Friday, July 31, 2009

Off to Vandy for the second time today

Kennedy's blood sugar dropped earlier tonight out of nowhere. After trying to get it back up, we can't. She's lethargic and her ped wants her to get some fluids and get her perked up before she drops dangerously low. Please keep her in your prayers. I'll update via twitter when I can.

Medical Marathon Week - Part 1

Today was the first of Kennedy's medical appointments in what I am now calling her Medical Marathon Week. She had an appointment with Neurology today to get the results from her sleep study. They were worried she still had sleep apnea despite having her tonsils and adenoids removed in 2006, and the recommendation was going to be a palate expander to fix her extremely high palate which would thus fix her alleged apnea.

I was REALLY dreading this appointment. I was dreading the conversation where I would tell them that I don't WANT her to have a palate expander because it sounds like it HURTS and she's already been though enough and we're just DONE with all this medical crap thankyouverymuch. And then they would tell me that compared to what she's been through already, a palate expander would be a piece of cake! Really! And I would say, it doesn't matter. She shouldn't have to deal with this. "What she's been through already" shouldn't factor into this. And unless her apnea is so incredibly obstructive that it's going to impair her quality of life they could take their expander and... no. I wouldn't say that. I WAS ready to plead my case though. I had my argument all planned out in my head. I played it over and over as we sat in the waiting room. For an hour and a half.

They finally called us back and we walked into the room and the appointment went a little like this:

Dr: Hi there! Sorry for your wait! How is Kennedy doing?
Me: Good...
Dr: Great! Let's look at the results of her sleep study...

So she pulls out the results, goes over all the different numbers, what they all mean and basically...

She has NO sleep apnea. Zero. Zip. Nada. She's in perfect range on everything. Oh and the tech gushed over how great she was about leaving all the sensors on. So five minutes after we walked into the office, we walked out! And I didn't have to use my speech about why she doesn't need a palate expander! YAY!

Next up in Medical Marathon Week... ENT appointment on Monday... with a brand new ENT who may or may not know anything about Down syndrome and may or may not know anything about kids who have been through chemo and the hearing loss they can endure. Should be interesting... Stay tuned to this station.

Meet Annie! Review and Giveaway!

Meet Annie
By: Heather J. Scharlau-Hollis

I received this book a couple months ago in the mail and kind of forgot about it, but I ran across it the other day and I'm SO glad I did! This book is about Annie, a little girl with Down syndrome, who is not so different than other kids her age! She talks about her family, her feelings, her likes and dislikes. The book is 18 pages, full of animation and engages young readers. It would be perfect to take in to read to your child's class during Down syndrome awareness month or at the beginning of the school year. I am excited to be able to share this book with Kennedy's class!!!

To WIN your OWN copy of Meet Annie, just leave me a comment on this post telling me why you would love this book! For an extra entry, blog about this giveaway and leave another comment telling me you did so!

I will choose a winner using on Friday August 7, 2009!

Pray for Gabby!

Beautiful Gabby is having her heart surgery today! Please be praying for her!!! You can click on her button to go to her blog! We're praying for you Gabby!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Toilet Paper Saga

I have a dilemma. My first dilemma is that it took me like 3 tries to figure out how to spell dilemma. Now I know. Kassidy's teacher will be proud, I'm sure. Anyway, here's my dilemma and I'm hoping someone out there can help me since I've never had this problem before... though with 4 kids, you'd think I would have.

In the last week I've gone through five rolls of toilet paper. FIVE. MAYBE one of those rolls has been used appropriately. One, you can see here thanks to Keeghan. Another one was lost this way thanks to Kennedy. The last two have been flushed, a roll at a time, by a certain five year old we all know and love.

Here are my issues not to be confused with tissues:
1. I can't close the door. Kennedy needs to be able to get in there to go potty and she has problems with door knobs.
2. Kennedy doesn't always announce when she's going potty so I can't always follow her in there to make sure she's not throwing the whole roll into the toilet.
3. While Kennedy knows that throwing the toilet paper on the floor is wrong, she IS actually wiping when she throws it in the toilet and therefore to HER, it's NOT wrong. When I went to wipe her last night she told me NO that she already did and proudly showed me the WHOLE roll of toilet paper in the toilet as proof. *sigh* So I can't really get upset with her for that.

I've tried to show her how to break off just a few squares, but she can't seem to get the hang of it, and if Keeghan happens to wander in there while she is in there, peer pressure hits and disaster strikes! SO I know there's an easy solution to this because I can't be the first mom to encounter this problem, so what is it? If it's a solution that could transition to school, I'm sure her teacher would thank you too! If all else fails, I guess I could always try this:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He's TWO! - Part 4

Alternately titled - My son didn't eat lunch until 3:00 today

Keeghan and I have been in a battle of wills today. I am still fighting off some kind of bug that he so lovingly shared with me, so I pulled myself off the couch to fix lunch around noon, dragged myself to the freezer, pulled out the stuffed pizza slices the kids love so much, and popped them in the microwave. When Keeghan's were ready, I pulled his shirt off and told him to sit down in his chair.

And he FREAKED out.

WHAT?! He never eats pizza with a shirt on. The kid HATES bibs. Always has. SO when he eats messy food the shirt comes off unless we're in a restaurant, I'm not THAT uncivilized, people!.

So he screamed and he cried, "MYYYYY SHHHHIIRRRRRTTT!" Really?! Fine. So like any mother would do, I tried reasoning with my 2 year old: "Keeghan, if you want to eat, you have to sit in your chair. We'll put your shirt on when you're all done."

"NOOOOOOOOO MYYYYYYY SHHHHHIIIIIRRRRRRRTTTTTTTT!!!!" And he kicked and he screamed and he threw himself down. I contemplated getting it on video but then he would have thought I was condoning the behavior. So I didn't. You'll just have to believe me.

After this went on for about 15 minutes, his pizza was cold, Kass and Kam were irritated and my head was swimming from standing so long with my 101 degree fever, so I did what any good mother would do and I put my two year old - and his shirt - to bed without lunch. He very happily wore his shirt to sleep for three long hours.

When he woke up, I got him out of his crib and decided not to mention the dreaded "P" word. However, the first words out of HIS mouth were, "I eat PIZZA!" Alrighty then! So we go to the chair, he sits down, and I take off his shirt. Here come the tears. What the HECK?! It's not like this is a new rule!

So now I've decided it's a battle of wills. He shall not win! I may be sick but I can still outsmart my son! I WILL prevail! I think. SO I calmly take his plate, set it on the counter and leave the room and let him throw his fit. Suddenly he gets quiet. Quiet. Quiet. VERY quiet. I go to investigate and find... *gasp* He's climbed onto a chair and gotten to his plate on the counter and is eating! WHAT?! He sees me and calmly says, "I eat pizza."

