Nothing excites me more than when my kids are awarded Character Kid at their school. I know that they possess wonderful qualities, but when other people see it in them, that's something really special. Kameron has received Character Kid in previous years for Trustworthiness, and Fairness. This year he was awarded for Caring. All of these are wonderful traits and I definitely see them in my guy! I'm so proud to be his mother! I love you so much, Kameron! Always remember to keep caring about those around you.
Well, we woke up this morning, checked our flight status: All good.
I took a shower, checked our flight status: On time.
Got the kids up and dressed, checked our flight status: Good to go.
My mom dropped Kass, Kam and Keeghan at the neighbor's house because there was no school today, I checked our flight status: Perfect.
Loaded my suitcase and carry-ons in the car while my mom scraped all the snow and ice off the van windows, checked our flight status: Awesome.
Got Kennedy and Kellsey into the car, and we slowly, oh so slowly, took off to Nashville to the airport. Made it there safely, pulled up to the curb, checked our flight status: cancelled. WHAT?! GRR!
My mom circled the terminal with the girls while I went inside to see if there were anymore flights to Philly today... Nope. None. Nada. Zilch. Every flight cancelled. Fine.
Went to get gas, get the girls breakfast, called Shriner's, called the hotel, new appointment February 24th. Great.
Came home, took a nap, late lunch, watching movies, wondering if I can live out of a suitcase for the next month instead of unpacking... no? Probably not. Hey, at least all the clothes are clean! No school again tomorrow... guess we will be lazy. There's no place like home... yet, I'll be dreaming of a Philly Cheesesteak tonight! ;)
Today has been BUSY!!! Kellsey and I were woken up at the Sleep Center at 5am and told to get out! umm please leave. LOL We hit the road by 6am with Kellsey's hair full of lovely goo. And may I just say, she was not happy with me when I had to wash it out tonight! ;)
I got back to my mom's around 7am, Kellsey went right to bed, I slept for about an hour and then woke up to take Kassidy and Kameron to school. Kennedy and I then went to my hair salon so I can be a "natural" blonde again. ;) After that, she and I grabbed a bite to eat and then went back and picked up Keeghan and Kellsey from my mom's house and hit the car circle. We came home and I made a mad dash to pack!
Tomorrow, Kennedy, Kellsey and I are flying to Philadelphia for our semi-annual trip to Shriner's Hospital for Children where we will meet with their orthapedic surgeon to get their necks checked out. Hopefully we will get good results on both girls!
Oh yeah, back to the packing, so I packed all of our stuff to take to Philly and then realized that I also needed to pack for the other 3 kids to go to my mom's while I am gone. *sigh* Fine! Oh and Kennedy reminded me that I had to pack for Charlie too. I think somehow I now have 6 kids. LOL
Somewhere in there we squeezed in dinner and Kellsey's hair washing, and they still got to bed by 8:00! YES! Now I am catching up on emails and TV shows and waiting to hear if snow is going to cancel school in the morning again, and maybe even *sniff* ground the planes? *sniff* I hear we're supposed to get anywhere from 1-6 inches here, depending on the channel I'm watching or the Facebook status I'm reading, and Philly could get up to a FOOT of snow tomorrow night! Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. NOT! Whoever keeps ordering the snow (Emma!), please cut it out! ;)
OK off to finish watching my shows and then try to remember what I forgot to pack! Please pray for safe travels, on the road and in the air, for all of us tomorrow! I'll post from Philly! :)
Kellsey and I are here at the Vanderbilt Sleep Clinic doing her first ever sleep study... or as I like to call them, the NON-sleep study! HA! They want to know how bad her apnea is before she has her tonsils and adenoids removed in a few weeks, so they can do another sleep study after her surgery and compare the two. Hopefully the one afterwards will show vast improvement!
We got here a couple hours ago and Kellsey is all hooked up with wires everywhere and ready for bed. She did GREAT while the guy hooked her up. She sat very still and just looked at me like, "I don't understand what's going on around here!" HA! She is sound asleep already, so hopefully they'll get a good reading tonight. She's a good sport, just like her big sister.
