Sunday, November 30, 2008

Question of the Day #10

This question was stolen from Kathy's blog! Thanks Kathy!

If you are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?

Kass and Keeghan

My oldest and my youngest... I love the bond they share. Keeghan loves Kassidy more than anyone in the world (except me, of course). I love to see Keeghan's eyes light up when he gets up in the morning and she's there. She will say, "HI baby boy!" And he'll run into her arms. If he wakes up after she's left for school, he'll wander around and say, "Taaaaasssssy?" Many times I'll find them sitting on the couch, Keeghan in Kassidy's lap, watching TV or reading a book and cuddling together. I pray as they get older their bond will grow. I pray that Kassidy will continue to be a good role model for Keeghan and that he will always cherish his big sister. I love my babies.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Giveaway!!!!!

I have several giveaways lined up for the next few weeks!!! It's all very exciting! I love to give stuff away!!!

So now for the goods:

Remember my friend Jen's Thirty-One Christmas Fundraiser? Have you looked at the catalogue yet?? Have you gone to Jen's Thirty-One page to order?? NO? Well now is the time to start browsing because ONE lucky winner will get a $20 gift certificate to Thirty-One when you order from Jen! This could buy you a whole bunch of different things OR go towards that big item you've had your eye on! So ready?


GO.

BROWSE.

TELL ME ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS.

And you're entered!!!

As always you can post it on your own blog and enter yourself again for a second chance to win!


I'm kind of jealous I can't enter myself! HA!

Friday, November 28, 2008

An incredible little boy...


Brenden Foster... another victim of cancer... but he changed the world before he left.

You found my blog HOW?! (Part 6)

I haven't done one of these in awhile, so I thought it was time again!

These are the exact words people put into a search engine and ended up on my blog... there are some really bored people out there!

first grade teacher labeling son add because of day dreaming in michigan
(Tell him to daydream in a different state then)

could you get down's syndrome at an early age
(Ummm yeah... like at conception even! Sheesh)

she thinks she's special
(Well, maybe she is.)

who looks good with bangs
(Kennedy. LOL)

7 year old smokes pot
(Shouldn't he be playing with transformers or something instead?!)

boy names that have 7 letters and ends in an n
(SEE! I'm not the only neurotic mom out there! LOL)

im thankful im funny
(You're humble, too.)

happy birthday ...i didn't do anything special
(sounds like a bummer birthday!)

dry up my snot
(It's called cold medicine!)

goodbye my all must lover
(Goodbye... but I'm not your lover!)

"she is magical "always happy "smiling
(Awww why, thank you!)

where can i find groovy girls dolls in philadelphia
(I think we bought them all already! LOL)

special k or go lean
(Is this an ultimatum? Like Live Free or Die?)

my sons nose is always snotty why is this
(Maybe he needs cold medicine, too!)

my name is isaiah im looking for my mom
(I hope you find her!)

what can you tell me about down syndrome
(Lots of things, what do you want to know?)

what does a mitsubishi galant 1985 yellow warning light means
(It means you take it to a mechanic and let a pro figure it out! LOL)

"what is that chemical smell from my deep freeze?"
(It means you call a repair guy and let a pro figure it out!)

renee no girl next door blog
(I think I'm offended!)

roller skating on thanksgiving in wisconsin
(Umm unless it's an indoor rink, I would consider ICE skating, instead!)

do you know someone with down syndrome
(Why yes, yes I do!)

poopoo
(SERIOUSLY?! Who searches for THAT?! LOL)

the special life of bees
(I think the word you're looking for is SECRET)

4 year old still not potty trained diapers
(Yeah, welcome to my life! LOL)

For more Google Craziness, Click Here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Poem

A THANKSGIVING POEM
(author unknown)

'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn't sleep
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned –
The dark meat and white
But I fought the temptation
With all of my might

Tossing and turning
With anticipation,
The thought of a snack
Became infatuation.

So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door
And gazed at the fridge,
Full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey
And buttered potatoes
Pickles and carrots
Beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling
So plump and so round,
'Til all of a sudden,
I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling,
Floating into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding
And a handful of pie

But, I managed to yell
As I soared past the trees…
Happy eating to all –
Pass the cranberries, please!

I'm thankful #8

I am thankful for Down syndrome. Now before you all think I'm crazy, bear with me. When we found out Kennedy had Down syndrome, it shook me to the core. I remember being on the phone with my mom, crying, saying, "I don't think I can DO this." Because of Down syndrome God gave me a strength I may not have otherwise discovered. Because of Down syndrome I have gotten to meet SO many amazing people, some of whom are now life-long friends. Because of Down syndrome I've learned you don't always have to rush, don't always have to be the best, don't always have to be first. Because of Down syndrome I've learned that sometimes, being happy, being healthy, is more than enough. Because of the medical problems associated with Down syndrome, I've learned to cherish each moment, each memory. I've learned to pray specifically, and I've learned to rely fully on God because there are just some things that are too big to wrap my mind around.

And while I'm most definitely NOT thankful for Leukemia, I AM thankful for the friends we've made along the way and the most beautiful angels I would have otherwise never met. Our lives are truly better for knowing them. I am thankful for Cody Myers, Charlie Porter, Erica, Kilburn, Cody Robinson and Matthew Litchfield for the innumerable lessons they've taught me and my family in the short time that God allowed them to be here. My prayers are with your families today, and always.

Even though...

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings,
thank you, Lord that I can hear...for there are many who are deaf.
Even though I keep, as long as possible, my eyes closed against the morning light,
thank you, Lord that I can see... for there are many who are blind.
Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising,
thank you, Lord that I have the strength to rise...for there are many who are bedridden.
Even though the first hour of my day is hectic when socks are lost,
toast is burned, tempers are short and children are so loud,
thank you, Lord for my family...for there are many who are lonely.
Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines,
and the menu is, at times, unbalanced,
thank you, Lord for the food we have...because there are so many who are hungry.
Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous,
thank you, Lord for the opportunity to work...for there are many who have no job.
Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day
and wish my circumstances were not so modest,
thank you, Lord..for life.
Author Unkown

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!


May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes 'n gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
May your pies take the prize.
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs.





My Pilgrim Name Is...



Esther Tilly

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm thankful #7

Sorry, I went to bed early and forgot to post yesterday!

I am thankful for the Internet. I know this sounds kind of silly, but really, I am! I have been able to keep in touch with friends from all walks of life, from my VERY first best friend when I was 5, to neighborhood friends from when I was a teenager... friends from elementary, junior high, high school and college. I've been able to keep up with family members and friends from California who are as busy as I am and sometimes it's just hard to pick up the phone and call. Now if I want to check in with them I can go to their blog, their facebook, their myspace, OR if they're REALLY out of the loop, there's always email! haha I love that I have been able to reconnect with so many!

I am thankful for my blog and for Kennedy's carepage. Over the last several years I have met SO many wonderful people on all walks of life... people whose children have gone through some of the same things as Kennedy or people who just stumble across the site and stick around to pray for her, and us. I know I talk about Kennedy more than the other 3 on here, but I've gotten so many emails from parents over the last few years thanking me for the info, because their child is about to go through one of the issues Kennedy's had, from Down syndrome to Leukemia, to Spine Surgery, and her little things in the past like failure to thrive, intestinal blockages, aspiration pneumonia and possible celiac's. Seeing her fight and persevere gives them such comfort. Reading about the lives she's touched in her short life is just amazing, and I can't wait until she's old enough to understand. I'm thankful for Kennedy and the lives she touches through the Internet every day.

I am thankful I can pay bills online, order take out online, SHOP online and pretty much anything else I want to do. I've heard you can even by a car online! Craziness! Anyway, I am thankful for the Internet... and all of you, my bloggy friends!!! I'm so glad to know you all!

Wordless Wednesday - Can YOU do this?!



For More Wordless Wednesdays, Click Here.

I guess I should feed him more often!

Last night for dinner we had cheese ravioli, corn and garlic cheese bread. Keeghan gobbled his down and whined for more, so I gave him the rest of my corn. He ate that and whined for more, so I gave him the rest of Kennedy's ravioli that she didn't want. He ate that and said he was "ahhh dun!" (translation: all done) so I let him up and he promptly went over and stole Kennedy's bread off her plate. Little thief! Kennedy was done anyway, so he scarfed it down and then wandered around the living room until he spotted Kameron who was still eating his corn with his toothpick. Keeghan watched him for a minute, and as soon as Kameron looked away, Keeghan ran over, grabbed two fistfuls of corn, and ran away as fast as he could, laughing maniacally. I'm pretty sure he ate twice as much as anyone else for dinner. Guess I need to feed him more than once a week, huh?!

(Disclaimer... I DO feed my son more than once a week, no one attack me!)

Q&A #38

We are so there. What I want to know is, why are tears such a necessary part of this process?
I think it's a little bit of letting go... letting go of our plans, a little bit of our pride (because we thought we had it all together), and I believe that tears are necessary to cleanse the soul.

