Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Would YOU Do?

Last night, ABC aired a show called What Would You Do? It's a hidden camera show where actors portray uncomfortable, infuriating or just downright crazy scenarios just to see how people around them will react... this one involved Josh, a bagger at a grocery store with Down syndrome (who was an actor) and other actors who called him all kinds of names for going too slow. The other customers (who were NOT actors) in the store reacted in various ways... watch...


So what would YOU do?! As Kennedy and Kellsey's mother, I of course would speak up. My mama bear instincts would come out and, well, I can't really say it would be a pretty scene. I LOVE what the last lady said at the end... "Everybody deserves an education, everybody deserves a job, and everybody deserves a chance at this life!" You go girl! Fight for our kids! It's people like you who make our world better!

Retreating back into my bloggy black hole now... be back soon... I hope...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNEDY!!!!

My beautiful Kennedy,

Today you are SIX! Of course you have been telling people that you are six for several days now in anticipation of your birthday; and I have been correcting you, saying, "No Kennedy, you're almost six." And then you would give me a look that should really only come from someone who is sixteen and you would sigh and say, "Alright!" :o) But now my little sincess, you are officially six! And I have to admit, it makes me a little bit sad, but mostly it makes me thankful.

Someone once said, "It kills you to see your children grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't." And I think whoever said that meant that she wouldn't want to be stuck with young children forever. However, when I first heard that quote, I just thought about how thankful I am to have you here to be able to watch you grow and thrive and blossom every year.

You have accomplished more in your 6 years of life than many adults EVER will. You have touched so many hearts and changed so many lives. You have brought people together and you have broken stereotypes. This year is going to be no different... you are going to rock the world, just by being who you are. And I'm so proud of you, my daughter. Always.

I will always thank the Lord for choosing me to be your mommy. He knew what He was doing when He blessed me with you six years ago. Because of you, I love a little more. Because of you, I take time to give an extra hug goodbye. Because of you, I live today, before I worry about tomorrow. Because of you, I will fight harder and longer for what I know is right. Because of you, today, I am me.

Happy Birthday my Sincess.
All my love,
Mommy

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Q&A #149

Still off in la-la land, but I am cleaning out my email box and had these sitting in there so I thought I would get them answered and posted! Hope you all are doing well!

I thought I read or heard somewhere, Renee, that she was in the process already of adopting again (not sure where in the process though). Did you hear anything about that? I can't imagine anyone giving her another child period.
Yes, she was in the process of adopting from the Republic of Georgia... not sure where that stands right now.

Renee, do you know if other countries besides Canada would be acceptable?
I think it would depend on that country's laws concerning International adoption. Many countries have such tight restrictions on adopting Internationally. Andrea may be able to answer that for you. bamaroberts@comcast.com

I laughed out loud when I read about Hillary...my husband thinks im crazy! I would love to "borrow" this and post some time...I think I am going to print this out and pass it out to some of my team I see on a regular basis, they would get a kick out of it.
I hope you've already done it by now, but... Borrow away!! :)

I took it to Lexie's IEP today nd while ours have always gone very well I thought they may all get a kick out of it and it was a hit. I e-mailed it to her resourse room teacher who has since forwarded it to all of the special ed department in our district and I think most of the general teachers.
Thanks again

I'm glad they all got a kick out of it... it's fun when the IEP Team has a sense of humor! ;)

Some of these are so sad...I hope I never do anything to make a parent feel any of these things. The comment about having a child discussed in the teacher's lounge hits close to home. I have had to report colleagues more than once for discussing issues of a confidential nature. I do not eat in the lounge to avoid having others ask me questions about my student's. Several times a year staff is reminded about confidentiality. I can teach them, but, I can't make them learn.
It IS sad... and obviously, since I grabbed this from a well known site, it's a common problem.

dear queen of iep's and all her iep expert friends,
we got some private testing done for one of our kiddos that according to the results and tennessee rules would mean our kiddo would qualify for an iep. before even having a meeting or seeing his evaluation report the school psych asked me on the phone what i wanted. i told her my wishful thinking accomodation, and she said it was an administrative call. she asked me to send in his eval tomorrow and she would talk with the administrator about it. whatever happend to having a MEETING with a team to decide what my kid needs and what i think he needs? i asked in writing for my son to be formally assessed in the district or for them to accept his private testing so his needs could be met...and instead i feel like they are having a secret meeting to decide if they will help me. is this wrong? by the way, the administrator H-A-T-E-S me....so let's just say i am certain he will say i can not have what i want...and hope i go away. at that point, what should i do? go to the district again? they are the ones who sent me to the school site. if i end up needing an advocate....... how do i find one?
thanks in advance!
brook

LOL! Well first, I am nowhere NEAR an expert... I learned that quickly! Never go to an IEP meeting without an advocate by your side. I will let others chime in here as far as advice goes, but I WILL say that you can get an advocate through your local ARC. If you are in Middle Tennessee, click here.

Just coming back to say - what can we do to help? Maybe I can check with the Red Cross. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you or your community from afar!
Yes, the Red Cross or Soles for Souls is another great organization giving back to our community right now! Thanks so much for asking!!!