Here are some pictures of her getting all hooked up. I remembered to bring my real camera from home, and then left it in the car... dang it! LOL These are still cute though!
I can't move my chin over much further, man!
You're putting that wire where exactly?!
Don't mind me, I'm just sitting here!
Dude, really... it's called "personal space!"
Are you watching what's happening here, mom?!
And now I get a head massage. Alrighty then.
Weirdest. Hotel. Ever.
Houston, we have a problem.
I feel like something is different, I just can't put my finger on it...
Is there something on my face? No? How bout baby's face?
OK so somewhere out there, in the land of the Internets, there is a link back to my blog to this post from November. I can't figure out where, or why, but I have literally gotten hundreds of anonymous comments on this post starting a few days after it went up. I get about 10 a day and they're all very random. I've published a few so you can see, but most I just delete. I kind of feel bad about deleting them, but really... there can't be that many people who stumble across that post and find it life-changing. Just sayin'. None of them are mean or anything and none of them link back to other websites like most spam comments do, it's just random, and always on THAT post. So, all you other wise bloggers out there, someone please tell me why! Surely I'm not the only one this is happening to? I've tried to track it and I can't, but I'm sure one of you can point me in the right direction, and then I will sleep better at night... or go on with my life... or something. LOL And before you ask, I know a bunch of you really like those "You Found My Blog How" posts, so I will get another one up soon! :)
Seven hours later, we are home! Kennedy is sleeping soundly on the couch next to me, still coughing her head off. She actually stopped for awhile while we were there... go figure! Her chest x-ray was clear, so that was good news. They gave her a breathing treatment and a prescription for albuterol for her nebulizer here at home. I will get that filled tomorrow later though. For now, I am going to follow Kennedy's lead and crash here on the couch. Thanks for praying for her!
Kennedy has been sick for a couple days now... and I jinxed myself because I said to someone, "We're finally at the point where, when Kennedy gets sick, it's not an automatic trip to the hospital." Wrong. This virus has settled into her chest and she's having trouble breathing. I called the advice nurse tonight and she heard her over the phone and recommended that I take her into the ER. She can barely get through a sentence without wheezing and can't take a deep breath without going into a coughing fit. So, she's going in for a chest x-ray and maybe a breathing treatment. I've gotten her temp down from 104 to 101, so that part is... good? I guess? Anyway, please say a little prayer for my girl... we're going into Vanderbilt because Gateway has a 4-5 hour waiting time just to get into a room and Vandy only has 3 people waiting right now. The other kids are going to my mom's for the night. Grandma to the rescue, again! Thanks, Mom! I'll update as I can.
I have been honored to partner with Hallmark before to do giveaways, but I think this one is my favorite, by far! Recently, Hallmark came out with Recordable Storybooks and they realized what a huge deal this could be for military families... and let me tell you, it is.
Recordable Storybooks feature voice-capture technology that records the reader’s voice, which is then captured within the Storybook. When a page is turned, the book automatically plays the text on that page in the reader’s voice. It’s a great way to capture a special moment that can be shared with a child over and over again. And since the recording lasts for the life of the book, it can also serve as a lasting memento of a loved one who is away because of duty or other circumstances (similar to the Recordable Cards).
Last year, Hallmark partnered with the VFW Foundation to donate 20,000 recordable storybooks to deployed soldiers and their families to help keep them in touch during the holiday season and beyond. We were able to get one of those storybooks and our kids just loved it!! Just watch... (Kellsey was not going to sit on that couch no matter how hard I tried, and believe me, I tried! You'll just have to take the other four!) ;)
Great, right?! They have read it over and over! The wonderful people at Hallmark have also said that two of YOU, my awesome readers, can win one of their new Valentine's titles as well! You can choose from the three below:
(This is the one read above)
So, how do you win?! WELL, just leave me a comment here telling me which book you would choose AND who you would give it to. That's it!! For an additional entry you can promote this giveaway on Facebook or your blog and leave me another comment telling me you did so. Double your chances to win! :) I will choose two winners using random.org on January 31, 2011 - ten days from today. Good luck to everyone!!!
