Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let's Get Fired Up!!!


Registration for the 2011 Fired Up! For Down Syndrome statewide conference is now open and available online.  The conference date is nearing, so be sure to REGISTER NOW to take advantage of early registration discounts!  Join disability advocates, researchers, educators, family members, self advocates, and medical professionals in a two-day conference with sessions on important topics related to Down syndrome!

Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brentwood United Methodist Church

309 Franklin Road | BrentwoodTennessee 37027 

To register online, click hereTo download a PDF of the registration form, click here. 

For area hotels, click here.  For an UPDATED schedule of presenters, click here.

For even more information, visit
Craig Garner, PhD
Craig Garner is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the co-director of the Center for Research and Treatment of Down Syndrome at Stanford University. Dr. Garner is developmental neurobiologist interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation, stability and plasticity of vertebrate synapses. He is investigating not only the role of individual proteins in the functional assembly of synapses, but also how environmental and genetic insults to the developing nervous system impairs cognitive function in neurodevelopmental disorders such as Down syndrome, autism, and fragile X syndrome.
Jo Ann Simons, MSW
Jo Ann Simons, MSW, is well known in the area of intellectual disability and whose commitment has enriched the lives of countless individuals.  Currently the President/CEO of The Cardinal Cushing Centers, Inc. in Massachusetts and formally she was the Executive Director of the Arc of East Middlesex (1993-2008) . She holds positions on the Boards of the National Down Syndrome Society and of LIFE, Inc of Cape Cod.  Jo Ann also served as a consultant to Special Olympics, Inc. and lectures throughout the world on issues on transition and future planning. Jo Ann has gracefully blended the roles of parent and professional, who, as a leader, has challenged herself and those around her to turn problems into answers and challenges into opportunities.
The conference will kick-off on Friday with keynote speakers Dr. Craig Garner, Co-Director of the Stanford  Down Syndrome Center, and Jo Ann Simons, President/CEO of Cardinal Cushing Centers, Massachusetts, but there are many other excellent speakers presenting as well.

Other national speakers include George Capone, Director of the Down Syndrome Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Terri Couwenhoven, Coordinator of the Down Syndrome Clinic at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Joe Meares, founder of Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome, and Renee Hill, TalkTools Therapy Level 6 Instructor and owner of Crossroads Therapy Clinic, LLC, who will all be presenting alongside many of our local experts.  Topics covered include medical research, speech & language, lifespan health, behavioral issues, employent, educaiton, family issies, mental heath, transitions, and financial planning.  We will be mailing a full schedule very shortly, so watch your mailbox!

Saturday’s schedule begins with a Self-Advocate Panel Discussion, featuring presentations by individuals with Down syndrome and a lively question-and-answer session. Following, there will be a Medical/Health Panel highlighting various areas of interest including neurobehavior, ENT, sexuality and physical/mental health. 

This year we are excited to host a two-day Teen and Adult Track with informative presentations as well as fun activities.  Participants should be able to follow instructions and care for their own personal needs. Due to the length of this conference, childcare will not be available.

Fired Up! is your chance to see local and national experts on Down syndrome right in your own back yard. The next conference won’t be offered in Tennessee  until 2013, so make sure you don’t miss out. Register today!  If you have any questions concerning the conference, please contact us at 615.386.9002            615.386.9002 We hope to see you there!
 This course is offered for a maximum of 1.2 ASHA CEU’s (intermediate level; professional area).

Interested in Exhibiting or Volunteering?
Is your business or organization interested in exhibiting at the conference? Setting up a booth to promote your product or service is a great way to reach families who might benefit!  Volunteers are vital to helping the conference run smoothly and will be greatly appreciated! Contact Beth Simmerman or 615.386.9002 for more information on volunteering or exhibiting.
Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee • 111 North Wilson Blvd. • Nashville, TN 37205

Friday, April 29, 2011

Q&A #188

Oooh, you'll be in CO in August? I think that is when the Buddy Walk in the Springs is. Hopefully we get to meet you all then! 
We will!! I'm excited we'll be there for our first CO Buddy Walk!! I hope the weather will be nice! :)

I LOVE that I think his shirt says "TAKE ME SOMEWHERE FUN!"

