kohmin, Kambryn & Kylei

These are my friend Lisa's kids! Her son Kambryn has ALL and is being treated at Vandy. While he and Kennedy were never inpatient at the same time, we got to know each other through carepages/caringbridge and decided that with all our K kids we must meet!! That finally happened a couple weeks ago when Kambryn's brother Keelan had a soccer game here in Clarksville. We had a lot of fun with them and look forward to doing it again soon!

(I think next time we should get my friend Cindy to come along and we can add her kids: Kim, Katelyn, Kaden, Kinsley and Kloe to the mix. That wouldn't be confusing AT ALL! HA!)

A friend to visit!


This is our friend Megan from Vanderbilt. She had a condition called Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) she had a stem cell transplant and continues to be under the fabulous care of the hemonc doctors from Vanderbilt. Fortunately, unlike a lot of our friends that I post about on here, Megan is doing really, really well!

So why visit her? Well, besides the fact that she's adorable, her mom would like to hit the 30,000 mark on her page before Monday. I thought, "HEY I know people who can help with that!" So please, visit Megan. Be sure to sign the guestbook and say hello while you're there! If you click on the little box on the first page you will be emailed each time her page is updated. She is truly an inspiration!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

July 2nd!

Thank you all for the birthday wishes for Kennedy!! She had a great birthday (even though we DID spend most of it at Vandy! haha). I need to get pictures posted, but I'm a little behind. As usual. I DO have lots of Washington pictures and other stuff on my blog. 

So today we FINALLY got confirmation that Kennedy's spine fusion surgery will be on July 2nd at Shriner's in Philly. We still have several details to work out of course, but at least we have a date now and we can plan. PLEASE start praying now!! 

Up next for Kennedy? We go back to the hemonc clinic for her monthly check on June 3rd and then we go to Cincinnati on June 10th for her GI appointment. Her diarrhea is getting worse and worse so please be praying they can find some answer. Oh, she has her "Well child" check with her pediatrician on Friday. Does this seem ironic to anyone but me?! 

Kassidy and Kameron have their LAST day of school tomorrow! They're excited right now, but I give them 2 weeks before they'll miss it. They both stayed with their teachers for the last 2 nights while Kennedy, Keeghan and I went to Cincinnati with my mom. She had a meeting there so even though Kennedy's appointment was canceled we went along so she wouldn't have to drive it by herself. Kass and Kam had a great time with their teachers and came home with lots of fun stories! 

Anyway, I guess that's it for now. Be praying for Kennedy's surgery. July 2nd! 

I am thankful for Kassidy and Kameron's teachers, not only are they GREAT teachers, they are also great friends!!

Home and Groovy Girl questions answered!

We are home safely from Cincinnati and we had a good time!! We got to meet up with Mara and her family for dinner last night at the Montgomery Inn. It was SOOOOOO good!! We had a great time and I have lots of pics to share later! Mara has Down syndrome like Kennedy. I wish we lived closer because I bet they would be such good friends!

We have to go back to Cincinnati on June 10th for Kennedy's GI appointment at the Children's hospital so we look forward to seeing them again as well as some other friends who live in the area. We are going to take all the kids with us next time and make a mini-vacation out of it.

Kennedy and Keeghan both did GREAT in the car. They are troopers!! Kassidy and Kameron had a great time with their teachers and they both said the kids were great! YAY!!!

OK About the Groovy Girls:

Can I use this for my blog please? I love it!
Sure thing!

Is there one in that sea of dolls that is the most favorite?
She's really partial to the ones who have braids. I'm not sure why, but those 5 or 6 are definitely her favorites!

does kennedy play with them all or all some of them "just for looking at"?
Oh she definitely plays with all of them!! They are usually ALLLL over my living room floor. Sometimes I pack some away into a rubbermaid bin, but they don't usually stay there long! haha

Does she have any doubles?? What exactly is a groovy girl? I know it's a doll, but is there anything else to them?
She has 2 doubles... she has a double of "Kelsey" who was her very first Groovy Girl given to her by Christina and Kallie. AND She has a double of the "Kassidy" doll because, well, in one of my blonde moments I bought Kassidy one since it has her name... then Kennedy stole it. HA! Groovy Girls are made by Manhattan Toy Company. They don't do anything special, but Kennedy LOVES them. She learned all her action verbs by playing with them (running, jumping, flying, sleeping, walking, sitting, standing, eating etc.etc.etc.)You can also buy lot of fun accessories and stuff... which she isn't too into yet, thank goodness! ha!

How does Kennedy get outfits to match her groovy girl's outfits? Was Kass as much in love with these when she was Kennedy's age?
Well, the dolls that match Kennedy's outfits are actually Groovy Girl wanna-be's. They are Place Pals from The Children's Place... and they sell the matching outfits for girls. SO smart and sneaky for moms who are suckers (like me). The advantage to these is that they are cheaper than Groovy Girls. The only difference? They have a star imprinted on their cheek.

OK I have more to say, so I'll post again tonight... for now I need to get the kids settled. Last day of school is tomorrow! Crazy!