I have been thinking about you and how you were doing. Everytime we drive through Clarksville I think about you and your family and mostly I wish that I had asked you for the name of a good place to stop for lunch. It sure is a nice town. I looked carefully at the pictures of the flooding. On Sunday my son was in one of those big rigs trying to drive from Alabama to Chicago through Tennessee. He was stopped and spent the night in a Wal Mart parking lot but managed to get through the next day. He said the flooding was unimaginable and felt so bad for everyone. I feel the same. Hope things dry out soon and that needed help gets there. My husband and I will drive through this summer and I hope it is back to the same beautiful place.
We will get there... eventually! When you drive through... off exit 11 there is Pancho Villas which has great Mexican food... if you're willing to drive a little further off the beaten path, downtown is the Blackhorse Pub and Brewery. Exit 4 has all the staples... Longhorne's, Logan's, Outback, O'Charley's, Applebees, Olive Garden, Old Chicago Pizza, Rafferty's and much more. Clarksville is a beautiful town! :) I'm so glad your son is ok!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Clarksville Flood and our Community

I know I am technically on a bloggy break, and I will soon retreat back into the facebook hole I've been dwelling in lately, but the fact is, history has been happening around me and I cannot let this moment pass me by. This past weekend, Middle Tennessee was hit by a catastrophic flood. I've had my eyes glued to facebook and to the news stations waiting for information on friends and family. I've been rejoicing with those who came out unscathed and mourning with those who did not. I am chronicling this event here for a few reasons...

1. For my children. While Kassidy and Kameron are aware of what is happening in our city, and those cities surrounding us, Kennedy, Keeghan and Kellsey are blissfully unaware of what is going on. And I'm glad. But years from now people are going to be talking about the Flood of May 2010. And I want them to remember.

2. For my extended friends and family who don't live here. First, know that we are ok... but many are not. What? You mean you haven't seen it on the news?! Shocker. The fact is, our city is underwater. Homes and businesses are lost. People have died. And that's just here in Clarksville. Nashville is worse. Where is the media? *sigh*

3. I'm blogging to brag on our community. I love Clarksville. We have lived here for six years, but in some ways I feel like I've lived here forever. Before we moved here, a tornado hit and wiped out downtown. I hear people talk about it all the time. I hear them talk about how the town rallied. How they rebuilt and how they were there for those families that needed help. And I have always thought, "Wow... that must have been an amazing sight to see."

And now, here I am, witnessing a natural disaster that I truly never thought possible in Middle Tennessee (call me naive if you must). And before the last raindrop fell, I saw my community, my church, my friends, my town... rally. I am watching them love and work and support and check on one another and reach out. I have seen friends who are stuck in their OWN homes offer to help other people stuck in their homes. They are making sure that no one is homeless, no one is hungry. They are offering dry vacs and fans and their time and their homes and they are donating clothes and whatever else they have to give to help people they don't even know. And it's an amazing sight to see.

For those of you who don't live in Clarksville (or Middle Tennessee) and may not really grasp what's going on here, let me share some photos with you. I did not take any of these and will try to give credit where credit is due. I am thankful for the photographers who have captured these images. From my front window everything looks normal, but less than 10 minutes away devastation has hit hard. Schools are still out... not sure when they'll be back in... it will be months before many businesses are up and running again. But as a community, we will get there. We'll pull together and we'll be stronger than ever. God is here. I have seen Him in the faces of my friends and of strangers. Please pray for the people of Middle Tennessee as we rebuild.

Photos by: Lisa Agnew
Interstate 24... creepy!

Dunlop Road

Dunbar Cave and Idaho Springs

House in Clarksville somewhere...

Clarksville Academy... (private school in town)

Guy kayaking in front of Hooters...

Another guy NOT needing a car from Gary Mathews...

More from Interstate 24

Interstate 24

Interstate 24

Mary's Music on Riverside Drive


Photos by: Adam Susong
Red River

Dunbar Cave Road

Dunbar Cave Road


Photos by: Connie Shiveley
State Farm Office on Riverside

Where Riverside changes into Kraft Street

Regions Bank on Riverside

McDonald's... car still in drive-thru

Car under water at Hardware City

Shoney's


Photos by: Mike Cheatham
Riverside Drive

Riverside and Hickory Grove


Photos by: Paula Williams
Two Rivers Mall

Swan Lake Golf Course

Madison Street

Coy Lacey Park... Kennedy has a field trip here in a couple weeks... we'll see...


Water Street Events Center... our church holds a lot of events here... so sad!! I think Lori Graham took this picture.

Arial shot of the Riverside Drive Area... not sure who took this, but it's one of my favorites... really shows the seriousness of what's going on here.


This is Clarksville. This is my home. Let's rally.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEEGHAN!!!!

Dear Keeghan,
Today is the day you have been waiting for! For several weeks now you've been telling everyone who would listen that you are two but that you would be three on May first. And well, my sweet boy... today is THAT day. You made it. I have to admit, from experience, I like age two better than age three. I'm not sure why, but history has proven that terrible twos aren't so terrible for all of you... threes on the other hand have been... well... not so fun. Are you going to keep this Garcia tradition going? I guess we'll find out!

I am so loving this time with you, Keeghan. I love all the things you are learning right now. I love your curiosity and the questions and observations you come up with. I love that you have a mind of your own... most of the time. I love the hilarious things you say. You can make me laugh when no one else can. I love when we give Eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses every night, and I love when you ask me to help you pray to Jesus. I love when you climb into my lap and snuggle your head under my chin and just sit with me for a few minutes before you run off to play again. I love those rare moments when you still fall asleep in my arms. I know those moments are fleeting.

I am so looking forward to spending your special day with you! I know you can't wait for your Yo Gabba Gabba party with your friends... and you can finally tell everyone, "I'm THREE!" It's going to be a wonderful day!

I love you my little, little guy.
Always and forever.
Love,
Your mommy