Last April, I posted about Torry Ann Hansen, the single mother from Shelbyville, TN, who adopted a little boy from Russia and then, 7 months later, sent him back on a plane... by himself. I sat in front of my TV watching in shock. The fall-out from her actions could have been devastating for thousands of parents in the adoption process for their own children from Russia. It sparked a lot of questions from people who are not part of the adoption community... what do you do, if an adoption doesn't work? Because clearly, putting a small child on a plane and sending them back to Russia is just... not the right way to handle things (for lack of a nicer way of phrasing it)... right? Right.
Sometimes adoptions simply do not work, especially when you are adopting an older child. You are bringing a child into your home who has his own personality, his own thoughts about things, his own past... which can very well be a tortured one, especially coming from an orphanage in Eastern Europe. And you throw this child into a family who has been together forever who has their own personalities and ideas and ways of doing things and you say, "OK, let's blend." And everyone looking in from the outside expects you to become this happy, well adjusted family overnight.
Heaven forbid the parents say or feel anything negative... then there's fear of being bashed, of being accused of doing things wrong, of not being a good enough parent, of not trying hard enough, of not loving the child enough... and the list goes on and on. So most adoptive parents, in order to protect their hearts, choose to talk only about the good side of adoption, or just simply don't say much about it at all. This is really quite sad, because I think that we (the adoption community) have the potential to be a huge support for one another before, during and after the adoption process. Maybe, just maybe, if Torry Ann Hansen had someone to talk to, things would have worked out differently for her and Artem... or maybe not.
The truth is, sometimes adoptions just don't work. It's not the parents' fault or the child's fault. But, like so many asked after Torry Ann's story hit the news last year, what does a family do if this happens? There are many forms of therapy an adoptive family can seek out, from individual therapy, to play therapy, to attachment therapy (which can be controversial). But sometimes the family decides that it's best for the child and the family if the child is not living in the home anymore, especially if, as in cases like with Torry Ann's son, the child is violent. Then, the proper channels to go through would be to disrupt the adoption. This means that the child would be put up for adoption again, here in the United States, and hopefully another family would take him in. If not, he would go into foster care. There are many agencies who deal solely with disruption cases and many families out there who are willing to adopt from disruptions. Still, it's heartbreaking for all involved. It's not a decision to be taken lightly and it takes a life-long toll on all involved. Surely though, it has to be less damaging than putting your child on a plane and sending him back to Russia. Right?!
Anyway, you're probably wondering why I am rambling about all of this now, when this story was in the news almost a year ago! Well, I saw a news story tonight with a new twist on Torry Ann's case. It seems that another family wants to adopt little Artem (who she named Justin), who is sitting in a orphanage in Russia once again. However, Torry Ann is refusing to give up her parental rights. And once again I sat in front of my TV watching in shock. Why?! If you don't want him, I get it. I have watched enough families adopt and disrupt (the proper way... out of love... by not sticking their kid back on a plane) to get it. I understand that sometimes it just doesn't work out, but why not let the child be happy? Give him a chance at life and a family? And good grief, let yourself move past this and start to heal? The courts in Moscow have also ordered her to pay child support since she won't give up her rights as his mother, and I say more power to them. She is fighting that of course, but I hope they win. If she wants to keep those rights as his mother, then she should pay. Otherwise, she needs to let him go.
If you're a family out there in the process of adopting, especially from Russia, I'll be praying that this doesn't mess up your adoption process again. I know they have to be getting really tired of us Americans right about now.