With your insurance can you see any doctor that you wish? Did the military provide any expenses for your stay in Philly or for your trips to Cincinnati?
Well sort of... Of course the doctor has to accept TriCare (our insurance) and then it depends on how close you live to a Military base. In our case, we are SUPPOSED to go to doctors at Fort Campbell. However, after they almost killed Kennedy (the second time) we got a waiver for all the kids to be seen by a civilian provider. We have a regular ped now and LOVE her! I still have to go to Post, but I so rarely go to the doctor, it doesn't really matter. They did not pay for any expenses for Cincinnati or Philly. Since I didn't get approved to take Kennedy to Shriner's, they wouldn't cover any of that anyway. I'm not sure about Cincinnati. I never asked.

I've been lurking on your blog for some time and so happy to hear people are using the resources Military OneSource provides (I work for them)! You do have to log your military branch to get to the DVD (and you do get both together). Here's the link to the actual order page (hope it works!)
Thank you! The link worked!!! And thanks for de-lurking! :)

Soooo, what's the plan for Kindy? ;)
hahaha PLANS are for her to go to a typical Kindergarten class and my PREFERENCE is that she gets Kameron's Kindy teacher. Of course the principal won't allow parent requests so I'll have some fighting to do through the school system. I'll keep you posted on how it goes :).

Good luck! Actually, I might have to enter this one, too. Kayla has discovered Groovy Girls! Although she just likes to dangle them (they are so wonderfully dangly!) but it's a start.
Kennedy loved to dangle them too, at first! And her love came from watching Christina's daughter, Kallie, dangling them! LOL Someone sent her a poseable one and it frustrated her because their legs didn't dangle! haha We also taught her all the action verbs with Groovy Girls. (Run, jump, dance, fly, walk, sit, sleep, etc etc etc LOL)

I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. Have you read his latest "Dear John" or "The Choice"? Those were good, too. Of couse, my favorite was "The Rescue". Have you read any of Lolly Winston's books? I read, "Good Grief" and "Happiness Sold Separately". I think those are all she has written to date but I happened upon her and liked her. I will have to try Karen Kingsbury sometime.
I have read Dear John and The Choice! They are both GREAT!!!! I haven't read The Rescue yet. I've never heard of Lolly Winston! I'll have to check her out. DO check out Karen Kingsbury! She is a great Christian author! I'm almost done with the book I just started the other day! LOL

Sorry your holiday plans have changed. Are you going to be attempting to cook Thanksgiving dinner now?
ME?! Cook a TURKEY?! hahahahahahaha Funny. NO I will make my cranberries and my broccoli casserole, which are the two things I make every year. Everything else is up to my mom. We want to enjoy our food! LOL

Your kids just get off on Wed-fri? oh didn't they get a fall break too?
Yes and yes. They had a week off in October, though I personally would rather have them have no Fall Break and get all of this week off.

How's the potty training going with Kennedy anyways? You haven't updated much so I figured it must be going along pretty well.
Actually I haven't updated because I was frustrated! LOL She's doing great at home, as long as there are no panties on her. Put anything against her butt and she pees. I need to get serious about it QUICKLY.

My daughter has been whining for 3 years. Does it get better???
I'm pretty sure it doesn't. I'm 29 and I still whine. LOL

You can always send him to potty training boot camp at the Porter house.
Ahem. You would offer this when you're out of the state! LOL I'll be dropping him off soon. When do you get home? We'll meet you there!

Can I "borrow" this poem? Did you write this? I love it!!
Absolutely! No I didn't write it, it's been around forever! :)

I like the poem. But as someone who has built a family through adoption, I have problems with the "saving" part. I didn't adopt my children to save them. Which could imply that they should be grateful for what I did. Adoption was the appropriate way for me to build a family. They were adopted so we could be a family. ALL children deserve to be loved and cared for.
Janet, you're right, all children do deserve to be loved and cared for, but when I think of all the kids on Reece's Rainbow, I first of course think they need to be loved, but I also think they need to be saved... in their case, saved from life in an institution... from a death sentence. Do they need to be grateful for what their adoptive parents did, well I think in a way, most kids are, right? Not that the kids OWE them anything, but I can't imagine a child who knows they're adopted NOT being grateful... thankful, whatever. Now I don't think adoptive parents should say, "You have to be grateful!" LOL (Of course I know biological parents who say that! haha) I don't know, the "saved" part just doesn't bother me, but I've never adopted, so maybe I would feel differently. Thanks for posting though, it gives me something to think about :).

Will you share the broccoli recipe? I want to make something different this year and it sounds yummy!
OK! Here it is!

1 stick of butter
1 medium white onion
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 large jar of cheese wiz
1 box of white rice
milk

Cook the rice (I use the boil in bag rice). At the same time, in a large skillet, saute the onions in the butter, add the broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes, add the cheese wiz and soup, then fill the soup can 1/2 full with milk and add to skillet. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, put mixture into casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

(This is why I don't cook, nothing is exact! LOL)

For more Q&A's, Click Here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And the winner IS...

OK so first I need to tell this story. Not long ago I entered a giveaway on another blog and I was the first one to comment with my entry. I then chastised myself because I've NEVER seen random.org pick #1. Seriously. So I thought, to myself, "Self, you will never win that giveaway."

And guess what????

I didn't win. (I got your hopes up though, huh?!) So in my mind, that just confirmed my theory that random.org has a bias against #1. Now I didn't want to share that with you all because then you would all be waiting for someone else to post and NO ONE would have entered my giveaway! So I apologize for depriving you of that information. It was unfair.

Last night (which is actually when I'm writing this post, as it's going to be a scheduled post for morning) I went to random.org and told it to pick 1 number between 1 and 71. You'll NEVER guess what it picked!!!

It chose number 50!!!!
(Had you going again, huh?!)


SO the winner is Jamie at Me and My Gang!!! Congratulations Jamie!!!!




HOWEVER, as Lu and I were chatting yesterday (which is really today) she decided to give away TWO paintings!! SO I got to choose yet another number and this time random.org really DID pick number 1!!!! Seriously!!!! My mouth dropped to the floor! So, random.org, I apologize for thinking you were prejudice against number 1. I will never falsely accuse you again.

The second winner is Jen Tufford!! Congratulations, Jen!!!
And thanks for being brave enough to be my first entry!
(Even though you didn't know better.)


Send me your addresses ladies and we'll get your prize in the mail!

Um... wait... I guess Lu needs the picture first, huh?! OK email me the picture you'd like to use. Lu will work her magic and mail you an 8x10 painting on canvas plus email you back with the digital image as well in case you'd like to make it larger. The bigger the picture, the better! Be sure to include your addresses, too!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!

Lu has decided to branch out and start a business!!! Isn't that exciting?! Go over and check out her site, her paintings would make the PERFECT Christmas gift for those hard to buy for family members... uh huh, you all know exactly who I'm talking about because you have a little smirk on your face right now. Come on, admit it, their name is in the tip of your tongue. Yep. Thought so! So what are you waiting for? Let Lu create you a masterpiece today!!! (And she was SO flattered by the prices you thought she should charge, but she went WAY lower!!) :) She will be adding new products throughout the day, so keep checking back! AND for a limited time only, Lu is offering a $5.00 refund* if you mention my blog in the comment section as you check out! How great is that?!


Poppies Blooming


Everyone congratulate Jamie and Jen and watch for a NEW giveaway VERY soon (and try to be number 1, I hear it's random.org's most favorite number!) ;)

*Refund is on artwork only, not the canvasses, must mention my blog at the time of purchase.

"Poo Poo!"

So... I never thought I would have a post titled poo poo on my blog, but this morning, I got Keeghan out of bed, changed his diaper and he ran off to play. About 10 minutes later he brought me over a clean diaper and said, "Poo Poo!" And he proceeded to lie on the floor and look at me like, "Well... fix it!" Now he's been bringing me diapers for awhile, when I ask him to do so. When I know he needs to be changed I will say, "Keeghan, bring me a diaper." He'll go get a diaper from the drawer, and come over and lie down for me to change him. But I had never heard him say that before so I thought surely I was losing my mind (which wouldn't be too far fectched) but sure enough he had poo poo in there. Hmmm

I would be nuts to potty train two kids at once, right? Tell me I'm right. Please. Someone? Anyone? *sigh*

(Contest winner coming later today!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm thankful #6


Photobucket
Get your Coleman button here!

I am thankful for Coleman Larson. If you have not yet met Team Larson, click on the button above and go visit them. Coleman Larson has been battling Medulloblastoma (brain cancer) for over half of his little life. He's fought HARD. Really hard! Team Larson neva divs up! (Never gives up) Team Larson consists of dad: Scott, mom: Peggy, and Coleman and his twin brother Caden. They are an amazing family who love their Lord and keep trusting in him during the most trying times.

Due to Coleman's cancer, he is currently unable to walk, and I know it has to be discouraging. His brother, Caden, firmly told his parents, “don’t touch him, juss put your hann over him and wepeat after me… “PWEEZE GOD… PWEEZE MAKE MY BRUVER ALL BETTER! Ann fank you for wuvin EV-wee-body in the world. Amen.” How much more of a testimony can you get than THAT?!

I am thankful for childlike faith, and pray I can be like Coleman and Caden every day! PLEASE keep Team Larson in your prayers!