AHHHHHHH Have you ever seen the cartoon Max and Ruby? He reminded me SO much of Max right then! I tried REALLY hard not to laugh! "OH no you don't! You have to sit in your chair to eat, AND you have to take your shirt off."


So I leave him to throw yet another fit and retreat to my corner to figure out how I'm going to win this battle, when all of the sudden inspiration strikes! I know how to get him to cave!!! YES!!!

Me: "Ohhh Keeghan!"

K: "Yes?"

Me: "Do you want a BANANA?"

K: "NANA?!?!?! YESSSSS!!!!"

Me: OK! Butttt... you have to sit in your chair... AND take your shirt off."

K: (thinking) "Alright."

And THAT, folks, is how you outsmart your average two year old... or at least MY two year old. We won't mention the fact that he ONLY ate his banana and NOT his pizza. THAT part is irrelevant to this story. *ahem*

7 Year Old goes to extreme measures to get out of church

There are some Sunday mornings when Kameron will whine "Why do we have to go to church?" but that's usually because he doesn't want to take a bath, or get dressed, or turn off the TV, or stop doing whatever he happens to be interested in at the time. Hopefully he'd never go to this extreme however, because I'm pretty sure it wouldn't turn out so well... for him or my car! LOL

Wordless Wednesday - Caption This part 2 :)

Picture taken by Jamie Wright Photography

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Q&A #97

I'll only comment if you promise that if you win you'll use the $100 to come down to Chattanooga. LOL
LOL Well we WILL come down to Chattanooga but if I win the money is going to Kellsey's adoption! :) We definitely need to get down there soon!

I think sending you the $100 bucks would have been easier than trying to figure out how to know my technical demensia disorder dysfunction disease I suffer from..caught while living in the hospital for almost a year! How did you not catch it? I heard it was a common thing mothers almost all contract??? Did you get a pill for relief? I need the RX pls...
LOL commenting isn't THAT hard is it?! I think it helped that I was online A LOT during our time in the hospital! LOL

Ya know, thinking about the school supplies--Ya know what I wish they'd include on the lists? Whether or not the supplies were expected to be shared with the class. I hate to sound cheap, but the supplies I buy would be a lot less expensive if I knew if they were going to be shared or not. For example: Ryan's list stated 24 #2 pencils. Well, instead of the $1 box of Papermates, I bought him the $9 box of triangular Ticonderogas (oh, and the $5 triangular crayola crayons vs the 20 cent round crayolas, too), because he needs the help with his grip. However, if they get dumped into a box w/ 24 pencils from each of the other 20 kids in his class.....he's rarely going to get to actually benefit from the triangular Ticonderogas, ya know? I'm tempted to attach a note to them that says if they are going to be shared, to please pass them along to the OT, so at least he'd benefit from them. I dunno.
That's a very good point... I buy my kids pencils with their names engraved on them... and then they're sure to get them... and their teachers probably hate me! Oh well! They get over it. I hope! :)

Renee, Even though the school system has said Kennedy does not qualify for school PT, since she will be receiving the two other services, ST & OT, if you and her teacher have concerns at any point during the school year, you can request the PT evaluate Kennedy again and at least make recommendations on how to make things safer and easier for Kennedy. Playground safety is a biggy and most teachers would welcome the input from the school PT.
Thanks! I will remember that! :) Good idea!

Why is it when you click on the link to a specific entry all the comments are there and you have to scroll all the way to the bottom?
I have no idea... just the way blogger set things up I guess!

So, I thought I'd post! Want to hear what I did this morning? Walked 4 miles to help save homeless pets...out little team collected $110 which is pretty good considering Hannah just found out about it last night...
That IS good! :)

Whew..busy schedule! Be careful with the cute clothes. I did the same for Carly, and ended up regretting. I think she ruined more new outfits than I can even count. I was NOT happy. Of course, the teachers in these parts let kindergartners use permanent markers. Ummm,HELLO??!!
Yeah... I've been there with Kassidy too... I about strangled the art teacher when she came home covered in permanent paint. It wasn't pretty. I'm going to send in a smock with Kennedy to use for art class. I'm not going to send her to school in ugly stained clothes. Just not gonna happen. LOL

I just posted this too but I only could link it, what am I doing wrong???
You need to post the embed code. For youtube videos you can find them at the end of the video or if you're at the actual site you can usually find it on the right side. Just copy the code and paste it right into the body of your blog post and it should work :).

The DC transportation question: It's been years since I've been to DC, but I remember a "trolley" or something similar that my family and I used to get from one attraction to another. I don't know if it's still in operation or how it works, but it wasn't a cab or the subway/metro. It was almost like a tourist cart of sorts. Is that still around?
Hmm I didn't see anything like that. They do Segway tours now though that look really fun! Not good for young kids of course though!

I specify what colors of folders they have to have :) Don't hate me! It makes it easier for me though. I can tell them to put it in the red folder, or to get out the blue folder- and everyone can follow!
Ahhhh!!!! LOL I guess I see how that would be easier... I just love letting the kids pick out their fun folders.

Dear Keeghan,
This is your mommy's friend, Jen. Well, I'm actually just a blog friend. Do you know what a blog is? Well, it is kind of like an online journal...nevermind. That's not important! I wanted to talk to you about your recent sleeping habits. Mommy says you woke up 8 times last night! Do you realize how many that is? No, um, okay. Hold up all your fingers, but not your thumbs. That is 8! Well, I guess you're right. It could have been more! Anyway...Mommy wanted me to let you know you need to SLEEP! What's that? Oh, okay. I'll tell her...

Dear Renee,
Keeghan says, "But I'm handsome!"
And you know, he's right! Sorry...I tried! :)

ROFL This cracked me up!

I've answered your question in an entire post that's found here. Have fun with that! I wish I'd spent more time devoted to learning the sciences such as biology and chemistry so that I'd learn to enjoy them and excel in them!
Great post! Thanks for sharing!!!

Renee could u kinda give me a update on how things have went last time I read its been a long time and I thought they had him and his heart was fine.. Am I totally behind or what??
Ohhh yes, Stellan is 8 months old he's been to Boston once already for an ablation and it looks like he may need another one and possibly a pacemaker. He's been up and down pretty much his whole life. The last few days have been really scary for his family though. That's a long story cut REALLY short. You can catch up on his blog.

By the way, how do you know how many hits your blog gets. Is there something I need to download to do that?
Go to Site Meter and sign up for a free account.