Wordless Wednesday - And the Groovy Girl Family Grows


For more Wordless Wednesdays, Click here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pictures from Washington Part 2

Monuments and other stuff... can you name them?!

Cincinnati

Hello from Cincinnati!!

I am going to be an MIA blogger for the next couple days. Kennedy, Keeghan, my mom and I got here yesterday and we'll be here until tomorrow. Kennedy was supposed to have an appointment with the GI clinic at Cincinnati Children's today, but unfortunately they had to postpone it until June 10th. My mom just happened to have a business meeting up here the same day though so we came anyway so she wouldn't have to drive on her own. Kass and Kam are each staying with their teachers while we are here.

Anyway, I'm way behind on my reader, again, but I'll get to that soon! Hope all is well out there in Blogland!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pictures from Washington

I finally got through my 400 plus pictures from my trip to Washington D.C. I'm going to break them up into several posts. This first set is from Arlington National Cemetery. It was such an amazing experience to be there and see all the memorials for the amazing people who have made our nation what it is today.

Monday Moment for Down syndrome -

Over the last almost 4 years I have collected MANY poems and stories about Down syndrome and special needs in general. Since a lot of my readers have kids with special needs, I thought I would post one poem or story every Monday. Chances are you'll find one you've never heard along the way!

By: Christina Wade

"We're scared," say the parents
Who have just found out.
"Our son has Down Syndrome,
Of that there's no doubt."

The doctors ran this test,
That test and the other.
They said, "We'll remove him
it's no fuss, it's no bother."

"I don't know," said the mother
"Don't know if I can.
My son could grow up
To be a good man."

"No," say the doctors.
"He won't, that is clear.
It is rare for these kids
To live more than a year."

"When they live," say the doctors
"They don't learn to talk.
They won't read, they won't write,
Most won't even walk."

"No!" argues the father.
"That's not true, I know.
I've seen folks with Down Syndrome
And their progress is slow."

"They may never be doctors
And lawyers and such,
But what they can do, to them,
Means just as much."

"There's no guarantee,"
Adds the mother "it's clear,
That a typical child
Would do these things either."

"Doctors like you
Give out stats so outdated,
It's no wonder so many
Kill the child they've created."

"But more parents like us
Will soon see through your lies.
They'll see more of them out there
And will realize,

That those with Down Syndrome
Can have meaningful lives.
They love, and they learn,
And they just might surprise,

Those people like you,
Who see only the bad.
It is you who's disabled,
It's really quite sad."


For more Monday Moments, Click Here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Questions Answered

You have a dev. ped through the EFMP? How does that work?
Yes, our EFMP has an actual clinic where there is a developmental ped on staff. Kennedy sees him every 3 months or so. If I have a problem with her (medically, behaviorally, educationally, whatever) he's available to help and send referrals. He also keeps track of her IEP and just her overall development. He and his assistant help coordinate her care, for example, they got the forms all sent to me for Kennedy's handicap card that we'll use after her surgery. They will also talk to her other specialists for us, if need be. It's a really nice resource to have! You should ask if your Post has anything like that!

How did you find out that someone had taken your pics?
Well unfortunately it's someone we "know"... it's a long story. But your pics should be safe! :o)

Did you have a happy pill today??
No... but I'd like one! LOL Where can I buy them?!

Do you have the kids tied up in their rooms? LOL
Hmmm there's a thought! haha Actually I worked on that long, long post for a few nights after the kids went to bed.

Could you post have been ANY LONGER?!
Ohhhh don't test me! hahaha

How long will he (Frank) get to stay when he comes home for Kennedy's surgery?
Frank will fly straight into and out of Philadelphia, he will be here for 28 days which should be more than enough time for Kennedy to get through the worst of her recovery.

Tell your husband THANKS for his courage and service from us, k?
Sure will! Thanks Babe!! (From Parker's family)

Does Frank have access to an X-box 360?
I keep forgetting to ask him this! SO since he reads my blog maybe he'll see this and we can talk about it! haha

Beautiful blog - how do you get a chance to do it?!!?
Well, my friend Rebecca designed it, and I do a lot of late night postings. Thanks to scheduled blogging I can blog at midnight and have it post at 10am the next day. It rocks! haha Oh, and THANK YOU!

Did you write the post first, and then take pics, or build the post around the pics, lol?
LOL well, those pics really WERE taken while she was on timeout, but they were taken the day before her birthday. We were not home all day on her birthday so no timeouts... and there's just something SO wrong about being on timeout on your birthday anyway! LOL

What does RSS mean?
RSS means Really Simple Syndication. I use google reader. It's a great way to read all your blogs in one spot!

I've seen this on other blogs and it's beginning to bother me that I don't know if I'm understanding these categories. So I decided to take this opportunity to ask if someone can explain. I really don't mean to offend anyone, but it sounds like it's criticizing those who choose not to spend all their free time blogging?
Oh no, it wasn't meant to criticize at all! I promise I don't spend all my free time blogging. It was just meant to be something funny, especially for those die hard bloggers out there. I know several people who have never read a blog in their whole life and never intend to... I used to be one... now I'm reformed! haha Seriously though, no insult was intended. :o)

OK I think I'm caught up, for those of you who asked for Frank's address, I will get that sent to you later today. I'm slacking, as usual!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The religion of blogging

So my friend Carlos had this posted on his blog and I thought it was too good not to share! What camp do you belong to? As for me and my blog? I'm a believer, baby!