Here's a practical issue. If the date is on the calendar as a holiday/day off/whatever you want to call it, and the parents have the day off as well via work, maybe, just maybe, plans have already been made for that time. Same for Spring Break. Obviously different parts of the country have to handle snow days both ahead of time and when they happen because of different statistical expectations for snow. I know it's not a big deal here in Colorado; built into the schedule. I can't think of a single time where they've had to make up a snow date though we have had a *few* in the time my kids have been in school. In the Seattle area, where I grew up, they were ALWAYS tacked on to the end of the year. (And graduations were typically AT the school, so graduation venue not an issue.) I'd be po'd if the school suddenly were to tell me we could not do something we'd planned for a long weekend or spring break (esp. if it involved travel) and that my kid would be penalized if he weren't there. I totally agree with you here! And they DID say that if your child would not be in school that day, the parent would simply need to write a note, but I think it would count as an absence for them (not sure about that). I know one teacher said that almost half their class had sent in notes before Monday. I get being upset if you have plans already, I don't get crying out racism. I truly don't think that was the county's intent... to be racist. Heck, we are out of school tomorrow now which means we go on President's Day... if people cried racism for that, we'd be laughed at. Seriously. If we had plans for MLK Day though, we wouldn't be changing those plans. As it turned out, they both missed school anyway because they were sick.
Hey Renee. Have you fix your computer problem? I read you were blogging through your Iphone. I was wondering though, why don't you borrow Kass or Kam laptop? Just a thought! Because they won't let me! HA! Just kidding! :) Actually I literally can't! We put kid friendly browsers on their laptops and a lot of websites, including my blog and facebook, are completely blocked. Good for them, bad for me! ;) My mom let me borrow her extra laptop for awhile and I finally got a new charger for mine and it seems to be running ok for now, though I'm still out of space and memory. GRR!
You don't save the pics?!!!!!!!!!! LOL Yes, these ones I have saved of course, I just mean the silly, pointless ones with food on their faces or if they're too close to the camera or if I take 10 pictures of the SAME thing because they keep saying, "Take a picture of THIS!" Or you know, I have lots of pictures of stuffed animals without the kids in them! haha I would look back at those later and think, "WHY?!" But yes, I save the cute ones, of course. :)
How many outfits does Kennedy have that match her american doll? they are all so cute, Thats crazy how many outfits they have that match Hmmm maybe about 10 outfits including pajamas. They're not official American Girl brand though (Don't tell Kennedy! haha). We found a line by Dollie & Me that's much cheaper, and the American Girl stuff is all too big for Kennedy. The Cinderella dresses don't EXACTLY match though... Kennedy got her dress last year for Christmas and the doll dress actually was for one of Kassidy's old dolls (the one with brown hair in the tea party pic) and Kass never really got excited about that doll so we never gave her the dress for it. I stumbled across the dress right before Christmas and thought, "YAY!" LOL
Love this pic of those two! Okay, so I have to ask - did Kennedy name Charlie? It's probably one of my favorite names for a little girl. Yes! LOL That was all her! There is a show she loves on the Disney Channel called Good Luck Charlie with a little baby named Charlie and Kennedy just loves her... hence the name Charlie. :)
Glad she's off the meds and can go a year!
Oh...you're moving?! ;o) NO! Where did you hear THAT?! haha Kidding!
Glad all looks good for now and hopefully taking her off the meds will work out too. And what about her upcoming surgery? Do they have a plan in place for that? No concern about her heart? They do... I suppose. We will meet with anesthesia a day or so prior to surgery to go over all that, but her ENT did get clearance from her cardiologist already.
Congratulations Kassidy. Renee, I hope that you're saving all of these things. It's good scholarship resume stuff. It's so hard to think about college scholarships now in 5th grade, but from my experience, it goes way too fast from here on out. Before you know it, she'll be applying for all of that stuff. :) Oh yes, I have everything saved! I really DON'T want to think about college yet though! haha
Keeghan is so cute! You know, out of all your kids, I think he looks the most like you... Awww thanks!!!! I love my little guy!!