It DOES! Too funny! I didn't even notice! That was actually Max's shirt. Keeghan threw up all over his so it was in the washer at Jolie's house. 

On another note, I went to the movies that same day to watch HOP, but it wasn't showing anymore in my city... :( So I watched RIO instead... pretty funny :D 
In my opinion, Rio was MUCH better! We all LOVED that movie! Hop was cute, but pretty cheesy. 

How did Keeghan do with that shot of Rocephin? I got that shot a few times, and it BURNS!!! I'm sure that didn't go over well w/ a 3 yr old! OUCHY OUCHY!
That shot DID hurt, I felt so bad for Keeghan and then for Kennedy when they got it :(. They both cried and cried. It made them better quickly though!

I loved the girls matching outfits, where did you find it? :D
Crazy 8! I love that store!

I've commented before about this but I just can't get over it. Kellesy seems to be blossoming. I don't know if it's just her age or the time she's been home but I can really see her having fun. She always seemed so withdrawn before. Although, maybe she's just not camera shy anymore! 
I think it's a combination of a lot of things... I've learned how to catch her in her good moods with the camera, which she was in more often on this trip because we were out of the house doing something. She hates being at home! She definitely still has her withdrawn moments, but... two steps forward, one step back. Or something like that. :) We'll take the good moments as they come. 

come on renee you know you did the project and made him pose like he was LOL...couldnt resist
nice job kameron best rainforest ever! 

Darn it! You caught me! LOL I don't think he would have let me do it if I tried! hahaha He's a bit of a control freak like his mother. *ahem*

I looked and looked and can't find the chameleon. Where is it?
It's in the back corner, he's blue... blending in with the water. ;)

You let him use glue where there's carpet?!
I do believe that's the best looking rainforest I've ever seen!

Yeah, he's pretty good with glue... now if it were Keeghan or Kennedy... or you know, ME, we'd be at the table. LOL 

Are those colored bubbles? You are in for it! My dog still has blue spots on him from over 2 weeks ago and so does my porch! We live in CO so it has rained and snowed and still the blue marks remain! But the kid had a blast! 
Ugh yeah. Darn that Easter Bunny. Watch for a blog review on those dumb bubbles later. Grr! 

Hi Renee
I've been meaning to share something with you... and now I remembered and I'm not too sleepy to do so, so... in spite of my feeling badly that you've all been sick, here it is. It'll give you happy tears, even if you have already seen it.

I have seen that before, but it was great for another cry. Thanks! :) 

App of the Week #14

So this is totally not a kid app, unless you have a big kid who is tech-y. Kameron actually loves this, but his iPod doesn't have a camera so he can't use it. Frank (who is also a big kid) has been having way too much fun with this app on his phone though.

What: Photosynth
By: Microsoft (take note folks, my husband loves an app by Microsoft!)
Cost: FREE!!!! 

Check it out... Click on it and use your mouse to pan around... you will see a 360 view of my hair salon and A LOT of Kamerons! LOL

The Many Kamerons...

How it works: Frank took a bunch of pictures (and obviously Kameron got in the middle of all of them lol) and then the app stitched them together and put motion to it.

Here's another one of the Atrium of the hotel where we stayed in Birmingham. You can pan up and see the ceiling, pan down and see the floor, and go completely around in a circle.

It would be a great app to have on the beach or at Disney World or somewhere like that. The key is to take the pictures seamlessly. Practice makes perfect... and it's fun!!! :) Enjoy!!! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!

Sorry I didn't get this up last night as promised! Part of it is because I'm a slacker (big shocker there!) and the other part is because I wanted to post about Kameron's project instead! ;) So, if you noticed that I didn't post the winner of the giveaway yesterday, thanks for not calling me out on it. :)

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! We had 71 responses and the majority of you said that if disaster struck your home and your loved ones were out safely, you would grab your laptop, camera or pictures. Obviously you can't put a price on memories. As for me, that's the first thing I would grab, too. I have all my pictures burned to DVD and in a case ready to go should I need to leave quickly.

OK onto the results and the winner of the Kodak EasyShare Camera! I used to choose a winner and it picked #26:
Robyn Schueler said...
My scrapbooks
Congratulations, Robyn!! Please email me with your address and I will pass it along to the people from NAIC. You should receive your camera soon!! 