I have been catching a vibe lately around the blogosphere. There are camps forming. A few camps.

The Evangelists
These are the zealots. They preach blogging like Salvation may be found. They check their stats a few times a day. They blog multiple times a day. They convert one new blogger a day. A lunch will not be had without some pitch about blogging being able to change ones life. From the very core. They know more about your life than you do. They Digg everyday. They YouTube everyday. They comment on 20 blogs at a time in order to stay in the loop. They read blogs only in RSS readers. More than likely, they have had a marital argument about blogging.

The Believers
These are the blogging faithful. They believe that there is TRUE community in this stuff. They post almost everyday. They comment a lot. They try to grow their blogs. They try to actually have relationships. They pick up the phone and CALL other bloggers. They see the future of communication existing in a large way through blogs. Probably to their fault. But none the less, they blog. Their motto is, “Blogging is fun, Blogging is phat, Link to me, and I’ll link you back.”

The Seekers
These are the back row Baptists. They are blogging every couple of days. They look at the blogging believers like they are nuts. They play it safe and keep it pretty narrative in their posts. They wonder what is it about this blogosphere that can help them. They definitely don’t want to be like the Evangelists, but maybe becoming a believer wouldn’t be so bad. They READ blogs daily. Searching. For something. They feel involved when in “Blogging Conversations”. They don’t think blogging is fun. They still have a MySpace. It is almost a chore. But they blog.

The Lost
These are the ones who still ask…”Whats a Blog?”

The Atheists
These are the ones who feel persecuted by the bloggers. “Why must they (bloggers) ALWAYS talk about it? They must have watched You’ve Got Mail one too many times.” They will NEVER blog. They will NEVER read a blog. They make fun of all who do. They make me nervous.

So, you know where I am, where do you fall?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Being 4 - Isn't it fabulous?!

Dear Kennedy,

Now that you're 4 we keep telling you what a big girl you are. I think, my darling daughter, that this is going to your head. Being 4 does not mean that you get to call Keeghan "naughty" when he's not doing anything wrong (or even if he IS!). Being 4 does not mean you get to hit your brothers and sister when they do things you do not like. Being 4 does not mean you can turn your nose up at your dinner... and then eat mine. Being 4 does not mean that you can walk in a parking lot without holding my hand, or push the "up" button on the elevator when we have to go "down". Being 4 does not mean that EVERY toy in the house belongs to you. That iPod, does in fact, belong to Kassidy. Being 4 does not mean that you can tell me "NO!" when I ask you to come to me. Being 4 does not give you the right to be demanding and/or bossy. Being 4 does not mean you get to whine if you don't get your way. Being 4 most definitely does not mean that you are in charge, even if you ARE a "Sincess".

Being 4 DOES mean that I can put you on time out. For. 4. Whole. Minutes. (Supernanny told me I could, so it must be true!) Being 4 also means that you have the right to smile, laugh, play and be the sweet little girl that I know you are. Being 4 means you can test out a little more independence... under your Mom's watchful eye, and within reason. Being 4 entitles you to hugs, kisses, tea parties and endless games of Groovy Girls, unless it's bedtime. Hopefully your oh so fun case of the "Birthday Syndrome" will be over once you wake up and you'll look like this again:
Otherwise, being 4 is going to be a long year for both of us!

I will always love you, my wonderful 4 year old!
Your Mommy

Thursday, May 15, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNEDY!!!!


My beautiful little princess,
Today you turn 4 years old. Amazing. In your birthday letter last year, I promised you that this year you would be celebrating your birthday cancer free. By the grace of God, here we are! This past year has been like no other. You have shown me over and over just how strong you are. You inspire me every single day. And I am SO blessed to be your Mommy.

Kennedy, I wish you were aware of all of the lives you touch, all the hearts you melt. Just know that there are many, maybe hundreds, of people who love you without even knowing you. And those who DO know you, love you even more. And I'm so proud to be called your Mommy.

So now we embark on a new year of your life, and like last year we face medical unknowns. I know that you will take it all in with a smile, with strength that can only come from God, and next year we will celebrate your 5th birthday cancer free... and halo free. And I'll be in awe that I am your Mommy.

Happy Birthday Kennedy! I am praying that 4 will be your best year yet! I am excited to see the new things you will do, hear the new words you will say, and rejoice in all your successes with you. I love you SO much. And I thank God every day that I get to be your Mommy.

All my love,
Mommy



To hear Kennedy's birthday song, click on the play button below.

One Big Medical Update

Sorry for the delay in updates, I really haven't had much to say... there are lots of new pics and stuff on my blog and more will be coming tomorrow. 