I would love to know how you have connected with so many people already.
I've been blogging for almost 2 years... hard to believe! And then before that Kennedy had a carepage and we knew a lot of people through there too. Your blogroll will slowly build the longer you are in the community.

What the heck did that guy give you in Disney?!?!?! LOL
OHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I forgot about that!!!!!!! OK I will find that tomorrow, I have to take a picture or it just won't have the same affect! And I will blog the whole story! It really IS a great story!!! Thanks for reminding me!!! :)

Praying for Frank's paperwork by the way - did it come?!
Ugh. No. GRRR. He's going to call them. Again. *sigh*

one thing . . an update on getting Kellsey home!
Unfortunately, there's not all that much to tell, but you can find the latest here. Sad, but true. All in God's timing!

OK if I haven't posted your suggestion/question in here, it's probably because I'm saving it for a future topic!!! Thanks for all your feedback today!!! :)

What do YOU want to see from ME?!

So, like many bloggers out there right now, my blog hits are way down lately... maybe because it's Summer, maybe because everyone's on Facebook, or maybe because I'm boring lately. Maybe a combination of all three things. So, to those of you left here reading and commenting (first of all, thank you!!), what do you want more of? More pictures? More stories? More blogging in general? LESS blogging in general? Video? Giveaways? (I KNOW I need to do Kameron's Q&A, and that IS coming, I promise!)

I FEEL boring, I'm just... tapped out. I don't have much to talk about. We're all kind of... boring (have I said that yet?)... right now. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Summer is winding down, school is about to start, we're just kind of in limbo. But if you have a topic suggestion, a burning question you've been dying to ask, or any other ideas to revamp and bring life back to my blog bring it on! (Uhh but be nice ok?!) I promise I won't be boring forever, so don't give up on me, ok?!

The Coat Hanger

In small group on Sunday night we were talking about doing good deeds for others... for those of you who have known me a LONG time, you might remember me talking about a married couple paying for mine and the kids dinner on two different occasions while Frank was deployed in 2006. I REALLY think it was the same couple both times, but they left before I knew what happened so I can't say that for sure. I DO know that all they "knew" about me is that I was most likely an Army wife with a deployed husband (because who else would be crazy enough to go out to eat with 3 very young children by herself?!). Since that time I have found lots of different ways to pay it forward. I only do it when I know (or at least THINK) I can get away unseen, I hate getting caught!

Anyway, we were talking about this in our group and different random acts of kindness, and someone was saying that the people on the receiving end don't necessarily know that we do these things because we are Christians, that we could just be doing them because we're good people and somehow we have to get that glory back to God. I guess the couple that paid for our dinner all those years ago were not necessarily Christians, but I automatically thanked God for them. Everyone who helped us out when Kennedy was sick and in the hospital, and now through Kellsey's adoption, whether they were Christians or not, I thanked God for bringing them into our lives for whatever reason.
Matthew 25:34-40 says: "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

ALL of that to say, I got this story in an email this morning and I thought it was perfect for what we were talking about on Sunday night! It made me laugh. God brings the right people into your lives at just the right time and it may not be in the form you would most expect, so don't dismiss an unlikely friendship or a helping hand at first glance. You never know what He has in store for you!

The Coat Hanger

A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her
Small daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and
Stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication.

She got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys
In the car. She didn't know what to do, so she called home and told
The baby sitter what had happened. The baby sitter told her that the
Fever was getting worse. She said, 'You might find a coat hanger and
Use that to open the door.'

The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that
Had been left on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time
Had locked their keys in their car... She looked at the hanger and
Said, 'I don't know how to use this.'

She bowed her head and asked God to send her help. Within five
Minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, with a dirty, greasy,
Bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head. The
Woman thought, 'This is what you sent to help me?'
But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful.

The man got off of his cycle and asked if he could help. She said,
'Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some
Medication and I locked my keys in my car. I must get home to her.
Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?
He said, 'Sure.'

He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was opened
She hugged the man and through her tears she said,
'Thank you so much! You are a very nice man.'

The man replied, 'Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of
Prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out
For about an hour.'

The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud,
'Oh, Thank you God! You even sent me a professional!'
Is - GOD GOOD - or what!?

Monday, July 27, 2009

I have nothing to say

I've spent today sitting here... not doing much of anything... playing on facebook a bit, updating my blogroll a bit, (I still have a lot more work to do there) and checking on Stellan a bit.

Kennedy had a great day at school. She only has 2 days of pre-k left! Hard to believe! The kids are almost all ready for school. My recent dreams are proving that maybe I'm having a little more school anxiety than I thought! haha But I'm mostly excited :). Kennedy is too... so are Kass and Kam! They went with me today to drop off Kennedy's shot record and birth certificate and I could feel their giddiness. While we were there we met another mom there with a little girl with Down syndrome going into second grade. They just moved into the area. We had a good time talking and we're very excited to have her in the school! I hope she and Kennedy will be good friends!

Anyway, I guess I did have something to say. LOL If you haven't already, please go leave a comment on this post. The contest ends at midnight tonight! :)

Monday Moment for Down syndrome - Special Olympics Commercial

Sorry I haven't kept up with these lately, I need to get back to it! I saw this on another blog and thought it was great!!!

Pray for Stellan

Prayers for Stellan

If you're one of the VERY few who have not heard about Baby Stellan in the blogosphere, he is a sweet baby who has been battling severe heart issues since before he was born. He is now 8 months old and is fighting hard just to stay alive. The doctors are fighting hard to keep him that way. Please be in prayer for Stellan. If you twitter, you'll even see him on the top trends! You can read more of Stellan's story on his blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

QOTD #34

Complete this sentence: "I wish I would have..."

Taco Bell

We've talked about Chic-Fil-A and now it's time for Taco Bell. I totally am going to order like this next time. Maybe. Not.

Thanks Michael for the link!

Keeghan Keeghan Keeghan

*sigh* For the second night in a row, this child has not SLEPT! He woke up 8 times last night crying. He doesn't seem to be in pain, he doesn't want to get up. He just wants to cry. But he gets louder and louder and madder and madder until one of us goes in there. I don't think he's having bad dreams, he doesn't seem scared or anything, he almost seems annoyed, like... "where WERE you?!" (Cuz heaven forbid we're sleeping at midnight, and 1am and 2am and 2:30 and...). I can't STAND it. Frank and I have rotated getting up with him, so we're both exhausted. He, on the other hand, wakes up happy and refreshed at 7am! What the heck?! I feel like we have a newborn in the house again. Someone tell the boy he needs to SLEEP!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Best Wedding Entrance EVER

Seriously, you HAVE to watch this video!