Renee you may have to run Performance / Maintainence on your computer after you have deleted your pics because the computer does not realized that you have deleted those extra spaces and you will have to run "Free up space on your hard drive" I don't know How Mac does this but I am sure it is similar to other computer to run this program. This program will help to make your computer run faster and compact the spaces so you should have free space after that. Hope this helps! I.... will have to ask Frank how to do that! LOL I am SO not computer savvy! LOL
My friend Amanda is one of many women who were in a small group called Girls of Grace with me at church. Our group just recently ended, but I enjoyed every moment getting to know all of them and growing in the Lord with them. She and her fiancee, Brandon, got engaged on Christmas and they will be getting married in May!
Brandon is in Afghanistan right now so I haven't gotten to meet him yet, but I have been watching Amanda's excitement over her wedding planning, and have been remembering my own... the fun, the craziness, the stress! HA! It's a once in a lifetime experience and she seems to be having a blast so far!
Anyway, Brandon and Amanda entered a local radio contest with about 60 other engaged couples to win a bunch of fabulous prizes! They have been working hard to get the word out for votes, so I thought I would help them along! You can click on the widget below to read more about this amazing couple and vote for them. It requires a one time easy sign up, and then you can vote once a day until January 31st.
Please, please, please go vote and help them stay in the lead! I know it will mean a lot to their whole family! Thanks so much!
So lately the kids have this new game. It's called, "Take a picture of ME, Mom!" Even Kellsey will occasionally tap me and say, "Ma!" and point to my camera. No one is immune. All I have to say about this game is, "Thank the Lord for digital cameras!" ;) I take the picture, show them the picture, delete the picture. LOL Sometimes though the pictures come out really cute so I save them, but I don't really have anywhere to put them, so here's a few. I may need to bring back Wordless Wednesday if this continues ;).
Kennedy and Charlie... Two little princesses...
Getting ready to have tea party
Keeghan is such a good brother! ;) Notice that his monkeys came to the party, too! HA!
Kellsey and her books... she's making sure no one else touches them! LOL
More to come, I am weeding through picture folders right now! :)
Fifth grade comes with a lot of privileges. You get to be the top dog. You rule the school. You get a "job"... if you want one, and there are clubs and other things that you can join or be inducted into. Kassidy is loving every moment of her fifth grade year. She's been talking about it for a couple years now... "When I get to fifth grade I'm going to..." and she has. She's done almost everything she set out to do. Yesterday she graduated from D.A.R.E., she has a job working every morning in one of the kindergarten classrooms helping out, which she loves! And she was inducted into the National Jr. Beta Club.
The Beta Club's mission is to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students. To be inducted into the Beta Club, students had to be on the A/B Honor Roll and display good character during their time at Barksdale.
Last Friday, they had a Beta Club induction ceremony for its newest members. Kassidy was so excited, and I was so proud of my girl for working hard to achieve her dreams. Beta is a great organization that can open up a lot of doors for her in the future, and I know hers is a bright one!
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Welcome to my blog where I take on day to day life with my five amazing children: Kassidy, Kameron, Kennedy, Keeghan & Kellsey, and a husband in the Military. Join us as we face issues with Down syndrome, Leukemia, Deployments, and every day life with 5 young kids! You'll be in for the ride of your life!
My name is Renee, I am 34 years old, I am married to the Army... oh wait I mean I'm married to a Soldier, my hero. Same thing right? I am a misplaced Californian who lives in Colorado by way of Tennessee. I am a mini-van driving soccer mom... I always knew I would be! I am blessed to be able to stay home with my 5 amazing kids. Kassidy: my beautiful, too smart for her own good, funny, dramatic 13 year old who is starting her teen years with grace. Kameron: My high strung, smart, artistic, creative, silly, sometimes mysterious 11 year old who loves musical theater and acting. My 8 year old diva, Kennedy: who will most often be found dancing or dreaming of Justin Bieber. She's destined for the stars! Keeghan: my crazy, funny, silly, handsome 5 year old monkey who loves to ask me a million questions all day long; and our 6 year old Ukrainian Princess Kellsey who is finding her way in the world as she battles Reactive Attachment Disorder. Our goal for her is to make sure she knows she is always loved, wherever that may take her... I'm so incredibly blessed.