Kennedy has her appointments at Vandy tomorrow where, if all goes well, she will get her clearances for surgery from pulmonology and cardiology. Then on Monday we were supposed to be leaving for Cincinnati for her GI appointment, but they called today and had to reschedule. *sigh* They felt really bad and it was something out of their control but let me just say "UGH" anyway. SO they rescheduled her for June 10th which also happens to be the day that Kameron has his appointment at the food clinic, so I'll have to reschedule that. Getting this diarrhea thing figured out is more important at this point. 

As far as I know she is still set for her spine fusion surgery on July 2nd (pending tomorrow's clearances of course), but if that changes I will let you know. 

Keeghan went to see the ped for an ear recheck today and they were all clear! YAY! So he got his one year shots. He seems to be doing fine with them though, he's happy and laughing right now. Pray he will sleep well tonight! 

Anyway, that's it for now, you'll be hearing more from me tomorrow! 

I am thankful for Melissa from the Down syndrome clinic, who has helped me jump through SO many hoops in the last few months! Thanks Melissa!

A Down syndrome research study

Do you have a child with Down syndrome between the ages of 10 years of age to 17 years of age?

Researchers are looking for volunteers to look at the treatment of cognitive dysfunction with Children with Down syndrome in a 10 week double blind, placebo controlled study with Donepezil hydrochloride.

Volunteers will be asked to take either study drug or placebo once a day and provide two ECG and three blood samples over a 10-week period.

Parent/Caretaker survey about activities of daily living will occur every visit.. The Child will be asked to complete assessments on language function at every visit.

Two telephone visits will occur within the 10 week period to monitor medication.

Compensation will be provided to help cover costs for mileage and parking



Principal Investigator:

Dr. Robert L. VanDervoort, Jr., MD

(Down Syndrome Program)

For further information contact:

Romney Snyder-Croft, LCSW, ACSW

(615) 936-7376 email

romney.snyder-croft@vanderbilt.edu

Deployment 2008 - Day 140

So I missed our 120 day update! Sorry! Thankfully things have been good with Frank and I haven't had much to post! He is doing well over there. He was switched from working nights to days which is kind of messing up our chat time, but we're making it work. He will be home soon, for Kennedy's surgery... we can't wait to see him!! Thank you to everyone who has sent him packages and stuff! He has loved it all! If you'd like his address to send him a card or whatever, let me know!

See? Not much to say... but it's a GOOD thing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Answers and Questions

I'm going through my blog right now (OK for the last 3 days)... because my house is spotless and I have nothing else to do... no wait... that's not right... because I'm tired and don't want to do anything else... that's better! And I am finding that I am HORRIBLE about answering questions you all ask me in the comment section! SO I went back to the very beginning and have copied all the questions I could find that either hadn't been answered already or were rhetorical and I'm going to answer them all here.

ALSO if you would like to ask me a question, now's your chance! You ask here and I'll answer. Promise!




General Questions
Girl - have you lost your mind :)!! How are you going to keep up with all of these sites?
Yes. LOL Actually, it's just Kennedy's carepage and here... It IS hard to distinguish what info to put on which page though since everyone doesn't check both.

How are YOU doing?
I am doing fine, really. I'm ready for this surgery to be OVER.

I just realized I have a cousin in Clarksville--army wife with spouse deployed, but no kids--who LOVES kids. Maybe I should hook you guys up?!)
That would be fun! Feel free to give her my info!

So did you get a cheesesteak? (In Philly)
YES!! Stephanie took me to... Crud, I can't remember the name. Genos? Maybe? Anyway, it was AWESOME!!

Tahoe Joe's has great steak and baked potatoes- ever been there???
Never heard of it! If we ever get back to CA I'll check it out!

I didn't know you went to CBU!!! Have you seen the place recently? It's amazing what they've done. AND the air conditioning now actually works in the James Building!!
I haven't seen CBU since 2005. Even then I was in awe... all my tuition money and I didn't even get the good food! haha And A/C in the James building?! NOT fair! But I'm glad for the current students! :)

Wonder-can we bring some of these things east? Especially Claim Jumper and All of that?
Well we now have a Red Robin and a Del Taco in Tennessee... we're getting there. I'm afraid In-N-Out is a pipe dream though. *sigh*

Tried prescription strength stuff? (for allergies)
Nope, it all knocks me out! Thankfully whatever was attacking me has stopped... for now!

Have you ever read this blog? Because I Said So It's so funny and she makes money on it! It started when she wrote this really funny description trying to sell a pack of Pokemon cards one of the kids got past her at the grocery store.
YES! She's one of my favorites!

Ok, why did I never realize you had this blog? I'm putting you on my blog roll, if that is ok! :)
Most definitely OK!

Those jammies (from Christmas Eve) are adorable! Children's Place?!
YES! I paid $16.50 a piece... and just recently found them for $2.50. I'm not bitter. Much.

LOL I get it! that's too funny, it was kind of hard to read, did you write this?
Nope, I didn't write this. I'm way too OCD. I couldn't resist torturing you all though!

Do you ever have a dull day in your house?
Yes! Today has been surprisingly low key. I was supposed to be on a field trip with Kameron, but thanks to the rain, Keeghan and I have been lazy bums. I can't help feeling like I forgot something though! haha

Can I borrow your mom, lol?
NO! I need her here! Well... ok... but you have to give her back!