Getting ready for Kindergarten

With less than 2 weeks until Kindergarten starts for Kennedy, we have been busy getting her ready. For her, this means more than it did for Kassidy and Kameron. Yes, I'm buying cute clothes and school supplies, but we're also having to juggle her schedule quite a bit. She has quite the social calendar, you know!

As it stands right now Kennedy goes to Pre-K on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Her Physical Therapist visits her there every other week to work with her on her gross motor skills. We've been focusing mostly on the playground lately since I want her to feel REALLY secure on the playground in Kindergarten. I really worry about her out there with all those big kids and getting hurt. Her size and low muscle tone hinders her ability to keep up with other kids her age, and then of course I worry about her injuring her neck in any way! I guess that's just part of being a mom!

Anyway, she's made great strides with her PT in the last few months. She can now climb the stairs to the slide independently, she can climb all stairs without having to put her hands down, which is huge, and she's more confident in lots of other areas. Unfortunately her PT doesn't work in the afternoons and she doesn't qualify for PT within the school system so she will no longer be receiving Physical Therapy. We are very proud of how far she has come in the last months though and her PT feels that the rest will come with time.

On Tuesday mornings, Kennedy goes to Speech Therapy and on Thursday mornings she has Speech and Occupational Therapy. Obviously now that she will be in school, these will have to moved to afternoons, so we are working on moving these. She will also be receiving Speech Therapy once a week at school, but I think it will be in a group setting, so I think it's really important to keep her in her private therapy as well. In Occupational Therapy they work on her fine motor skills like writing. Obviously these skills are very important! She is getting better every week!

Cheerleading is now over for the year, but we want Kennedy to do something for physical activity as well. She is still doing swimming lessons on Sunday afternoons, but it will soon be too cold for those, so on August 1st we will be going to an open house at a dance studio here in town to see about getting her into a beginning dance class. I think this will be good for her as well now that she is no longer in PT. I am going to take her with me, let her meet the instructors and see if this is something she wants to do... she's so girly, something tells me she would love it! She got the all clear from her surgeon as long as she doesn't do any somersaults or flips.

Beyond that we'll just be doing all the other stuff Kindergartners do... learning to read (more than she already is), doing her homework pages, and just enjoying all the fun stuff that comes with the first year of school! I can't WAIT! :)

Q&A #96

Oh I would soooo love a master bedroom and bath with a double sink vanity! Are you drooling over that picture, too???
Ohh absolutely! Some day...

More thoughts on school supplies from teachers :)...
Renee, I always find it interesting to see how far some parents will go with labeling school supplies. I had a couple students last year who had their name written on every single pencil and crayon they owned. Kinda funny to me, especially since in my class I dump all the pencils in one big bin and share them for the whole year. Just a teacher's thought for you.
Ohh I don't go THAT far. I didn't even open their crayon boxes. I do label all the glue sticks, the boxes of crayons, and their scissors, folders, backpacks, etc. Their pencils come engraved with their names so I don't have to do that, and actually Kassidy's folders I ordered personalized this year too. I label their boxes of kleenex and baby wipes and stuff because the supply list tells me too! haha I assume this makes it easier for the teachers to make sure everyone brought in their stuff so that doesn't bother me.

As a teacher I can understand the certain brand. Trust me most teachers pick a less expensive brand and those who don't well I am not sure I understand it. As for glue sticks we use them for everything in class and since kids don't know how to glue stick well often times they use half a stick on one project. The certain brand is also helpful when you have a wide range of income levels in class. If some kids are coming in with 50 count crayons and some kids are coming in with 8 it is going to make that kid with 8 count sad. Also in the early elementary days you want kids to grasp blue and yellow make green, red and blue make purple. With the million count colors that concept is lost on them. There are reasons and it is frustrating I understand but as a teacher we don't make a lot of money to begin with so going out and buying supplied for all 20-30 of our students so they do have everything they need is very expensive and usually more than we can afford. Often times we can't get people to reimburse either. With the lists that kids get we see who doesnt show up with what they need maybe because of financial problems and end up paying for them anyway. It's not meant to be annoying or malicious.
Oh I totally understand the glue sticks! It's just funny how MANY I had to buy with three kids in school. I think the cashier thought I was nuts! haha They do go through them quickly though! I didn't see any brands on our lists though except for the dry erase markers. As far as the crayons, I would never expect a teacher to supply the crayons for the students, please please don't think I was suggesting that at all!! I know teachers buy SO much for their rooms as it is and don't get paid NEARLY enough. I DO like the explanation of grasping the blue and yellow making green concepts... that's one of the better reasonings I've heard. :)

I was just going to say all that Anonymous! As a hyper anal teacher myself, and knowing how 5 year olds can be, having everything the same is a HUGE help. My parents should be glad I don't specify the color of scissors they buy (I switch them out with my own color coded ones when they get here any way! ha!). With writing paper this can be particularly important. I choose journals that have the exact line size and picture area I need. I expect them to put the effort into finding them, as I put the effort into using them! At my old school, our PTA also did the school supply thing- and they were delivered right to me room! Loved it!
I'm really digging this whole school supply thing! When Kameron was going into Kindergarten there were NO 8 count crayons to be found ANYWHERE (granted I didn't get the school list until right before school started and they wanted 8 packs of them per kid so everywhere was wiped out by then) so pre-packed boxes would be awesome! Last year Kassidy had to have certain colored folders and I was mad! LOL I think they should be able to pick out their own fun folders with whatever they want on them! This year she has to have solid colored folders but at least she gets to pick her own colors. Sometimes people need choices! ha!

Hey Renee, I dont have a comment, but I keep hoping to see a pic of the 2 of them side by side, for size comparison, i'm nosey/curious.
I will have to work on that! Getting them to stand still side by side is not as easy as it sounds! haha

So do you have to pay extra? I imagine the bigger backpack probably costs more, but since you are returning I'm guessing they aren't making you pay for both. I hope you don't have to pay shipping costs again too. That would stink.
Yes, there was a couple bucks difference, but it will be worth it since he'll be able to use it longer. I think they gave me free shipping on the new backpack but I have to pay to ship the other backpack back to them... it all works out... I think.

i am having a heck of a time trying to find mayson a backpack thats not bigger than her!!!!!!
I would check out the LL Bean ones for toddlers, they're pretty small. It would fit Kennedy pretty well, actually! It won't hold folders or anything but would be perfect for preschool type stuff... towels, extra clothes, papers, stuff like that. They have a bunch of cute designs for girls. Just check the descriptions and they'll say for ages 4 and up.