Happy Monday!

Another busy day in the Garcia household! Keeghan wasn't feeling well AT ALL yesterday. He and Kennedy have both had head colds for what seems like forever about two weeks, but yesterday he refused to eat and just sat on my lap for most of the day. Now I loved the chance to sit and cuddle him since he's usually on the go, but I felt bad that he was feeling so rotten. After crying for what felt like ALL night long about every 30 minutes all night long, I decided to make him an appointment today.

SO we went to Kennedy's PT at 10:30 and then got to the pediatrician's office at 11:15 for his 11:30 appointment. We didn't get back to a room until 12:30. GRRR Thankfully that doesn't happen often! Anyway, the nurse asked me what was going on with him and I told her he's been really whiney, and that I was guessing it was his ears. She asked how long the whining has been going on and I replied, "Oh... about 18 months." She didn't seem to think it was funny. She just looked at me like REALLY?! Someday someone is going to humor me LOL. Anyway, the doctor came in and looked in his ears and he has a double ear infection and is on Omnicef for the next 10 days.

While we were there Kennedy started coughing and she asked how long that has been going on and I told her "Oh... about 18 months about a week, so she decided she would listen to her lungs too, just in case. Thankfully they sound good right now but she said to keep a close eye on her and to bring her in at the first sign of stridor. Tis the season, I guess!

After the doctor's office we ran to get lunch, ran into some friends from Fort Campbell and chatted awhile, and then went to get Keeghan's prescription filled. By that time it was time to get the kids from school, so we sat there for a bit while I read and the kids watched cartoons didn't fight at all ate cookies and whined because they both woke up too early and neither one wanted to nap.

We were supposed to be leaving for Michigan tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but there are reports of snow on our route up there and top that off with sick kids, my mom and I decided it might just be better to stick around home. I am NOT trained to drive in snow! LOL

Now I am just home for a bit before Kassidy is off to tutoring because mom is too dumb to help her with homework because she's struggling a bit in math and parents don't know anything and she gets frustrated when I try to help her. Sometimes you just need an outside source! HA! While she's there, the rest of us will run to Wal-Mart and buy stuff we don't need and browse around and NOT spend money... except for maybe some Subway for dinner on the way out. Eat Fresh! YUM!

I can't WAIT for Thanksgiving Break! I am SO sleeping in on Wednesday... you know, if I can just talk the little ones into doing the same! ;) Bye for now!!!

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - Noah's Poem

Over the last 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!

Noah's Poem
By: Vonda Weikert


In the spring of 99,
a gift from up above,
was sent to me from heaven
to cherish and to love.
He's not what I expected,
and at first I was afraid,
but who was I to question,
the choice that God had made.
For he gave to me an angel,
so precious and so sweet,
and I thank Him each and every day
that the two of us could meet.
I named my angel Noah,
he's the love that I adore.
He needs me more than ever,
but I truly need him more.
I'll turn my times of sorrow
into happy times at last.
The crying and the heartbreak
will be memories of the past.
We'll look forward to the future
and the milestones that it holds.
We'll battle all the boo boos, the sniffles and the colds.
We're together for a reason,
It was clear right from the start.
I'll be loving him forever, till death our lives will part.

For More Monday Moments, Click Here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm thankful #5

I am thankful for my church. I am thankful that I have someplace to go worship where I can wear jeans, where the music has a beat, and where the pastors are real. I am thankful for the children's program where my kids can sing songs, make friends and learn about God. I am thankful that the staff is friendly and reachable, and that they care about the families that go there. I am thankful that they are constantly finding ways to reach out and help our community. I am thankful my family has someplace to belong.

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for one of Lu's very special paintings!!! You have until tomorrow at midnight to enter and then the winner will be announced on Tuesday! If you enter, be sure you leave a way for me to contact you!

If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure to check out Kennedy's Thirty-One Christmas Fundraiser. Get your shopping done online and help a worthy cause at the same time! Jen is offering a free set of address labels for every order $50 or more AND a free luggage tag on orders $100 or more! Watch for a giveaway for this site later this week, as well!

Also, don't forget to go vote for Kayla in the 5MFM Fun with Food contest! She is number 4 and is winning right now!! Her mom, Michelle, said if they win she's going to donate the gift card to a local food shelter!

Happy Clicking!

Question of the Day #9

SO what food are you looking forward to the most on Thursday? The turkey? A favorite side dish? Dessert?

Growing up, my favorite part was always the stuffing. My dad is an awesome cook and mixed all kinds of things into the stuffing! YUM No stovetop for us! BUT now I also really love the cranberries (real ones off the stove, thank you very much!) and my broccoli casserole which is one thing I actually enjoy making! LOL

Here's a fun Turkey day quiz I found! What part of Thanksgiving are you?



You Are The Cranberry Sauce



A little sweet, a little sour - you've got the flava!

Though, you do tend to squish in people's mouths...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm thankful #4

I am thankful for the Military. I am thankful that we never have to wonder where our next paycheck is coming from. I am thankful there's no fear of Frank being laid off. I am thankful that Frank loves his job (on most days), and I am definitely thankful for our health insurance! Kennedy's medical bills are over several million dollars just in her 4 1/2 years of life. I can't even imagine having to pay a percentage of that! I am thankful for the community the Military provides and for the many times they have checked on us, on Kennedy, and shown our family how much they care.

Q&A #37

You're probably getting deja vu like I am, Kameron is probably doing the same projects Kassidy did two years ago... just substitute Arline and Aidan...
Actually Kassidy didn't do ANY projects in 1st grade... but that was a lousy year for her.

(And yes you can say coulda shoulda woulda ;-)
LOL Thank you!

Dear Miss Jen -
I am 4'11" - very tall for a person of my height!
I do not suppose they were ugly shoes either!
BTW, do not believe her American Idol post either! I have heard her sing, she has a sweet sound that makes you think of an angel. Gee, I think I must have been stuck in the bathroom when God was handing out all the beauty and talent to ladies like Renee and Jackie!

For those of you totally confused, this is an ongoing conversation between my friends Jen and Kelly and I just can't NOT comment. They are hilarious. I have to add here, that most of my shoes, are in fact, ugly. LOL I HATE buying shoes and only do so when absolutely necessary! LOL My very very very favorite shoes I bought in Hawaii for abour $4.00 back in 2001. Seriously. LOL

this is Kelly in Southern California,
I can tell you she used to be a big baby when it comes to needles!!! Have you gotten over that fear Renee?

For the record, this is a different Kelly! LOL She was my nurse when I was pregnant with Kass and got a HORRIBLE kidney infection and then later my Lamaze instructor. She saw me freak out about needles A LOT! LOL I used to pass out EVERY time! So Kelly, no, I actually handle it well now... blood draws, IVs, even shots as long as they're not in the arm. I still refuse those!

These are great! Are you sure you aren't pulling are leg and you really like projects? LOL :) My dad always did my projects with me, he enjoyed it, but sadly wasn't super artistic, kind of opposite of you, you don't like them , but are quite good at them lol
No really, just ask my mom! I was whining and complaining the whole time! LOL

My boys are with thier father every other year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So this year I will be alone with my baby girl. My family celebrated Thanksgiving last Sunday so that we could all be together with my boys.
I will be sad, lonely and depressed this year, AND it is my birthday. What better way to celebrate both than being alone.
Are you sad yet? Cuz I am!

YES! I am sad!!! I hope you have a good birthday in spite of it all!

i did it too!! fun. thanks for the reason to stall picking up my house!!
LOL If nothing else, my blog is ALWAYS good for procrastination! LOL

Renee,
In addition to the Sesame Street DVD about deployments, there is also one for homecoming. There are 2 others that I pray you'll never need, but they're avaliable too. We had the opportunity to meet Emily Pearl Kingsley on the Buddy Cruise (she writes for SS) and she told us about the new videos. Apparently the military has gotten a great response to the first SS DVD, so now there are more. I bet Kennedy would love the homecoming one.

OK I looked at the Military onesource website but can't find the DVDs. I'm thinking I'm looking in the wrong place!

You know, my dad always called Russell the Butt Muscle. I think he truly earned that title. LOL
LOL I remember your dad calling him that!!! SO funny!

They canceled Jericho???? Ack! How dare they? I was wondering why it was taking so long to come back and why the one guy is now on Ghost Whisperer.
Yep a long time ago :( Stupid CBS.

Been there ..done that ! Now that they are 15,13,11 and baby . It (pictures) still didn't go well!
Thanks for the encouragement! LOL

oh my there are some cuties and one that just really stuck out to me. Why are the red names close to be institutionalized? :(
It's just what happens in other countries. It's harsh and cruel and these kids WILL die. They need families NOW. You can read more about it here. And for the record, there's one that sticks out to me, too. :)

Question: We are in the processes of bringing home a baby who has DS. We are planning on adopting him and VERY VERY VERY excited. However, we have 2 family members who are less than excited, to say the least. They have even gone as far as to say that this is a mistake and will be a burden. Did you encounter such people in your life when the "sincess" was born? How did you handel it? I know we will get those reactions from time to time, but from our own family? I just dont get it and it hurts!
Fortunately, most of my family was very supportive at the beginning. There were of course, a lot of questions and "what ifs" but we all had A LOT to learn about Down syndrome! Kennedy is definitely NOT a burden (I know you know this :)) Prayerfully, your family will come around when they get to meet your precious son and see him for who he is... I have a feeling he will teach them more about life than they ever thought possible. It's amazing how our kids can melt hearts! Congratulations on your new little one! I know he will bring you a lifetime of love!