What snow? You call that snow LOL!
Heck yeah that's snow! We actually got A LOT more about a month later (I realize "A LOT" is all relative). Watch for those pictures sometime... no promises of when!

I was looking for a montage to show my husband and happened to notice your shoe cubbies in the background-- where did you get them from?
Target! I love those things!!

Gotten any compliments on your newest jewelry "collection"?
She's talking about my necklace and bracelet made by Heather. It's awesome and I've gotten lots of compliments! Check out her collection, she makes the most amazing stuff!

Oh yeah, you seriously have school closed for voting?
Yeah well, I guess some of the schools are used as polls for voting and they don't want the kids there with strangers going in and out. Still though, it makes it hard for parents to vote!

How do you keep up with everything???
I don't. You should see the laundry piled up! But hey, it's clean laundry at least! LOL

(About the Down syndrome creed): Who is the author?
I'm not sure. I wish I knew!

Did you notice the balloons happen to be the Down Syndrome awareness colors?!
YES! Cool coincidence or what?!

Tornados in February? Isn't that odd? I thought May was tornado season.
Well, now that we're in May... I certainly hope that's WRONG! haha But yes, tornados in February is odd.




Frank, Kass, Kam, Keeghan Questions
So are you telling me that surgery didn't help Frank with the snoring?
Well, I haven't seen him since December, but as of that time: Sadly, No.

I just have to say, that Keeghan is the cutest thing I have seen in a loooong time. Are his eyes always that big and sparkly???
Yes!! Full of wonder and mischief!

I am assuming that Keeghan had his tubes done at VCH? If so can I ask who is ENT is?
Yes he did. He sees Dr. Goudy... Kennedy saw Dr. Kaylie and then Dr. Werkhaven. Kassidy and Kameron saw Dr. Cofer. We love them all! (I think Dr. Kaylie is gone now though.)

So what did the kids get for their toothless grins?
They got 5 gold dollars for their 1st tooth and now they get 3 gold dollars per tooth. Thankfully I think the tooth fairy's job has slowed down for awhile!

Does Kam really have an Ipod that is HIS?
*sigh* Yes. You can blame that on Daddy who is addicted to all things Apple. I have to say though, that little Ipod is really resiliant!

Do people tell you he (Keeghan) looks like Kassidy?
Yes, I get a good mixture of "He looks JUST like Kameron" or "He really looks a lot like Kassidy!" I get "He makes faces like Kennedy!" too. And they all look like Daddy. I swear I had something to do with their genetics too!

From this post: How does she (Kassidy) feel about getting married and having a Zack and a Zoey now?
Kassidy says she is still going to name her kids Zack and Zoey... I hope she has a boy and a girl or I'll have a granddaughter named Zack or a grandson named Zoey. Hmmm.

How's Frank?
He's good! And I suck for not doing a deployment update. I'll get right on that.




Kennedy Questions
How goes the potty training?!
Potty training? What's that?! Oh yeah... *sigh*. Actually we haven't even had a chance to work on it with Kennedy's constant diarrhea. We go to GI next week and MAYBE an end will be in sight?! MAYBE?!

In reference to this post: LOL didn't she (Kennedy) hide something last year too? Something with your camera right?
Yes... Kennedy hid my camera battery. For MONTHS. I bought another one and then finally found it. Sneaky little thing.

and: Could you tell Kennedy it's time for him to wake up? Do you think she knows where he is or not?
I totally think she knew where baby Jesus was hiding. She's much smarter than even I give her credit for! (and yes, we found Him!)

Is her middle name Jean?
Yep... along with Kassidy's, mine, a couple aunts and cousins and both of my Grandmas. I always hated my middle name growing up and swore I would never do that to my daughter... and I did it to both. HA!

From this post:
I'm diggin' the GG house--has Kennedy tried to climb in yet, lol?
No, but Keeghan loves to throw all the dolls out and play in there himself.

From this post: How do you get her to keep those hats on?
Fortunately she LOVES hats! I'm lucky, I know!

Where did you get that coat? It's great!
That was Kassidy's coat once upon a time... I think we got it at Burlington Coat Factory... but I'm not 100% sure. Frank may remember.

I love her glasses! Are they new?
Well... no. She got them over a year ago, but when she was diagnosed with Leukemia we just didn't worry about them. I'm trying to get more consistent with her wearing them, but it's pretty hit and miss. Her vision is normal but one of her eyes turns in so they're trying to correct it. Not gonna do much good though if I don't let her wear them, huh?! LOL

You never did answer why. Why?
I don't know WHY! hahahaha WHY does this word make me want to curl up in a little ball?!

From this thread:
SO?! What did you win?! And how could she NOT win?!
We won a TV! There were some GREAT pictures, so I was actually really surprised that she did win!