Have fun labeling. You know I would hand over some of that work to Kass at least. She is old enough to label her own school supplies, isn't she? I don't know, I tend to leave that up to Natalie for her stuff.
Yeah, I probably could have! I didn't really think about it! Oh well, it's done now! :)

Very cute pics! Does Kennedy always warm up really well to new people? She seems to always just be so happy! Love that little girl (and the rest of the Special Ks)!!
Yep! She loves meeting new people and just kind of goes with the flow. Seems like we're always meeting someone new so she's used to it... either that or she thinks she has a really bad memory! ha! I'm just kidding!

That is so darling ... and you still made her go to bed?Mean mommy.
Heck Yeah I did! I was tired! LOL

Ryan does that, though. Only he doesn't leave any evidence. He flushes it. All. piece by piece. He even tears up the cardboard tube into pieces and flushes it. Many a time have I gone into my bathroom to find that the toilet paper had just magically disappeared. LOL!
That literally made me laugh out loud! Hysterical!!!

You also need to be home to celebrate when Frank's paperwork comes in the mail on Saturday (I've got a feeling).
Ohhh wouldn't that be GREAT!!!!

Enjoy your weekend AT HOME!!! (although I think I detected a bit of sarcasm in there??)
From ME?! NEVER!!! :)

When you get caught up on your laundry, want to come help me with mine??? Just a suggestion.
Hmm are you in Chicago by chance?! LOL

Are we allowed to comment more than once to help out your odds? If so, let us know!
I don't think so... I would guess it would only be one comment per person, thanks though! :)

How does blogher work anyway?
BlogHer is basically a community of women who blog who get together and have fun, support one another, and network! There are SO many different ways you can use the site! Hop on over and check it out! :)

I'll just use this chance to ask about your advice for a D.C. trip? We are wanting to go but trying to figure out where to stay? Drive ourselves? For all the "tourist attractions" is it better to drive yourself and make it through traffic or is city transportation better? Any other suggestions?
We stayed in Alexandria, VA in the Historic District. We were really close to DC that way but yet not IN DC which can be expensive... Driving in DC is craziness. If you can handle crazy city driving, have at it! haha We did drive but only because Frank's great at that kind of stuff! They also have the metro which can get you around. A lot of places you have to pay for parking if you do drive, but most of the attractions are free, so that kind of offsets the parking :). I'm afraid I wasn't much help, huh? It's really preference! Either way, wear comfortable shoes because you're going to walk. A lot. If you want to go IN the monuments, get tickets early! We missed out on that! If you're going to do the Smithsonian and can only go to one or two, I suggest the Natural History one. There are lots to choose from! Don't miss the Viet Nam wall... very overwhelming. I guess that's it! LOL

Well I for one would have liked for you to be here, I would have liked to have tried to meet up with you even if only for a quick hi and hug but most likely I'd have made you share a meal with me! :-) Good luck, sounds like you have a full w/e planned. :-) Robbin in Chicago.....
Robbin, I totally promise if I ever DO make it to Chicago we WILL share a meal together!!! :) (As long as you don't make fun of my wind blown hair! haha)

Did you hear that here in Canada, an adoption agency just went bankrupt, and all those poor parents are left wondering about their little ones in other countries, not knowing what will happen and unable to get answers...So sad, my heart goes out to all of them. The government is jumping in to help them though, hopefully it all gets resolved fast!
I didn't hear that! How sad! :( We'll be praying it all works out for the families and those waiting kids!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top 10 Reasons I am Excited to Stay Home with My Family this Coming Weekend

So if you read more blogs than mine, you probably know by now that this weekend is the BlogHer conference in Chicago. Blogging women from all over the country will be convening in Chicago to laugh, connect, network, have fun, and talk about blogging!!! But I'm not bitter much because I will be HERE in Tennessee. YAY.

In order to alleviate some of our jealousy, the wonderful people at Cozi have offered a consolation prize to fifteen bloggin mamas who are NOT going to the BlogHer conference (so take THAT all you people having fun in Chicago!). The prize? $100!!! (And seriously that will go straight to our adoption which actually DOES excite me!) And the BEST part? YOU guys can help me WIN!!! All you have to do is leave me a comment on THIS post!!! So come on all you blog lurkers:

PLEASE?!?! Spread the word! The more comments the better! I have until Monday at midnight! :)

In the meantime, here are the top 10 reasons that I am SUPER DUPER GLAD I am NOT at the BlogHER Conference this weekend!

10. Chicago is totally bad for my hair... hello??? WINDY city!!!

9. I just joined so I get to spend time seeing how they're going to simplify my life!

8. Think of all the money (and calories) I'll save by not eating out in Chicago!

7. I would miss church on Sunday, and Ron is preaching on the Element of fire using the story of Moses and how God's approach to us is always for our good.

6. Sunday night I get to hang out with some of my favorite people in our community group, eat snacks, dig into the Word, and build relationships with them.

5. Unlike all those people coming home from Chicago, by the end of the weekend, I will be completely caught up on my laundry. Maybe.

4. I will get to enjoy a lazy Saturday with my husband and kids... sleeping in, laying around, swimming lessons, sunshine! That's the life!

3. I could miss SO many potentially great blogging moments while I'm away from the kids... like this one!

2. I'll have more time to label school supplies.

And the number 1 reason that I'm glad I'm staying home with my family this coming weekend?
1. I WON'T have to go through airport security. Twice. Nuff said.

So please please please! Leave me comments! Help me win $100! Please??? (I'm not above begging!) :)

He's TWO! - Part 3

This should really be part 3 AND 4 since this is the second time this week Keeghan's done this. GRRR And I do have to say that he had a little accomplice by the name of Kennedy. *ahem* But I'm 100% sure it was his idea since last time he worked alone. Oh and the rest of the roll? It's in my bathtub. My wet bathtub. And yes, that IS a monkey on my floor. I have no idea what the monkey has to do with this post, I just thought you'd want to know. Isn't two fun? :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time to sleep

Me: Kennedy, it's time to go to sleep now.
Kennedy: But I'm beautiful!
Me: Yes, you are beautiful, but it's still time to go to sleep!
Kennedy: Aww!

Household Tips

Disclaimer: I haven't tried ANY of these but they all sound handy! If you try them or know if they do/don't work, let me know! :)

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to
Pick the little 'stringy things' off it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
spoonsful of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat them.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste
of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Reheat Pizza
Heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low
and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the food channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal; mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy; squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done - easy clean up.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave next to a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting torn newspaper in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants, overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient (peanut butter, honey, etc.) and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside,
just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

No charge for love...

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell.
He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set
about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard.
As he was driving the last nail into the post, he
felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into
the eyes of a little boy.

"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."

"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat
off the back of his neck, "These puppies come
from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then
reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a
handful of change and held it up to the farmer.

"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"

"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he
let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.

Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran
Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.

The little boy pressed his face against the chain
link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the
dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy
noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.

Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably
smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat
awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the
others, doing its best to catch up...

"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the
runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said,
"Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able
to run and play with you like these other dogs would."

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence,
reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his

In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both
sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't
run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."

With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached
down and picked up the little pup.

Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

"How much?" asked the little boy. "No charge,"
answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."

The world is full of people who need someone who understands.

An email...

From time to time I get emails from people who come across my blog for one reason or another. Usually these emails are from moms. Many times they are moms of babies with Down syndrome, or moms of kids with cancer, or moms of kids with Down syndrome who have just been diagnosed with cancer, or moms of kids with Down syndrome who may have AAI, or moms who are pregnant and just found out their baby may have Down syndrome. Sometimes I get emails from just moms... or grandmas... or women or whoever... who just found my blog and want to say hi. I love it.

Occasionally though I get an email that just blows me away like this one below. I opened this email a month ago and started crying almost from the very first line. It amazes me that someone so young would find ANY interest in my blog let alone continue to come back or even write an email like this, but I'm so glad she did, and so, with permission, I share it with you. :)

Hi Renee! My name is Julia, I'm 13 years old, and I live in Pennsylvania. I don't have any personal experience with down syndrome, but I do a lot of volunteer work with special needs children, including one with Autism who I was connected with through an awesome organization called Friendship Circle. The reason I'm writing to you is to tell you about how I use the idea of your beautiful Kennedy as my motivation to work harder. Last night, I was at crew (rowing) practice. Since rowing is very much a leg-driven sport, the coach makes us run a lot. I hate running. So much. I think it's insanely painful, but I seem to be the only one on my team who thinks that. So, as soon as it started to hurt, and I wanted to stop, I thought about Kennedy. I thought about all the pain she had to go through, and how as much as she may have wanted to, she couldn't make the pain stop. So I ran harder, knowing that if that tiny little body could handle all that pain, then I could handle this little bit of pain. And by some miracle (I think that miracle happens to be named Kennedy Garcia) I finished the 6 miles with the best time in the group. Thank God for Kennedy! She is such a strong, amazing little girl, and you must be such strong parents to be able to cope with all that. Another thing I would like to say (and I hope that you don't take this offensively because I mean it in a great way.) When I was younger, before I really understood what special needs meant, and I would see people with special needs, I would hope and pray that when I had children they would not be mentally challenged. Then, in seventh grade, when I started doing my service work with special needs children, I realized what a gift they are to the world, and after reading about your amazing Kennedy, I actually find myself hoping to be blessed by a special needs child later in life (not necessarily as MY child, although I would certainly accept and enjoy that experience so much.) I LOVE reading your blog, and when you posted that April Fools prank about shutting down your blog, I died a little inside. Thank God that wasn't for real.
Lots of love,

Tell me that didn't make you cry too! Thanks again so much, Julia! I can't wait to read it to Kennedy one day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation Pictures - Part 15

This is the last of our vacation pictures, I promise!!! On the way home we got to meet up with Bethany and her family. We didn't think we were going to get to see them this trip, but everything just fell into place for a last minute meet up and I'm so glad it did!!

Bethany and her husband Kyle adopted Addison, their second daughter with Down syndrome, from Russia last year. I was SO excited to meet her!! She is doing SO great here at home and the bond between Addison and her big sister Payton is just awesome! Makes me even more excited to get Kellsey home!

Here are a few pictures, I wish I would have gotten more of them playing... there are a few more pics on Bethany's blog too.

Payton, Kennedy and Addison

Payton and Kennedy

Cute girls!

Payton, Mason, Kameron, Addison, Kennedy, Kassidy and Keeghan (he REALLY didn't want to sit there! LOL)

More on the backpacks

So Kass and Kam's backpacks came from L.L. Bean last night.

We got Kassidy one out of this section of teen backpacks and it's a GREAT size. It's large enough to hold everything she will need now and through middle and high school if her bag truly does hold up that long. It seems to be made really well and she loves it. The monogramming is kind of small, but no big deal I guess.

On Kameron's, I messed up, I'm afraid. I got him one labeled as youth backpack and it's REALLY small. It barely fits his folders in it. I thought about just trying to make it work, but for the money I paid I really want this to last him so I called them today and arranged to return it and ordered him a larger one. The lady I talked to was really nice and explained that those backpacks are better suited for pre-school age (which I can see now, but I think they should label them differently) but she helped me find a good one for him. And he's now getting this one:

It's very similar to his old one, just bigger, and it should last him a long time :). Once I get his new one I can ship back the one I have here. SO all that to say, if you're looking into L.L. Bean backpacks, go with the Teen ones or the Original Plus for more room, and I give their customer service two thumbs up! They were very helpful even when it was my dumb mistake! :) On that note, I'm off to finish labeling school supplies. It's days like this when I'm happy my kids all have the same initials! hehe

Wordless Wednesday - Caption This

(Picture taken by Jamie Wright Photography)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"You're mean mommy!"

This is what Kennedy told me today. I felt like I was leading a lamb to the slaughter. After lunch at my mom's house I told her, "We're going to the doctor, Kennedy." She happily hopped into the car and asked, "Am I sick?!" I replied, "No, you're not sick." She said, "A checkup at the doctor?" Ahhh something like that...

We got to the waiting room where she greeted friends, watched cartoons, looked at a couple books, and finally her name was called. She smiled and greeted the nurse and then walked back to the room... not knowing her fate. We talked for a minute, I signed the forms and the nurse left. Kennedy and I read a story and the nurse came back... then Kennedy saw them... the syringes.

"NOOOO!" She yelled.
"It will be over really fast," I replied. I laid her back and I hugged her. She whimpered as the nurse cleaned her leg. She cried as they gave her the first shot. Cried harder with the second shot and screamed with the third. When it was over she sat up and with tears streaming down her face, she stuck out her bottom lip and said, "You're MEAN mommy!" *sniff*

I know. It doesn't matter that she needs these shots to go to Kindergarten, I'm the most horrible mommy in the world right now. *sigh* Thankfully a Tinkerbelle sticker cheered her up some on the way out the door and maybe the strawberry shake that daddy is bringing home for after dinner will help even more. It's so hard to grow up.

QOTD #33

If you had to eliminate one emotion from your life, which would it be and why?

Q&A #95

The teen L.L. Bean bookbags will hold tons and tons of books, so the person who asked about the zippered binder that's what you should get. I could put 5 classes worth of college textbooks in there along with binders and other school stuff.
Thanks!! Ours still aren't here! :)

Amanda got an L.L. Bean backpack last Sept. Her backpacks always look like she threw them under a bus. LOL! I just got Daniel's yesterday. I also bought lunch boxes. Amanda's color is always light blue and Daniel is always red. Have you ever read "I love you the purplest"? Together they are purple.
I haven't read that! I'll have to look for it!