Should we start a support group for moms with a bunch of kids who attempt to get great pictures, but end up wondering why we even try?
LOL I think that's a GREAT idea!

I do have a few family members that cross the border though to take advantage of some Black Friday shopping, and I think they're all nuts!! Are the deals really worth all that craziness and crowds??
Sometimes there are some AMAZING deals... I guess the worth is in the eye of the beholder! LOL

my husband and I love Black friday. We spend a part of thankgiving making our list and checking it twice, planning the route and what time to get up. And get it all done in one day. Love love love it. How about you?
As much as I love the IDEA of getting up and shopping with no kids and finding good sales, the truth is... I'm not a morning person. I CAN'T give up sleep time and wake up before dawn to shop. NOW the stores that open at midnight are more up my alley... as long as it's not cold out. LOL

Will you go out at all or will you hit the internet like your Mom?
I may hit the internet if there's something I need... truth is I have NO idea what to get the kids this year. They're very hard to buy for all of the sudden!

For More Q&A's Click Here.

A Groovy Girl Giveaway!

Christmas Giveaway Sleigh 240x240

If you've been around my blog long, you know that Kennedy LOVES Groovy Girls more than anything! WELL 5 Minutes for Mom is doing a Groovy Girls Giveaway!! So I have to try for it, right?! Right!! One lucky little girl will receive all EIGHT of their newest dolls plus 5 pets! Maybe it will be our lucky day... or will it be YOURS?! Go on, you know you want to enter too! :)

Books - Part 5!

I finished The Wedding and it was amazing! I almost liked it better than The Notebook. Almost! LOL I really really hope they make it into a movie! I predicted parts of the ending, but there were parts I didn't see coming too, which I love.
















I started this book on Tuesday and I was up till 3am this morning finishing it. This was my first Karen Kingsbury book, and I loved it. I laughed and I cried. It was great! Here's the book synopsis: Shane Galanter is ready to put down roots after years of searching. But is he making the right choice? Or is there a woman somewhere who remembers a love that hasn't faded with time?
Lauren Gibbs is a successful international war correspondent that gave up on happily-ever-after years ago when it was ripped away from her. So why is life so empty?
Emily Anderson is a college freshman raised by her grandparents, about to take her first internship as a journalist. But before she can move ahead, she discovers a love story whose tragic ending came with her birth. As a result, she is drawn to look back and search out the mother she's never met, and the father she never knew.





This is the book I'm going to start today, I can't wait! In this moving sequel to Even Now, Emily Anderson, now twenty, is attending college on a soccer scholarship when she meets the man who changes everything for her. Lauren and Shane still struggle to move past their opposing beliefs about war, politics, and faith. Shane believes it’s possible; Lauren doesn’t. So she says a painful good-bye to her long-ago love and returns to her job as a war correspondent in Afghanistan. Then tragedy sends shock waves through all their lives. Can Lauren and Shane set aside their opposing views so that love—God’s love—might win, no matter how great the odds?










Friday, November 21, 2008

A Contest and a Blog

So... MckMama's daughter SmallFry is hosting a SmallFryday contest on her blog. I'm pretty sure the whole blogosphere knows about MckMama and her MckMiracle baby Stellan, but just in case, here's a quick recap:

Once upon a time, while in utero, Stellan (baby number 4) was diagnosed with a heart condition and they were told he probably wouldn't survive. After a long pregnancy filled with lots of testing and lots of prayers from people all over the world, Stellan was born a few weeks ago completely healthy and amazed all the doctors. MckMama and Prince Charming and their MckCrew weren't amazed at all... and neither were her 953,182,046 readers. God got the glory and Big Mac, Mcknugget and Small Fry get a new baby brother: Mckmuffin. And they lived happily ever after. The End.

(Seriously, go check out her blog, it's awesome!)

I'm thankful #3

I am thankful for my parents and my brother.

I am thankful that my mom moved here to be close to our family. She sacrificed a lot by picking up and moving here so she could not only help, but watch her grandchildren grow. She is an important part of their lives and I'm so glad they'll grow up being so close to her and knowing all about her. I am thankful that she took me to church when I was young and made sure I went to good schools, even though she had to sacrifice a lot to keep me in them. I am thankful that she taught me what being a mom means and thankful that she's not only my mom, but my best friend, too.

I am thankful for my dad, who lives in California, but always checks in on us, making sure the kids are ok and calling me just to babble (usually about politics) and letting me know he's there. I'm thankful he comes to visit every year so my kids can know their grandpa. I'm thankful that I can create a to-do list for him and he'll get it done while he's here. Right, Dad? Right?? Hello? :)

I am thankful for my brother and that he's not as big of a pest as he was when he was little ;). I am thankful that when he visits he spends time with the kids. He's going to be a GREAT dad someday. I am thankful he chose a girlfriend that I like! I am thankful that he can't tell mom on me anymore! hahahaha

Making plans

When Kennedy was born, all my expectations, my dreams, for my child were crushed. I was heartbroken thinking about all the plans I had for her that may never come to be. Slowly however, I began to dream new dreams, make new plans, establish new goals. For example, from the moment I enrolled Kennedy into Early Intervention, I had it in my mind that when she turned 3 she would go to the Special Needs Preschool in our school district. It's where Kameron went when he turned 3. I knew the teachers and the aides. They already knew and loved Kennedy, and we were all excited about her being there. There was no doubt in my mind that it was where she belonged. It was MY plan. And then... when they held her transition meeting, they told me she tested too high to go into that preschool. "WHAT?!" I exclaimed! "She has DOWN SYNDROME!!" The lady looked me square in the eye and said, "And?" And??? And??? And she has Down syndrome! Don't you know I've been planning for this day since she was born?!

So I cried, because once again the plans I had laid out for my daughter were not happening. Once again I felt my world being tossed and turned as my expectations flew out the window. The lady asked me what I wanted for Kennedy for Kindergarten, I told her firmly that I wanted Kennedy fully included in a typical Kindergarten class. It was my PLAN! "Then WHY," she asked, "do you want her in a Special Needs Preschool???" Uhhh. Because that is where I planned for her to BE! That is what I've been TALKING about for the last year and a half!

I left that meeting upset and full of questions. Friends helped me with "the law"... Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), and they told me I could fight it, if that's where I really wanted her. But by then a seed of doubt had been planted. Even though it is what I had PLANNED, was it really the best for Kennedy?! Frank and I researched and talked and prayed and finally decided that if she could hack typical preschool, that was where she should go.

Then she got Leukemia. She turned 3 in between chemo treatments. There was no school birthday party, in fact no real birthday party at all since her counts were too low to have friends over, but oh how we celebrated! Once again my plans were tossed to the wind. I didn't think much about school for the next several months. We were more wrapped up in Kennedy's battle through cancer. I did, however, have her on a waiting list for a preschool.

When Kennedy finally finished chemo, and her counts recovered some, her doctors cleared her to go to school. I felt a mixture of excitement, fear and pride as I dropped her off that first day. She walked right in the door, sat down for circle time with the other kids and listened to the story being read. I slipped out the door as tears streamed down my cheeks and I asked forgiveness for always relying on my plans.

Kennedy thrived in that preschool class. Her teacher mentioned to me once that she wasn't sure if Kennedy would fit in, if she would know what to do with Kennedy, if the other kids would accept her, but she went on to say that Kennedy ruled that class. The other kids followed Kennedy and did what she wanted to do. And they loved her. We were heartbroken when Kennedy had to quit school before her spine surgery this summer, but now as she continues to heal, we are hoping she will be able to go back soon and get back in the groove to help her prepare for Kindergarten. If something happens where she is not able to, that's ok too. I know better now than to make plans... the Lord has plans of His own for Kennedy's life. I'm just along for the ride.

Question of the Day #8


Black Friday Shopping is one week away! Do you brave the crowds for a good deal or stay home under your covers dreaming of leftover turkey?

If you DO go brave the crowds, what is your top must-have item this year?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm thankful #2

I am thankful for my children. I would not be who I am today without them. They each have their own strengths - Kassidy with her sensitive heart, Kameron with his sense of humor, Kennedy with her will to fight, and Keeghan with his inquisitive spirit - that continually teach me how to be a better mom, a better person. I am so proud of all my kids and so thankful that God entrusted Frank and I with their care. They may make me lose my mind, but they've made me find my soul.

Pictures

I can't believe I forgot to blog about this until now. I'm totally blaming on post traumatic stress disorder. Seriously. On Saturday we went to see our awesome photographer and have her do the kids pictures... these would be Kass and Kam's birthday pics and Kenn and Keeghan's 1/2 birthday pics and one of all 4 of them together for Christmas cards (that I usually end up forgetting to mail but I still need one for my blog, you know?!). We also planned to do a picture of the 2 girls and a picture of the two boys together.