Where are you going to put the TV?
In our living room... but I don't have it yet. I'm waiting for Frank to get home so I don't buy the wrong thing! LOL




Medical Questions
About the Free Bone Marrow Registry: Someone asked me why it isn't ALWAYS free. I don't know, do you?
I don't know either. I would assume it costs to store the samples and for the lab work to determine if someone is a match or not. That would be my guess. Only a few more days to sign up for free! :)

Is there anything a Chiropractor can do for Kennedy and the AAI? My husband is a chiropractor and I know there are techniques they can use that are gentle (i.e. - not actually taking the neck and twisting it for the adjustment). I was just wondering if there was any alternative to surgery.
Unfortunately, no. Her situation with the extremely large gap must be fused... it's not going to fix itself. It would be nice though!

Not that you haven't tried this already but have you tried to see if there is a Crippled Children's in Tennessee?
I actually haven't looked for this... never even heard of it. I'll have to look into it, thanks!

What is the total length of time for treatment of AML?
Treatment for AML (at least for Kennedy) is 6 rounds of chemo... it usually works out to about 1 round a month. It's 5 days of chemo and then recovery time before the next round... the chemo is very high dose so it really takes 2-4 weeks to recover. Our shortest admission was 16 days, our longest was 24. Then as long as she stays in remission, that's it. If she were to relapse she would have to do more chemo to get back into remission and then get a bone marrow transplant.

Is a bone marrow biopsy checking for Leukemia cells? Is she in remission right now or will this determine if she is?
She is in remission. Her last biopsy was to check and make sure that she is STILL in remission. (So yes, they were checking for Leukemia.) She was (is) spiking weird fevers and her counts were a little off, so they just wanted to make sure. Thankfully, she's fine! :)

Do you still have the option of having it (Kennedy's surgery) done at Vandy or will they make you jump through hoops too?
Haha That's a loaded question! Yes, I am sure we could still have the surgery done at Vandy. However, we have the utmost faith in the doctors from Shriners and feel that because of their endless experience with this type of surgery, she is in the very best hands possible. Now as for anesthesia, neither hospital wanted to sedate her so I think we'd be jumping through hoops either way.

Our children's hospital just informed us that we have access to a nurse who helps deal with issues like this. That's her entire job--help out with insurance, get appointments that are crucial, etc. Does Vandy have that?
We had a liason through Tricare (our insurance) while Kennedy was going through chemo. She was condescending and not any help. I'm not sure if the hospital has something like this available or not, but I would be hesitant to try it...

Is Kennedy registered with EFMP?
Yes, we love the EFMP program and her Developmental ped there. They have helped me jump through a lot of hoops over the years!

How is tricare for you?
I can't complain too much. They have paid for EVERYTHING except for copays on medicine. I've had to fight them a few times, especially when I was trying to get the kids' medical care switched to Civilian vs. Military, but overall they have been great!




Military/Deployment Questions
How long will your hubby be deployed for?
He will be home in March 2009... He left in December 2007, so 15 months total.

Solerno as in Italy?
Ha! He wishes! Solerno is the name of his base in Afghanistan.

So glad you get to talk each night. Does the government at least pay for the calls?
No, he has a phone card that he has to reload. I don't think it's TOO expensive though. We talk online most of the time anyway.

I heard on the news tonight that they are shortening deployment to 12 months, will that affect Frank?
Unfortunately, no. The 12 month deployment goes into effect for troops leaving AFTER August 2008. Anyone over there now or leaving in the next couple months still has their 15 month tour.




Slideshow/Picture Questions
How do you make these cool slide shows? Do you use a specific website? They are really cool.
My favorite is Picturetrail. You can also use One True Media or Rock You or PhotoBucket.

how do you get a picture with so many poses?
I use Paint Shop Pro (you can also use photoshop) and create a new image and just paste all the images together into one big picture. Clear as mud?!

Just curious...did you have an incident where you photos were used without your permission?
Yes. Sucks doesn't it?!

Wordless Wednesday - Things I DON'T miss about California

For more Wordless Wednesdays, Click here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Enterprise has done it again!

So remember my friend Carlos and this post and the lovely people at Enterprise rent a car? Well, they strike again! This time with my friend Leslie... read about it here and then rent your car through someone else!

My Mother's Day from Kass and Kam

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! I will post more about ours later, but I wanted to post about my gifts from Kassidy and Kameron. I LOVE home-made gifts more than anything!! Kameron gave me flowers from school in a little pot he decorated himself... he forgot to give it to me yesterday, so I got it this morning... trouble is, they're alive... for now. With my black thumb it won't last long. That's ok though, I can use the little flower pot to hold something else. He also gave me a card from church and my mom bought him a card to give me. :)

Kassidy brought home a laminated card from school with her picture where she had to write an anagram for the word Mother. This is what she wrote:

Magnificent
Orders pizza
Trustworthy
Honorable mother
Excellent mom
Ready to nap

I don't know about some of those, but man, the O and the R... my kid knows me well! haha

She also made me a card at church with a poem in it. She wrote this all by herself:

You tuck me in at night
You tell me don't fright
You take good care of me
You fill me with glee
That is why you are special
You are the only one I know
That can love me the most.

My mom got my candles and new pajamas from the kids and a pretty music box from her. Frank called for the first time in a long time! The phones have been down a lot lately so it was nice to talk to him! He got to talk to the kids too, so that made them (and him) happy!

Anyway, that's about it! More later...