We had that problem in the last house. The whole bathroom was teeny tiny. Do you have one of those shelf units you can put over the toilet with some baskets and things?
I do... and sometimes I actually have my stuff on there. But most of the time, it ends up on the sink. *sigh*

I'll take the opportunity to answer the question about the shelf-unit...LOL...So Renee, remember when I bought you the really nice shelf unit for over the toilet and cleaned your bathroom and organized everything on the shelves? You should have taken a wider-view shot because they are right there...over to the right...see it?? LOL...what happened to that?
*ahem* Yes, yes I'll take a picture of my unorganized shelves someday. It makes it hard to USE the stuff if it's on the shelf though! I need it on the sink... a WIDE long sink, in arms reach. My next house WILL have a big sink. Dangit. LOL

Just curious, who are the labels for?
Our whole house is labeled :). We're teaching Kennedy sight words. They are all on with velcro so we can move them all around and she can put them back where they belong. If you look closely you can see the velcro dot where the word "sink" should be. That word disappeared at some point in time. I need to make a new one.

Is your counter always labeled or is that for our benefit?...LOL
Just for you! I wasn't sure you'd be able to find the counter under that mess! LOL Just kidding! I couldn't resist! :)

I must ask, how do you find all of these blogs? I love prayer requests and always send them to the family but it amazes me how many sites you come across!
Usually through other blogs on my google reader... I'm not sure how they find them, probably through other blogs on THEIR reader and they just get passed from one blog to another. I don't always pass along EVERY request but sometimes they just grab my heart like this one. *sigh*

What do you eat @ the mexican place?
Usually carnitas. I love it and I'm a creature of habit. I actually got carne asada last night though and that was good too! :)

School supply lists get on my nerves! The one for the K school actually says "only by the name brands that we specify" WHAT??!!! Now I have to buy a specific name brand! And man....I could go on and on about the whole colors thing....AND how many glue sticks they ask for! Geez!
Thankfully they don't ask for specific brands! On Kameron's list they asked for a specific brand of dry erase markers but that was the only brand there anyway so no big deal. I usually buy crayola crayons even though I know that Kennedy most likely won't be using the crayons that she brought in but they had NO 16 count crayons in that brand so they're getting a generic brand. When Kam started Kindergarten I had the hardest time finding the 8 count crayons in ANY brand so I made sure to stock up on those early this year. And that's all I'm going to say about that. LOL

aww I miss all your posts. I actually checked my reader and thought to myself "the internet isnt working because Renee's blog isnt showing its updates!" =)
LOL I know, I can't even blame the internet or blogger this time! I will get back into the swing of things soon. Once school starts again you won't be able to get rid of me! :)

If you do fall asleep in your food please have Frank take a pic! Kidding. Have a great dinner.
ROFL I'm sure he would have been right there with his camera phone ready! hahaha

I guess we're spoiled, our PTA puts together school packs specific to the grade level in our elementary school. they run about $25.00 each but they have everything, they need for the year. I've seen paper bags, paper plates, etc in them in years past. and the PTA gets a cut of the money. With lots of kids, I've gotten spoiled. Now I have two in middle school and one in high school and they don't do the packs. So it's back to the store!!
That's a GREAT idea!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Sorry I've been so absent lately! I have been SO tired lately and just can't seem to find the energy to do anything let alone blog! I still have one more set of pictures from our vacation to post which I haven't even edited yet and then you know, just daily life posts, but I'm dragging!! Today while Kennedy was at school and Keeghan was napping I laid down for "just a minute" and took a two hour nap! I must say I'm feeling much better now but all the chores I intended to get done lay unfinished. *sigh*

I DID manage to get to Wal-Mart this morning and finish school supply shopping. I couldn't find the kids lists to get all the specific stuff before, but now I have them and it is done except for their personalized stuff which is coming via mail. I now have more glue sticks than I ever thought possible! LOL And Kennedy needed 5 boxes of 8 count skinny crayons AND 5 boxes of 16 count skinny crayons. I have serious issues with the whole crayon thing. I could rant for hours. But I won't because then you'll all think I'm seriously delusional... more than some of you already do! hahaha

Anyway, I need to go get ready for dinner, we're meeting friends from Vanderbilt at Pancho Villas! YAY! Mexican food! Hopefully I won't fall asleep in my dinner! :)

Prayers for baby Ned

Please be praying for baby Ned Dellinger. He almost drowned in the bath tub and is currently in ICU. Please keep his parents in your prayers as well. You can follow his story on his blog.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

QOTD #32

If you could change one thing in your house right now, what would it be?

For me, it would be this:

This is my WHOLE bathroom sink. And I purposely didn't clean it off first because honestly, this is how it usually looks. SO when I'm trying to get ready, like right now when I'm trying to get ready for church, I am constantly knocking things off (usually onto my feet). It makes my process loud and painful. GRR I need more counter space!!!!

SO what would you change in your house if you could?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Q&A #94

Say, are you going to NDSC in a few weeks? Wanted to see if there was a get-together of some fellow bloggers that I could sneak in on!!
Nope, I wish!!! We are really hoping to go next year though! It's just too far away this year. Have a great time!

Im glad that you got them LLBean bookbags. I promise you will not be disappointed in them. What did they get? Colors?
Kassidy chose this one:

and Kameron chose this one:

Which ll bean packs did you get?? I want to order some for my big kids (5th and 9th grades) and I was wondering about the sizes. My 9th grader needs one big enough to hold a zipper binder....
I'm not sure yet about the sizes, they're not here yet, but the one that Kassidy got is advertised as a "teen" backpack so I would assume it's big enough to hold lots of binders and books. I will let you know when ours come in.

And...On the beach thing!! We live in South Carolina and always go to Myrtle Beach. Have you guys been there?
We haven't, but I've heard it's beautiful there!!!

Those are really great pictures. How did you do the shadowed borders? I love that.
It's called Vignette and I used

I just love your collage. She is a little actress isn't she? LOL
LOL THAT she is!

i love this collage, please remind me where you did it at
This too was done at :)

Oh my gosh I meant Sesame Place not Hershey Park. Guess I had chocolate on my mind LOL! But they're in the uh, same state... right... yeah that's it.
LOL! Too funny! Well to answer your original question, Sesame Place is expensive, but they do a program called Hero Salute for Military Families so we got 4 tickets for free and the others at a discount. :)

Is Kassidy's hair in a french braid? Kinda looks like's that going?
It is. No thanks to me. LOL My friend Stephanie did that. I've tried and tried and I just can't make it work!!! *sigh* I'm not giving up though... much to Kassidy's dismay. My brain gets it, my fingers just won't cooperate! LOL

Your poor kids. They never get to do anything fun.
I know, right?! They're so deprived.