SO let's just say... hmm... I keep thinking if I say "disaster" I would be over doing it, but really... I'm not that far off! Let's start with my youngest child and work up...

Keeghan. My sweet 18 month old. Have you noticed that most of my snapshots of Keeghan are of him sitting in his chair? There's a reason for that, you see. He can't run away! We did his individual pictures first because we knew his patience would run out first... he ran all over the place but she did get some good shots... I hope. HOWEVER when it was time for the picture of him and Kameron he screamed and cried and didn't want Kameron to touch him. UGH! We tried to occupy him with a book and toys but GRRRR I don't think it worked.

Kennedy. Little miss Sincess decided she didn't want to smile. Fine. So I acted all goofy, which usually makes her laugh, but it didn't work. She pouted. She rolled her eyes. It was pretty. Not. Finally I started tickling her, and she smiled and even laughed a little, but as soon as she realized what she did she got madder! Like, "How DARE you make me smile when I'm being ornery! GEEZ!" UGH She mostly cooperated for the group pictures. I think. I think I was off in a corner crying by that point.

Kameron. He's seven. SEVEN. You would think a seven year old would be fairly easy, right? Uh, wrong. Jamie told him how she wanted him to sit and he said, "NO! I don't want to sit like that!" Umm WHAT?! So I put on my serious mom face and said, "You will do exactly what she tells you to do and you will like it!!" Which, as you can imagine, just made him oh so happy! We had to resort to saying things like "monkey butt" to make him smile.

Kassidy. She was the easiest one, except she wouldn't get out of the way! LOL And of course she puts on this goofy smile for pictures (think Chandler from Friends) so we have to work to get her to laugh so we can get a real smile from her. I hope she figures this out soon so I won't be standing at her wedding in 15 years saying things like "monkey butt". I can't even believe I said "monkey butt" on my blog. Three times. There goes my G rating!

We never did get a group shot. I think Jamie was laughing at me, but it's ok because one day, when she has 4 kids, I'll laugh at her too! She did say it was hard with just her 2, but she might have just been trying to make me feel better... her son Carter wanted to be in our pictures SOOOOO bad! Next time I'm going to buy him a coordinating outfit so he can just blend in with mine. Bet no one would even notice!

So that's how our afternoon went. I will say they were all dressed really cute... not that it matters unless she got some good shots. We shall see... at least we don't have to do all 4 kids again until next year! By then my PTSD should be worn off some. I hope.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm thankful #1

Over at the Narretto Family Blog, April is posting what she is truly thankful for and invited others to join in!

Thanksgiving is really becoming more and more like a forgotten holiday... it seems like right after Halloween, the Christmas decorations go up! Craziness! SO this year, lets be thankful! Feel free to join in... leave me a comment and/or post on your own blog! What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for my husband. He's sacrificed a lot to provide for our family. He's had to spend months and months in a strange country, running from huge spiders LOL and wondering if he'll get to come home safely. He takes good care of us and continually shows me and tells me how much he loves me. He has proven in several ways, especially in the last year, that the kids and I are more important to him than anyone else. He loves the Lord and continues to be a light for the other Soldiers in his company. I'm so thankful that God brought us together!

More tomorrow!

My FIRSTS

So I totally stole this from Michelle, but it looked fun!

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Doug, and it was my senior prom. He drove up from San Diego (I lived in Riverside then and went to school in Bloomington). We had such a fun night that night!

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Um, no. That's a weird thought.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
YUCK! It was Vodka and I was young... like under 14. I was outside and it was SO hot and I ran in to get a drink and saw a water cooler on my dad's bar so I poured myself a glass and took a big gulp. It wasn't water. Nuff said.

4. What was your FIRST job?
Babysitting! My favorite kids to babysit for belonged to the basketball coach in my high school. I just saw a video of one of the girls and she's all grown up now! Makes me feel old!

5. What was your FIRST car?
A gray Oldsmobile Cutlass. My mom gave it to me my Senior year before she moved to Wisconsin. It wasn't pretty to look at, but it got me around!

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
I haven't gotten any texts today... I'm feeling neglected! LOL

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Keeghan because he hadn't yet cried for his bottle.

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Zickert. I cried almost EVERY day of First Grade, at least at the beginning. And then I faked a stomach ache. She saw right through me! LOL

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
I don't remember it, but it was a flight from California to Michigan when I was about 3 months old. We went to see my grandma.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them?
Chanel! We were inseperable as kids! And yes, we still keep in contact thanks to the wonderful world of the internet!

11. What was your FIRST sport played?
Ummm I guess Volleyball in 7th grade. I wasn't good. LOL Oh wait, roller skating... does that count?!

12. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
Definitely at Chanel's house. Not sure how old I was... 5 maybe? She lived right next door to me.

13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
In person, Kameron when he woke up. On the phone, Frank.

14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
My Aunt Sandy's in 1985. All I remember are these huge ruffly panties that made me itch and I didn't want to wear them! LOL I did like my dress though!

15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Opened my eyes and thought, "Seriously?! Morning already?!"

16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
Ummm Garth Brooks I guess, in high school.

17. FIRST tattoo or piercing?
My ears when I was 3. My mom took me to the mall after I begged and begged. They did them both at the same time. I screamed once and passed out cold. Yeah. I'm a wimp.

18. FIRST foreign country you went to?
I guess that would be Mexico. I went in high school on a mission trip with my friend Sara's church. I got REALLY REALLY sick on the way home. Stupid water. LOL

19. What was your FIRST run in with the law?
Hmmm I guess that would be when Frank and I were dating, we drove to the beach one night and were sitting in the car talking and we fell asleep... no really, we did. Next thing we know it was 4am and there was a knocking on my window. Scared the WITS out of me! It was a cop who was SURE we were drinking (which we weren't) and when he couldn't find any alcohol in the car he threatened to call our college and let them know what we were up to. (Falling asleep in a car... SO scandlous!)

20. When was your FIRST detention?
Never had detention! My teachers were just amazed that I seemed to escape it since I never seemed to be in class LOL.

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in?
California. Born and Raised!

22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart?
Russell. Big mean boy. *sniff*

23. Who was your FIRST roommate?
Tiffany and it was in college. We had TOTALLY different tastes and different class schedules... our room was chaotic to say the least!

24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride?
My Aunt Sandy's wedding. I only remember it because I've seen pictures.

Wanna try? Consider yourself tagged!
Link back to me and leave a comment here when you post so I can be nosey... Please?!

Wordless Wednesday - How do YOU eat pizza?


For more Wordless Wednesdays, Click Here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pray for Ethan!

Ethan

My friend Kristen's son, Ethan, is having surgery tomorrow for a tethered cord. Please click on his picture and let them know you're praying! Like Kennedy, Ethan has Down syndrome and also battled Leukemia. He's an amazing kid and we're sure he'll come through this surgery just fine!

We're praying guys! Love you!

Question of the Day #7



What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?

Q&A #36

So I thought I would see how/when/why you started your blog and found your first entry.
A quote - "I don't know how often I'll update this thing, once I decide I like it I'll probably be here more than you'd like me to." 200,000+ visits later I am thinking you are taking a liking to it! :)

LOL yeah, obviously I took to blogging! hahahaha

So did you have Kenn and Keeghan vaccinated?
Ahem. Yes, I did. With Kennedy it was really a matter of keeping her healthy. Her immune system was SO weak that we needed to help her any way possible. With Keeghan, I talked at length with his pediatrician, we discussed my concerns at length and decided to separate the shots so he wouldn't be getting them all at once. (Though she SWORE that wasn't what happened to Kam, it made me feel better!)

Yuk, I wonder what it (the McRib) is made of? Probably the same thing as hot dogs!
LOL probably!!! But I like hot dogs too! HA!

What happened to her wearing glasses? Was it temporary? Or is it like Mercede, she won't wear them :)
WELL, she got them right before she was diagnosed, she wore them until we started dealing with things like chemo and her hair falling out, and then I gave up on the glasses since she slept so much anyway. Then I had her start wearing them again last Fall after chemo was over, and she wore them off and on (when I remembered to put them on her) until she was diagnosed with the AOI and I lost my resolve again! I've just started putting them back on her recently... when I remember... @@. She actually keeps them on pretty well. She doesn't need them for eye sight, they were just trying to strengthen her muscle in her eye because one turns in occasionally. I really need to get her back to the ophthalmologist, but every time I make an appointment she's either diagnosed with something new or last time, we got in a car accident on the way there, so I'm thinking we just shouldn't see that doctor again! LOL

This is Kelly.
Dear Miss Jen, I am Renee's friend from Northern California and I am the one who prays that Renee has ugly toes or something . . . I laughed when I read your comment about her main flaw being that she is short - Renee is taller than I am! She's even got that over me! I have some killer ankles and I have forgotten if hers are better than mine or not. Probably but here's to hopin'.


LOL, Kelly. I don't remember actually seeing her toes over the summer, and it was cold here when she came last month, so she had shoes on then too. How tall are you?
Can I just say, Kelly and Jen, you guys are cracking me up!