Monday Moment for Down syndrome - Blessings in Disguise

Over the last almost 4 years I have collected MANY poems and stories about Down syndrome and special needs in general. Since a lot of my readers have kids with special needs, I thought I would post one poem or story every Monday. Chances are you'll find one you've never heard along the way!

Blessings in Disguise
By Thomas Kempis

God sends his little angels
In many forms and guises,
They come as lovely miracles
That God alone devises.

For every little angel
With a body bent and broken,
Or a little mind disabled
Or little words unspoken,

Is just God's way of trying
To reach and touch the hand
Of all who do not know Him
And cannot understand

That often through an angel
Whose wings will never fly
The Lord is pointing out the way
To His eternal sky

Where there will be no handicaps
Of body, soul or mind,
And where all limitations
Will be dropped and left behind.

So accept these little angels
As gifts from God above,
And thank Him for this lesson
In faith and hope and love.


For more Monday Moments, Click Here

Sunday, May 11, 2008

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!

'M' is for the million things she gave me
'O' means only that she's growing old
'T' is for the tears she shed to save me
'H' is for her heart of purest gold
'E' is for her eyes with love lights shining
'R' for right and right she'll always be
Put them all together they spell Mother,
A Word that means the world to me.


Mother's Day is here and the lyrics written by Howard Johnson 93 years ago still ring true today. This time every year we are encouraged to think about our mothers. Whether they are young or old, rich or poor, alive or dead, we are to pay homage to the woman who gave us so many things; the greatest of these, of course, being life.

Many call this holiday a "Hallmark Holiday" fabricated to sell cards and flowers and yet another excuse for department stores to have one day sales. Some buy into it, some don't. Whether you run out to purchase a dozen roses or ignore the event all together, the original reason for the day is still a good one: Our moms.

There is no way I can speak for all mothers, so I'll speak of the one I know best, my own. When I think about my mom, the first thing I think of is unconditional love. I wasn't the easiest daughter in the world. I was whiney and stubborn and spoiled... and then I became a teenager! I know she had days when she threw up her hands in exasperation and defeat. Many times I saw her heart break and tears fall as she ached over the choices I was making. When I did succeed, I would see tears again; but these were tears of joy as my accomplishments were somehow her accomplishments too. Through good times and bad, I knew she was there and I knew she loved me.

My mom taught me all about life, the important things. She taught me how to share, how to help others, and how to be polite no matter what. She taught me how to put on nylons, shave my legs, build a sand castle, bake cookies and drive a car. Most importantly, she taught me about Jesus and to love others the way He loves us. This monumental lesson is by far the best gift she has given me.

Now, as a mother myself, I look into the eyes of my own children and I finally understand the joy and heartache that goes along with being a mom. I yearn for patience and wisdom to teach them all the things they need to know… how to share and be polite, how to bake cookies and drive a car. But in my heart I know that the greatest gift I can pass onto my kids is the same gift my own mother gave me so many years ago: the knowledge and acceptance of Christ and the ability to love others as He loves us. I know I will shed many tears, both happy and sad. I will cry when they make wrong choices and I will rejoice in their success, because somehow, it's my success too.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle and I thank God for a mom who taught me about life. Without her I wouldn't be the person I am today. So, thank you mom, on Mother's Day and every day, thank you for being you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Surgery Date and other stuff!

Sorry for the lack of updates, if you follow my blog you probably already know where I've been, but for those of you who don't know yet, I won the Military Motherhood Award! Thank you SO much for voting me into the top 5! I actually found out on April 29th that I won, but I was sworn to secrecy! LOL 

Kennedy and I went to Washington D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday and had a fabulous time. You can read all about it on my blog. Pictures should be up soon. 

As for Kennedy, she goes to Vandy on Friday for her pulmonology and cardiology appointments where hopefully they will clear her for surgery and we will get NO MORE road blocks! IF everything goes well there it looks like her surgery will be on July 2nd. Did I just type that? Did you see it?! A surgery date! Crazy. 

In the meantime, we still have her GI appointment in Cincinnati coming up on the 20th. We are praying hard they will have an answer for her diarrhea. It was SO bad while we were on our trip, I felt so bad for her! She dropped from 24 lbs down to 19 lbs. SO frustrating. 

Kassidy and Kameron had their last soccer games today and both went well. We are doing their end of season parties soon and that will be it until Fall. I always am so excited for soccer season to start, but by the end, I'm SO glad it's over for awhile! haha 

Keeghan is doing well... he's still on antibiotics for his ear infection, but hopefully they'll be all clear during his recheck on Thursday. 

Anyway, I guess that's about it. I really just wanted to let you know about the contest and Kennedy's surgery date!! There's still time to sign up to be a bone marrow donor. Be someone's hero!!! 

I am thankful for my mom and everything she does for our family! I don't know what I would do without her! Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

OK FINALLY the exciting news!

OK, so I know it's Friday now, but I couldn't get online all day. So I see a couple of you guessed my news! I won the Military Motherhood Award! I actually found out on the 29th and it was absolutely killing me not to blog it, but I was under strict instructions not to tell until it was posted on the CinChouse website.