Alabama Pictures - Part 4

First off, Kennedy is feeling much better! That shot of Rocephin did her a world of good. She is still coughing some but hasn't had a fever for 24 hours now. Thank you so much for keeping her in your prayers!

Here are the last of our pictures from Alabama. These are from Easter Sunday. Keeghan was feeling mostly better by this point, but he was still coughing pretty badly and Kennedy was starting to feel badly so we decided taking them to church was probably a bad idea, especially since it was going to be a new environment for them.

We slept in and then got up and packed our stuff and then let the kids go through their Easter baskets...

We went downstairs to meet George and Jolie and their family for lunch at Ruth's Chris before heading out. It was nice to spend some more time with them before we left. Jolie made Easter baskets for the kids, too! I didn't even think to take pictures of it though. Ugh!

We did manage to get all the kids together for a picture before we left though. Ten kids... almost all of them looking at the camera. Are you impressed? Don't be. I took like 40 shots. One of them was bound to turn out. LOL

Then we gave hugs all around and it was time to say goodbye... 

It was a fun, crazy, chaotic weekend! I love the Harris family. My kids love their kids. I wish that we lived closer and instead we are moving further away. That stinks. 

Please keep the Harris Family in your prayers as their community was hit hard by storms yesterday and the day before. Tuscaloosa was also hit hard by a tornado and the loss of life is devastating. Jolie and her family are still without power but they are safe. Many others around them were not so fortunate though. Keep Middle Tennessee in your prayers as well as we are showing signs of flooding like last year. Georgia is being hit hard, too. Please keep the entire South in your prayers! We need it!

Tuscaloosa Tornado: 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Chameleon

Kameron told me last week that he had a school project coming up. My favorite thing! HA! :) Actually though, this one was pretty easy. It was a wild animal project and the kids all did the report part in class. I learned a lot from Kam about his chosen animal - a chameleon. The first thing I learned is that they are supposed to be wild and not a pet! ;)

The home part of this project was to make a habitat for his wild animal. And, since it's due tomorrow, Frank and I set out to get the stuff Kameron requested from Hobby Lobby today. We're efficient like that. *ahem*

I love Hobby Lobby. I love the people who work there, because they took Kameron's list and just found us so much better stuff. Kam was thrilled when he came home and we laid it all out for him. Then Frank found a box in the garage, Kam raided his animal bucket, and he got to work...



Carefully placing the floor of the rainforest  

This was a hula skirt... 

Not anymore!

Cutting out the river (because what's a rainforest without water?)

Hanging vines (aka pipe cleaners which I will be finding the remainders of all over my floor forever!)

Shaping the waterfall and adding foam


Time to place the rocks and creatures... 

The final product!!!

So the question is... 
Well? Can you? 

Alabama Pictures - Part 3

Saturday afternoon we took some time to swim in the indoor pool in the hotel... it was the first time the kids have had a chance to swim this year! I was a little worried that Kennedy wouldn't remember what to do, but I put her puddle jumper on and she jumped right in and took off! ;) Kellsey loves the water and enjoyed her little floaty boat. Frank even got her out for a little while. Keeghan was going to just sit on the top step, but he saw everyone else having fun and couldn't stand it anymore! He joined in, too! Here are some pictures...

Here I go... floating away! 


Dead Man's Float... 

Fun in the... not sun. LOL 

Sweet girls! 

Swim to me, Kennedy!

Hi, Mom!

I'm coming to get you!

My boys!


Off for a swim...

This is fun!

Kiss the daddy

Help! He is going to drop me!

Much better!

Pool time fun!

Do you see me, Mom? I'm getting in!

I stole Kellsey's boat! HA!

I don't know if I like this or not... 

HEY Keeghan! Get out of my boat!

Now this is fun!

Is she sticking out her tongue at me?! Booger!

Love that smile! :)

And that smile, too!

Going for a boat ride

Sassy girl!

Keeghan's turn!

Saturday night we went to dinner with Jolie and her family and Julie (who adopted Daisy) and her family to Joe's Crab Shack and I forgot my camera! :( I was so sad! I think Julie got some pictures though so if she did, I will post them! More tomorrow. :)