LOOOOOVE IT!! So, how much do you think you'll get for the movie rights (for Kameron's story)?
LOL Kameron said he would sell it for "infinity dollars". I'm thinking he's going to need to come down on his price! HA!

I've been wanting to read the book (The Secret Life of Bees). I didn't even realize there was a movie. So it was okay for Kass? Em and I adore Dakota Fanning (although I was disappointed when I read she backed out of My Sister's Keeper b/c she didn't want to cut her hair).
It was ok for Kass! There were some sad parts, but she just cried right along with me! Nothing inappropriate at all though. I was sad about the My Sister's Keeper movie, too. She would have been great in it! I still can't wait to see it though!

They (the doctors) are talking about doing a swallow study on my daughter, did Kenn have that done before?..how was it?
Yes, Kennedy's had a swallow study and it wasn't too bad. She had to sit in this chair and drink barium, then eat applesauce with barium and then a graham cracker with barium all while they watched it go down. They were checking for reflux. She didn't seem to mind the taste of the barium and did quite well. Now the upper GI was a whole different story because they forced her to lay down under this machine and she FREAKED. The swallow study was definitely more pleasant for her.

aaawww...that does break a mom's heart! You guys don't live on post do you? We live on base, and last year when Joe was gone it was hard because so many times I would go somewhere on base w/Kayla and we would pass guys in uniform she would say "daddy!" without even really LOOKING at them to see they weren't daddy, just noticing the uniform.
We don't live on post, which I think is good for that very reason. When we do happen to see men in uniform, Kennedy always calls them daddy. We're about 30 minutes away.

Did you ever order that free Elmo DVD from militaryone source? The one that deals with Elmo's dad being gone?
NO! I really should have... it's almost not worth it now! Maybe I still will.

You should go ahead and make it into a binded story book for him (Kameron) for Christmas. I am sure that you would make it amazingly professional with your talent and Kameron would love seeing his name (and assumingly picture) on the cover of the book!
That's a great idea! Do you know where I can get that done?

So yesterday we drove by McDonalds and Dayne read the sign out loud, "The McRib is back!" Then he proceeded to add..."and Renee is happy." It made me laugh.
Yes... yes I am! LOL I'm thinking it's calling my name for lunch today... hmmmmmm.

How could no one like you. What gives?
LOL Totally kidding! There are usually well over 100 entries to the 5MFM contests, ONE day we'll make it into the finals! ;)

Is it just me or is Kassidy's timeline missing one important adult? Mommy should be in something too. Even if mommy doesn't like her picture taken.
LOL I'm always behind the camera! I can't help it! :)


For more Q&A's, Click Here.

American Idol

On the way to the movies the other day, Kassidy and I were singing in the car.
After the song was over, Kass asked me, "Mom, would you ever try out for American Idol?"
Uhhh... LOL I said, "Well, that would be fun, but I'm not good enough."
She said, "Yes you are! You could totally win!" (hahaha)
I said, "Well, Simon would probably make me cry."
She replied with, "Yeah, that's true... he's pretty mean!"

I guess true love doesn't hear off-key singing! LOL

Monday, November 17, 2008

School Projects

Let me just say, for the record, I hate school projects. I hated them when I was a kid, and I hate them now. I can't cut, I can't glue, and I'm SO not creative, SO when Kameron came home with a turkey to decorate I procrastinated BIG time. Tonight we finally got down to it... when is it due? Tomorrow. Yes. Tomorrow. Great lesson I'm teaching my kids! *sigh* We ran to Wal-Mart after school to buy supplies, only to find out the supplies I bought were not exactly right so I called my mom over to stay with my kids so I could go get the right supplies, and then my mom did most of the cutting for me... because I can't cut. You think I'm joking, but I'm not! Seriously.

Anyway, Kameron's mission was to make his turkey look like he's NOT a turkey so he doesn't get eaten for Thanksgiving. Poor turkey. What do you think, can you tell he's a turkey?




THEN we had Kassidy's project to do. Yes, 2 projects, both due tomorrow, and I procrastinated on both. I suck. LOL Hers was a little more fun for me at least... we had to do a timeline of her life... we used a little tape and my craft cutter and viola! Kassidy's whole 9 years on one paper. NOW getting her to write small enough to make the sentences FIT was another story. I think I need some Calgon... or at least some chocolate! Ahhhhhh Goodnight everybody!

Well darn it!

5 Minutes for Mom posted their finalists in their "Fun with Food" contest, and Kennedy did not make it! Oh well, I love her pic anyway :o). HOWEVER!!! My friend Michelle's daughter, Kayla, DID make it! SOOOO if you're so inclined, please GO VOTE FOR HER! She is #4 and her website is Big Blueberry Eyes. I'm really thinking 5 minutes for mom doesn't like us! hahahaha Congrats Kayla!!! Hope you win!!!

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - My Child is Not a Label

Over the last 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!

My Child is Not A Label
Denise Ullman


My child is a person in their own right.
My child is a breathing, thinking, loving human being.
I have accepted that you need to assign labels, but only
because the labels may help to explain my child's differences.
That does not make my child that label, and that label makes
my child no less a person than any other person on this earth.
Do not look at that label first, look at my child first.
Do not try to understand my child by only that label.
Look further to understand my child by gazing into my
child's eyes and listening to what my child has to say,
no matter what form my child's communication may take.
My child may not communicate in a way that you understand,
but that does not mean that my child can not communicate.
It may not always be easy to understand what my child
has to say, but if you persevere you will find the effort
well worth the reward of getting to know my child.
Forget the label and let my child teach you who he/she is.

For More Monday Moments, Click Here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Go see it!

I LOVED the movie!! It was SO good! I am always a little cautious when they turn amazing books into movies, but this one was awesome! I really love Dakota Fanning and am so happy she's sticking around and still making movies... a lot of child stars either drop off the map or SHOULD drop off the map! LOL She's great though!

While I liked Jennifer Hudson's acting, I really pictured her part as being someone older, maybe like around August's age, but she was still great! I think the rest of the parts were casted perfectly!!

Kassidy really liked the movie too... I LOVE that we can cry at movies together! LOL

Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie, go see it!!! You'll love it whether you've read the book or not!

Thanks mom, for keeping the other kids for me!

Secret Life of Bees


I'm off to see this movie with a friend! Kassidy wants to go with us, awww! :) SO I read the book and LOVED it! Will I love the movie just as much? Anyone see the movie and NOT read the book? If so, does it make you want to read it now?

I'm so excited! Watch for my review later tonight!

The Big Battle

The Big Battle
By: Kameron Garcia
November 12, 2008

Once upon a time there was a robot named Robotic. He was the most helpful robot in the land. But the king did not like Robotic. His name was King Soul, and he was very mean. So one day, King Soul went to his village to tell the villagers that he was going to blow up the village. Robotic came to help the villagers escape the village; but they couldn't do it because King Soul locked the village gate. Then Robotic had an idea. (Here's the part where it gets exciting!) Robotic called his helper, Kam Royal, and told him that when King Soul takes his nap, he will open the gate. But they couldn't do it because there were sirens on the gate. But then Kam Royal had an idea. He will go back to the building and take his sword and battle the king! Nobody could even fight him! But Kam Royal had a good idea. He told the king to battle him. King Soul said, "Okay, but I'm too good!" And then the fight began. They both took out their swords and then they battled. Kam Royal made a bet: He told King Soul that if he wins he can explode the city and capture the villagers, but if Kam Royal wins, King Soul had to open the gate and set the villagers free. And they battled and battled and battled. And Kam Royal won! The villagers were safe!! (And then King Soul was cooked for the dragon's dinner.) And they lived happily ever after.
The End

Q&A #35

You mentioned Kameron stopped talking, etc., after his vaccines. Do you think the vaccines are to blame for his condition now? There's obviously such debate about the effects of vaccines and the link to autism - just wanted to ask someone who experienced it what her opinion is. Thanks!
Ahhh well, our pediatrician will probably strangle me for saying this, because we've talked about it at length, but I most definitely think the vaccines had something to do with it. It's just WAY to coincidental, you know?

Does Frank get to see the blog at all? I'm sure he would get such a kick out of seeing the kids, especially his Sincess at her ball ;o)
Oh yes, he reads it every day :)

These pics are gorgeous!! I was wondering about Kenn's dress, did you have to have it hemmed? She's such a tiny little thing :) and so beautiful.
YES, not only did it have to be hemmed a ton, but it also had to be taken in on the sides and the straps had to be shortened. We had to have it altered twice because the first time she said, "Well I read the measurements but I just didn't think a 4 year old could be THIS small, so I thought it was measured wrong!" LOL The dress is a 2T but is probably more like a 12-18 month size now.

On a completely unrelated note, I just noticed that the abortion ticker on your sidebar is at 7 MILLION. Is it really that many just in America? I had no idea. O_O I have too much faith in humanity, I guess.
Yes :(. Isn't that horrible?! Makes me so sad.

How do you get a counter on your blog...I am so blog stupid I just now figured out how to post a video montage. I cant even figure out how to post other blogs that I read. Does it cost for the counter?
The counter is free :). Go to site meter and sign up for one, it will give you the code to put on your blog :).