For the last 2 days Kennedy and I have been in Washington D.C. On Wednesday, we were taken on a whirlwind tour of D.C. Kennedy was exhausted and slept for a lot of it, but I got to see SO many amazing things! We went to Arlington National Cemetery first. I got to see the grave site of John Kennedy… a teenager nearby asked, "So was Kennedy a President?" WOW has our school system failed her or what?! Then we went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where I got to see the changing of the guard. SO neat.

After that we went all over D.C… we went to the Capital, saw the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Pentagon, the WW2 memorial and the VietNam wall and SO much more. I loved seeing all the history, our Nation at work. Amazing.

After dinner with some of the wonderful people from Operation Homefront, Kennedy and I went to our hotel room and crashed quickly.
This morning there was a ceremony, and it was literally all about ME. Haha I was extremely nervous as I knew there would be Senators, Congressman, media, and lots of other people there; but it was so much fun. Everyone was so nice and made it easy for me! Kennedy, of course, got lots of attention and was her usual charming self! I was presented with the award there and the $5,000 prize. I was a little nervous about making a speech, but I was told it went off well. Hopefully I will get to see the video footage they took and maybe can pass it along.

After the ceremony, we went to lunch and then went to Senator Lemar Alexander's office to meet with him. He spent a few minutes with us and then had to go vote so we said our goodbyes. Kennedy decided that she liked the Senator and followed him down the hallway into his office. Everyone in each office she passed along the way came out to say hello to her. When we finally caught up with her, she was sitting in the Senator’s lap and they were playing. SO sweet! One of the ladies there got some pictures and promised to email them to me.

We made a quick stop at the Kennedy Center where I got Kennedy a t-shirt that says… well… Kennedy! Haha and then we went back to the hotel where we met up with one of our favorite Downsyn families: Denny, Vonda, Peyton, Sophie, Noah and Halle! We had a nice dinner with them and I got lots of hugs from Noah! They brought Kennedy a new Groovy Girl and some adorable clothes which she will be showing off SOON!

We were supposed to be home A LOT earlier tonight, but we had a long, long delay at the airport. I pulled into my driveway at midnight. I am hoping Kennedy will sleep in tomorrow!

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Thank you to Operation Homefront and CinCHouse for this amazing opportunity to be the voice for Military wives everywhere. Thank you Vivian, Max, Sue and Bill for showing Kennedy and I a fabulous time! We had SO much fun and look forward to visiting again with the whole family. Thank you to my mom for keeping Kassidy, Kameron and Keeghan so I could come here, and for everything else you do for me. Thank you, Khette, for nominating me for this award. It’s all just been so amazing. Thank you, Frank for being my support always. Thank you Kass, Kam, Kenn and Keeghan for being the most awesome kids EVER!

Watch for pictures soon and also more about CinCHouse and Operation Homefront. They are both amazing organizations that help families so much!!

On that note, I'm exhausted and going to bed! Sorry again for not getting this out sooner, I tried SO hard to get online!!

The Big Leagues Meme

The Angel Forever tagged me for a meme. The history of this meme, means that I am in the big leagues of blogging. Thank you for the compliment C;est Moi! So here is my take on this, followed by the people I will tag.

What were you doing ten years ago?
Ten years ago today I was very newly engaged and beginning to plan my wedding. I was also ending my Freshman year at college and Frank and I were getting ready to fly to Wisconsin to spend the summer with my mom.

What are five things on your to-do list?
1. Get some sleep.
2. Get my living room cleaned out from the latest Groovy Girl invasion
3. Get Kennedy's birthday presents bought
4. Sleep more.
5. Get all my pictures uploaded from my trip.

What are five snacks you enjoy?
I'm not really a snack person... so this is taking some thought!
1. popcorn
2. wheat thins
3. peanut m&ms
4. chips and dip
5. frozen grapes

Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire.
ohhh Pay off my student loans... wouldn't THEY be thrilled?! Buy a nice house where all the kids can have their own rooms; donate a bunch to childhood cancer research, Down syndrome research and Operation Homefront and my church; take Frank, my kids, and my mom on a well deserved vacation.

Name some places you have lived.
I grew up in San Bernardino/Rialto, California...
then moved to Riverside, California;
lived for awhile in American Canyon, CA (right next to Napa Valley);
and then here, in Clarksville, TN.

Name some bad habits you have.
bad habits? me?! hahaha
I am horrible about getting stuff into my mailbox. If I can't pay the bill online, it's usually late.
My house and my car are full of clutter, clutter and more clutter. And when I DO de-clutter, it usually only lasts about a week.
Mornings are always a rush, especially when we're trying to get out the door to church... it seems no matter how early I get up, I end up procrastinating.
Oh yes, and I'm addicted to the internet. Stop laughing.

Name some jobs you have had.
I worked at the evening campus at our college as an office clerk. I was a receptionist at a few different companies. I babysat. A lot.

Name those whom you are tagging.
The Burgh Baby
Cornish Adoption Journey
Ragamuffin Soul

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Just to keep you all wondering...

I have some exciting stuff to share... tomorrow. So be sure you check back in then! :) Happy Wednesday!