Oh, and I'm right there with you on the bug thing. I went to have a shower one night and there was a spider who's body looked the size of a giant grape (but ugly black spider colourer)and its hairy legs were about 3 cm long. I SCREAMED (thankfully it didn't wake Eden) and threw an encyclopaedia on it. William had to come take care of it before I'd take a shower (I stood trembling in our room waiting whilst he rolled his eyes but went to take care of it) and then I made him throw the book away. Not a problem. We don't need to ever know anything that starts with the letter A, I'm sure of it. I mean, honestly, you'd have done the same no?
Oh absolutely. LOL

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Pampered Chef Giveaway!!!

Lora Leigh is having a Pampered Chef Giveaway for her 100th post!!! Hop on over and check it out! Be sure to enter for a chance to win! :)

A sneak peek

There's a sneak peek of Kennedy and Keeghan's birthday portraits yes I know, their birthdays were in May, the pictures were done the beginning of June and you're just now seeing them in July! on our photographer's blog. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Q&A #93

I have been a lurker for awhile (that sounds creepy), but finally had to give in after seeing all these vacation pictures....I am dying to know what kind of camera you use! Every single last one of your pictures look so professional - then I flip over to mine and they look...haha we'll leave it at that! lol Anyway, please do share :) And then please come back to Lancaster County (we live minutes away from Dutch Wonderland!) and do a photoshoot with my boy haha
LOL I have a Canon Rebel XTi (Digital) camera. I love my camera! Then I use to crop and change certain ones to black and white or if I want to play with the coloring like on these ones:

I also use that site to do the collages and frames and stuff. Most of the features are free, but some you have to pay for... it's $25 a year... totally worth it if you take a lot of pictures... not that I do. *ahem*. I'll be back in PA in January! :)

Looks like a good time had by all! Have never made it to Hershey Park but one of these days, it's not too far. Is it expensive? I've heard that it is but I might be thinking of somewhere else.
We have actually never been to Hershey Park either. We went to Hershey World last year, but not Hershey Park. I've heard it's more for older kids so maybe in a few years when all the kids will enjoy it... assuming we're still going to Philly for check ups every year!

you are busy. School already, wow that vacation went fast?!
I know, right?! *sniff* I'm sad that the kids are going back to school already!

Well I took a big investment and bought LLBean book bags for my kids. My daughter is going into the 8th grade and shes had same bookbag. I got it in the 3rd grade, so 3-7th and still going strong. My other daughter has had her since 4K and shes going in to the 4th grade. They have a lifetime warrenty on these and they have there names on them.
You know, after reading through the backpack post from last year, I remembered how many people recommended it then too and decided to do the same thing. I let Kass and Kam pick them out this morning... except I just did their initials because then if they DO get tired of them or if they really do outlast their school years I can always pass them onto Kennedy and Keeghan! haha Kennedy still has her Groovy Girl backpack that she's using for preschool that's in good shape so she's all set :).

I'm buying school supplies fro pre-K, K(x2), 2nd and 5th grade....and I am NOT old. So, neither are you!!!!
OK sounds good to me! LOL

I'm confused (and who is really surprised). :) Do you have to be Canadian to play duck duck goose?
Ohhhh Leslie! HOW did you miss the whole Duck/Canadian Geese saga?! LOL Read here and here. Then you won't be confused! LOL

And according to Jen, there's no such thing as a Canadian Goose. hehe
The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a wild goose belonging to the genus Branta, which is native to Arctic and temperate regions of North America, having a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body. It is quite often called the Canadian Goose, but that name is not strictly correct, according to the American Ornithologists' Union.[2]

That is so cute. She is a doll. I need to learn how to do something like that for my kids. That would be a great scrapbooking page. How did you do that? Did you use picnik?
Yep, I used picnik. I cropped each picture to a square, added the vignette to it and then used one of their pre-made collages. SO easy! :)

Just a second...where is one with her beautiful smile?? The one you took of her sitting on a bench while we were on vacation would be a great one...I love her "happy" smile....
She didn't have a "happy smile" when I was shooting that series of photos lol.

Looks like you all had a blast on vacation. When are you coming to FL? LOL I would LOVE if I could get to TN next year.
Hopefully next year, but we'll see... if you come here, that would be even better!!! :)

What a great time. It all looks like so much fun! Hey, we just found out this week that our team is heading back to Memphis this Nov. I was supposed to go last year but Carson had surgery right before. So I'm hoping when we get closer, we can figure out a meeting place.
That would be great! Hopefully Kellsey will be home by then too! :)

Looks like fun. Was Keeghan eating the sand? I haven't taken CJ to the beach yet, but I have the feeling he won't be too keen with the sand. When he falls outside he gets so upset if there's dirt on his hands. I have to wipe his hands off and then help him up because he doesn't want to touch that dirty ground again ;). Can't imagine him picking up handfuls of sand. So next time you are going to have to venture a little further north than New Jersey. To oh I don't know CT ;). Hey, if nothing else Frank could check out Sikorsky for the helicopters ;).
Oh no, he wasn't eating it. It was actually driving him NUTS that it was on his face! LOL It was wiped off right after those pictures. :) I was kind of hoping he would taste the salt water though thinking maybe it would detour him from drinking bath water but he had NO interest in even trying to taste the ocean water. Go figure! Poor Kameron on the other hand drank gallons of the stuff while he was on the boogie board. He just couldn't seem to keep his mouth closed!
As far as our next beach trip goes, if it were up to me, the next time we see an ocean it would be the Pacific! I don't think that's going to happen though! haha

Vacation Pictures - Part 14

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vacation Pictures - Part 13

The beach! On Sunday the 5th we went with my friend Jen and her kids to a beach in New Jersey called Spring Lake. I was a little worried about Keeghan because when we went to National Harbor he HATED the sand so I wasn't sure he was going to handle the beach well at all, but he warmed up eventually and had a good time.

Kassidy LOVED the water and stayed in the waves pretty much the whole time. Kameron went back and forth between the water and building sand castles. Kennedy hung out right at the shoreline and ran from the water, played in the wet sand and made lots of friends! :)

Jen, somehow I got NO pictures of Ryan! I don't know how that happened!


Jen's daughter Emily

Is there something on my leg?

Here, Kennedy let me help you!

A few more tomorrow :)

Wordless Wednesday - The many faces of Kennedy