What are the upgraded features on Piknik? I'm totally dorky too when it comes to photos, but I'm also broke, lol.
If you go to the Picnik website you will see some of the features say "premium". You can still preview them in the free mode, but if you want to save them you have to PAY. It's $25.00 a year, I think.

And for whomever it was who wanted to know if there is anything that makes Renee not perfect...having met Renee a couple of times now, I can say that she is, in fact, very close to perfect. However, she is a little on the short side. You know, the short, cute side that always makes we taller folks feel like awkward preteen giants, lol. And her kids really ARE that cute and well behaved, which makes the misbehavior of one's own kids seem that much worse!
Awwww LOL You crack me up Jen! I'm FARRRRR from perfect, but my kids are pretty well behaved for the most part... but they definitely have their moments! hahaha

Almost forgot...on those pics recovered from Philly, are there any of our kids together?
NOOOO :(. I'm hoping the camera store can help!

When is Frank coming home?
Orders say March, rumors say a little earlier. We're planning on March but praying for earlier :).

Does she (Kennedy) get to talk to Frank? Maybe she needs to hear his voice.
Yes she talks to him about once a week. The phone reception over there is frustrating and she doesn't understand she has to wait for the lag... she keeps saying, "Daddy? Where you GO?!" LOL

Okay seriously how do you do it? How do you find time to even read books that have more of a plot than see spot run? How do you have time to read books and keep up with your blog? Do you just not sleep? I don't remember the last book I actually read cover to cover that wasn't a children's book.
WELL I leave an hour early to pick Kass and Kam up for school. We sit in the car circle where Kenn and Keeghan watch Signing Time and I read. It's a nice relaxing time where I don't have to wonder where they are! LOL I usually blog at nap time and when the kids are in bed.

It's the pickels (on the McRib) that put me over the edge...I've never understood the pickles. Do you leave them on?
LOVE the pickles!!! I know, I'm weird! LOL

P.S. Renee, make sure you have this backed up! Don't want to lose this one!
Don't worry, it's saved on the internet :)

Are you sure you are old enough to have Kassidy & Kameron? You look like you were a baby yourself.
Hmmm depends on who you ask, my mom would probably say no! LOL I was 19 (a month away from 20 and a month and a half after Frank and I got married) when I got pregnant with Kassidy.

Renee, I am right there with you. I was driving down the interstate the other day and saw a huge billbord saying "The McRib is Back" and I knew right then what I had to have for lunch! Maybe we need to meet half way between Clarksville and Nashviile at a McDonalds and have us a "meeting"!
Lauren, sounds good to me! Let's do it! :o)

Questions about Kennedy's painting
How in the world did she do that so quick?! They're beautiful!!
She's a fast worker!

Neat...are they actual paintings or did she do something to the photos?
They are a mixture of paint and computer software... here is the explanation that Lu left in the comment section:
the sketch one IS done entirely by computer - I do have photoshop but I used a high end design software I use for design work, then I used my own hand (and mouse) to add detail.

The paintings are done first with watered down acrylic paint then scanned in and I use a lens affect to add details such as the face (truth is, I can paint nearly anything but my faces always look sort of rubbish lol!). (I can seemingly draw and paint the Classic Winnie the Pooh and friends perfectly though... too bad I'd get done for copyright infringement if I sold those ha ha)

So, the final output is a digital image but it is done both by hand and pc.


How long does it take her to do this?
I'm not sure! LOL

Amazing, does she have a website?
Not yet, but she should!

For more Q&A's, Click Here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear CBS

Dear CBS,
I'm writing to tell you that you're really starting to tick me off! First you canceled Jericho which was one of the most awesome shows ever and I vowed never to watch a new show from you again... then this season you started The Ex List. I warned myself, "Don't watch it, Renee, you'll be sorry!" But alas the plot sounded TOO good, so I decided to watch the pilot. It was GREAT! I loved the story line, the characters, the setting (San Diego, thank you very much) and I was hooked! I had it all played out in my head who Bella should end up with and couldn't wait to meet the new guy every week. And then, stupid CBS, you canceled my show! After FIVE episodes. Five. How could you possibly even know if it was a hit or not after FIVE episodes?! Seriously?! It wasn't your brightest idea to put it on Friday nights either, but that was your bad, not ours. And to make matters even WORSE, you replaced this fabulous show with a re-run! Oh, and not just ANY re-run, but NCIS. Seriously?! Do you really think we need MORE crime shows? MORE acronyms?! Come on now, work with us a little bit! *sigh* I almost have no use for you anymore, just so you know. And in the witness of all my readers, I will never start watching another new show of yours again. The end. (OK I feel better now!)

Books - Part 4

OK guys, seriously, I don't know if I can finish this book. I loved it at first and now... I'm just a little tripped out. I KNOW it's just a story. And I'm trying to tell myself that, but I dunno. I'm about 120 pages in. So give me your feedback, do I keep plugging along or give it up?!














When I decided to hold off on The Shack, I picked up The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoy his writing because it doesn't require a lot of thought. I don't mean that as rude as it sounds! LOL It's a good thing! It's just easy reading and a good story line. This book is kind of a sequel to The Notebook which I LOVE! I am really liking The Wedding, too, I can't wait to see how it ends. So how bout it? Have you guys read it? What are your thoughts?

Addiction

I think it is time for me to come out of the closet and admit that I am an addict. I'm sure this will surprise a lot of you. "NOOO Not HER! Of ALL people!" I'm sure you'll be disappointed, but I do want you to know I am seeking help. I want to apologize to my family, especially my children, for dragging them down this road and forcing them to go along with me. I have to apologize to my husband who is too far away to do anything but listen to the stories of my addiction. I know he would be here with me, if he could. I want to apologize especially, to my daughter Kassidy who I have just gotten hooked on the same stuff this week. I can see years of addiction in her future and I hang my head in shame as I deal with the fact that it's all my fault.

I've tried to control my urges, but my addiction has overtaken me twice this week alone... and twice last week. I tell myself I can only do this for a little while longer, so it's ok. I tell myself I can quit any time, but in my heart I know I won't quit until I'm forced to. I won't quit until the substance is no longer available to me. Until then it will affect my dreams and my bank account. I just hope we will still have enough money left to provide a Christmas for the children.

I just wanted to come clean in case any of you, my readers, are struggling with this same addiction. There is strength in numbers and we can lean on each other and share our addiction stories. Please don't be afraid to step forward and admit it. It's hard, I know.

You may be asking what this substance is that I'm addicted to... I will show you, but please don't let your shock drive you from my blog forever. Ready?? Here it is:





My name is Renee and I am addicted to the McRib.
We will have a support group meeting later today at McDonald's. See you there! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

MAMA!!!!

So my darling baby boy, who I love with all my heart, has decided to tease me and refuse to say "mama". He says, hi, bye bye, up, doggy, blah blah (our family word for Spongebob), baba, all done, more, eat, ball, what's that, stuck and (get this) when I tell him to say "mama" he says: DADDY! AHHHHHHH LOL And then he gives me this little smile like "you can't make me say it!" hahaha

So, earlier tonight I was sitting here on the couch and Keeghan came over and handed me a toy and started babbling to me. I was half paying attention when I finally focused in to him saying, "mama! mama! mama!" YES!!!! I got all excited and said, "YESSSS! I'm MAMA!!!!" And he laughed, laid his head on my lap, and said, "mama". Like, "OK I've known that ALL along!" NOW I just hope he keeps it up! It's like music to my ears! :)

A blast from the past!

My friend Amy made a video montage for Kristin's wedding, and after I watched it I noticed it linked to all her other montages and I found this one... I had forgotten about it!

This was taken in April 2007, right after Kennedy started her first round of chemo. She had just started taking steps on her own. Don't mind me, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Keeghan and HUGE!!! Oh my goodness! Anyway, I thought it was so cute, she's so little here, and look at her beautiful hair!

A very special giveaway!!!

So this is actually not the giveaway I was talking about yesterday, but this one is extra special! Lu, who made Kennedy's painting has so graciously offered to give away another one! She is thinking about making a business out of it, but she's not even sure how much to charge! These creations are made using her design software and real live paint! The winner will email a picture to Lu and she will create you a one of a kind creation! I personally am going to have Kennedy's printed out on canvas.

SO would you like to win one of these very special creations from Lu?! Of course you would! You can keep it for yourself, give it as a Christmas gift for grandparents, or whatever you want!!

Here's what you need to do to win:
Leave me a comment and tell me 2 things...
1. Whose picture you will use if you win? (If you change your mind, that's ok!)
2. Tell me how much you would be willing to pay for one of Lu's creations if she starts her business

Want another entry? (Optional)
Post on your blog about this giveaway and link back to this post. THEN leave me a second comment telling me you did so, so I can check it out and you will be entered twice.


I will use random.org on NOVEMBER 25th to chose the winner!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas Shopping Fundraiser

Christmas is just around the corner! Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? No? Still looking for the perfect gift for your mom, sister, cousin, best friend? Well! I have your answer! My friend Jen is hosting:

KENNEDY’S THIRTY-ONE FUNDRAISER

Looking for some great holiday gifts that will make a difference?

All proceeds from Kennedy’s Thirty-One Fundraiser will be donated to:

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Oncology Department
(where Kennedy was treated) in her name.

Thirty-One Gifts offers unique personalized products including purses, tote bags, home d├ęcor and more!

There is something for everyone. Orders can be placed directly online by following the steps below.

1. Click here to browse the catalog.

2. Go to Jen's Thirty-One Page.

3. Click on “shop online.”

4. Choose Kennedy’s Fundraiser.

5. Shop ‘til you drop!



The party will remain open until 7 PM on December 1st.

All orders are guaranteed for holiday delivery.

Please contact Jen Tufford with any questions or to place an order if you do not have access to the Internet.

Thank you for your support, and happy shopping!

Break my heart why don't you!

While I was getting dressed this morning, I heard Kennedy down by our front door yelling, "DOG! DOGGY!!!! DOG!!!!" Or so I thought. This didn't surprise me much, she LOVES dogs and we have one that roams the neighborhood. Going on how excited she was I thought it was probably in our yard or maybe even on our porch.

After I got dressed and Kennedy continued to yell excitedly, I went down to see. All I saw were several men mowing the yard across the street.
"I don't see a doggy anywhere, Kenn."
She kept pointing outside and yelling "Dog! Right THERE!!! YAY!!!!! DOG!!! YES!"
"Where, Kennedy?! I don't see a dog!"
Kennedy stomped her foot, grabbed my hand, and said and signed, "DAD!"
"Dad??" I asked
"DADDY! RIGHT THERE!" She pointed out to the group of men across the street.
"No honey, daddy's not out there."
"Oh." She said, and she got the saddest look on her face. "Where IS Daddy?"
"He's working, baby. Far, far away."
"Oh." Then she sat on my lap and we stared out the window for awhile watching the men. She sighed and said, "I sad."
"I know, baby, but Daddy will be home soon."
"Okay," She said. I gave her a hug and diverted her attention to picking out shoes. I don't know why she thought one of those men were her daddy, none of them looked like Frank. She must have just been really missing him today. We can't wait until he gets home!

A Kennedy Painting

My friend Lu made these paintings and sketch of Kennedy, aren't they beautiful?! I love them so much! Thanks again, Lu! (You can click on them to see it bigger!)

Congrats!!!

Congrats to Lynette who was visitor number 199,999 and to Maren who was visitor number 200,001 AND Kayla who has pictures of both numbers! LOL They all must have been on at the same time! Once I get your addresses, your little prize will be on the way! Watch for more giveaways soon, I have my first sponsored one coming up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

200,000

On my side bar <<<<<<<<<<< over there, I have a counter that keeps track of hits to this page. At some point tomorrow I am going to hit 200,000 visits. SO keep your eye out! If you happen to be my 200,000 visitor, or you're VERY close to it, take a pic, send it to me, and I will send you a little prize! :) 200,000 in 11 months! Crazy!!!!

Q&A #34

Questions about Kennedy & Keeghan's Halloween Pics
I love all of the effects too. Do you use photobucket? The Halloween pictures are just adorable of all 4 kiddos. Kennedy looks so big when the brace is off...I guess mostly different, does she love it when it's off?
Actually I use Picnik.com. There are lots of neat things you can do with your pics there! Most of it is free! :)

Did you upgrade to a premium account? We did, I'm a bit of a dork though lol... must have all the features!
I did... guess that makes me a dork, too! LOL

My caption:
Kenn: "So you go to each house and get candy."
Keeg: "Uh huh"
Kenn: "and then you give it all to the nearest Sincess! I'm serious! It's a tradition at our house."

OK this seriously made me laugh out loud!

Those costumes are adorable. Are they bought or rented???
LOL definitely bought. We bought them at Disneyland in 2002 for Kassidy and Kameron. We used to go every week! I miss it!


Random Questions
I know someone has asked this before, but what do her (Kennedy's) beads say around her neck? Is that the ID things you were talking about that you make?
Her necklace has her name, our home address and my cell phone number in case she were to ever get separated from us. Yes, I am making them... slowly! LOL

Then again, your whole family is gorgeous - please tell me you have ugly feet or something that makes you NOT perfect! ;-)
Hmmmm you should SEE me without makeup on! It's not pretty! LOL

Way to go Kameron! That is great how he has been able to overcome so much. That would be really tough on a child I think b/c so much of their life is tactile, especially when they are so young. Did those things bother him from the beginning like when he was a toddler. Just wondering since toddlers use their hands for so much stimulation and growing.
All of Kam's issues started right around 18 months. After his vaccinations. He lost all his speech, started lining things up obsessively, having major meltdowns every day, and on and on... he was diagnosed with Autism at 2 1/2 and went into therapy which helped immensely!

I heard they are releasing a sing along version of HSM3 in theaters. Will you be going?
Hmmm probably so! LOL We love going to the movies together!

What's a blogging party?
Well... LOL It's a bunch of people who stalk my friend Heather who are mostly all bloggers as well and she threw this big party where all the people who could come for dinner and to hang out. I was told I'm not a stalker since I knew her before blogging... Heather may not agree with that though! HA!

Didn't you say you were going to a blogging party? Okay, what is that? What do you do? Just sit around and blog? 'splan please!
Nope I saw no one with computers there, though I do imagine there was a bunch of twittering going on! LOL Basically it's just a bunch of people who knew each other through the online world coming together to meet, greet and eat! I was over 2 hours late though so I missed most of the good stuff... including the eating part! LOL

Hey there, you just reminded me, did they ever recover any pictures off of your card for you? Surely they're not still working on it?
Yes, they did get several pictures from Philly back for me. I'm going to take it into a camera shop too to see if they can get any more back! :)

Is Kennedy 4?
Yes, she'll be 4 1/2 on November 16th.

So no GPS is a theme with you, huh, lol!
LOL It's not my fault! They didn't have them 10 years ago! (Or if they did, they were VERY expensive!) We didn't even have cell phones back then! LOL

Have you seen the website Team Unite? I just found it from another caringbridge site & it has info to urge congressmen/women to childhood cancer issues/funding! I am sure you have seen it...but just wanted to make sure!
I have seen it! Thanks! Everyone else go check it out!

I'm going to need to borrow you to download all of my pics. I'm way behind on gettin my pictures posted. Do you take bribes???
Hmmm I dunno... how much you offering?!


Wedding Questions
Very nice pictures. Where was the wedding held at? The building behind looks like it has so much character.
It was the 1842 Inn. It was SO beautiful!!

Did you take all of the pictures for the wedding? If not, you should have. Looks like a pro took them.
I took all the ones I posted... but they had a professional photographer there too. I'm merely a wannabe! LOL

Glad the wedding went well...way too much on your blog to catch up on. Couldn't you have taken the week off, lol?
LOL Sorry!!!

Kassidy looks beautiful. Where did you get her dress?
JC Penneys actually! I looked everywhere for one for her!

So do you have Kass promised to Hunter too? They look like they would make a cute couple ;).
LOL Wellllll Their kids aren't allowed to date until they're 18, so we'll have to see where they are in 2009/2010! hahah

So I know that your setting Austin up with Kenn, will you also be setting Hunter and Kass up?
Who knows, anything could happen ;). I know Kass would have AWESOME inlaws that way at least!

When my daughters get married, will you be our photographer?
Sure thing! LOL

Oh my! She is absolutely gorgeous. So is everyone else but tell me? Did Kennedy steal the show!?
LOL well... she was second to Kristin ;).

Your children are breathtaking. Can I import them in for my wedding for extra cuteness? ;)
Absolutely... but only if I can come too! LOL

Creative Memories does books as well...can you send me a CD, or can I have your permission to copy them into a book? I would love to do a royal book for Kenn!
Sure! I'll send you a CD that way you have the full versions!

I noticed that she didn't have her neck brace. Was she allowed to keep it off for the wedding?
Yep! Her surgeon said it would be fine for that short amount of time. It went right back on as soon as the wedding was over.

Was I the only one worried about her not wearing her neck brace? I missed a post somewhere about it, off to read.
Don't worry, I got permission. :) I did post about it in one of the previous Q&As... I wouldn't do anything to let her get hurt. :)

This story reminds me of Brienna's 4th Birthday when she had Cinderella there. Do you remember writing a story like this on Kassidy's Korner? I loved it so much then. You are really creative Renee...Great job!!!
YES! I was looking at our old site to see if it might still be there, but it's gone. I loved that story, too!

Kassidy didn't feel sad at all having all the attention on Kennedy did she?
Nope, Kristin actually gave Kass the job of handing out programs at the wedding. She even got a corsage. It made her feel very special :).

Can I just have her(Kennedy)? LOL
We come as a joint package... the 4 kids and I... and Frank too, when he gets home! LOL I do believe my mom wouldn't be far behind! hahahaha

Simply precious! I knew they'd be good pictures, but those pictures are unbelievable!! Do you have enough wall space for all of them (I don't know how you would choose which ones to display!!)?
LOL Wellll I think I can probably find some space ;). I may do a collage type frame.

For more Q&A, Click Here.