Friday, August 31, 2012

Perspective

So I dropped the kids off at school today and drove to Target to get some shopping done. I had my list all written out - two birthday presents for the party Kameron is going to tonight, toilet bowl cleaner, peanut butter and wrapping paper for the aforementioned presents. I know, short, strange list. I shop in stages.

I was in the store for literally 15 seconds when a voice boomed over the loudspeaker: "Attention Target guests, would the owner of a black Dodge Grand Caravan please report to guest services."

Crap! That's me. Crap. Someone just hit my van in the parking lot. Crap! I hope they have good insurance and if that's the case, I hope they totaled it so I can just get a new car and not deal with the repairs. (Hey just being honest!)

So I get to the front and see Mr. Customer Service Guy standing there waiting for me with a look on his face that tells me that surely something awful has happened. Crap!! "What happened to my van?" I asked.

"Do you drive a black Dodge Grand Caravan?" He replied.

"Yep. That's me. Did someone hit it?"

"We're going to have to talk about this outside. "

CRAP!!! This is not good!! Just then another lady runs up with a full cart and a toddler in the front, frantic, and says, "It's me! That's my car! What happened to my baby?!"

Huh?! Mr. Customer Service Guy and I both stared at her and then at each other. He asked her, "Do YOU drive a black Dodge Grand Caravan and did you leave a baby in the back?"

Ohhhhh. That is most definitely NOT my van! He proceeded to tell her that the fire department was there and she needed to follow him. I followed too, because, well, I'm a little nosy and I just had a mini heart attack thinking someone just totaled my van and I wanted to make sure it was ok.

It was. Thankfully, so was her newborn baby.

I don't understand what made her decide to bring her toddler into the store and not her newborn. I don't understand what was so important that she needed inside of Target... Her cart was FULL and even though it was 9am, it was warm out already. I don't understand why the police officer let her drive away with her children, but she did. Just two moms in two black Dodge Grand Caravans. As we drove up to a red light we made eye contact. She looked... Terrified. I imagine I would too. I realized that I don't know her. She made a very bad choice this morning but I don't know her or her story. I said a little prayer for her and her children and gave her a little smile before I drove away, knowing it might be the only one she sees today. 

And I'm glad my van is not totaled. ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm Special

Last night was Kameron's Back to School night. I got to see his classroom, hear his teacher talk about what their year would look like and on Kameron's desk was a story he wrote. I thought it was FANTASTIC. It made me laugh. He is such a funny, self assured, completely random kid. I love him so much! So with Kameron's permission, I am sharing this with you. All wording, spelling and grammar will be left as Kameron wrote it... because that makes it great! :)

"I'm Special" 
By: Kameron Garcia

Everyone is special in their own way and not all specialties will be the same. I'm different, I'm extraordinary. All people have smarts. Mine are people smarts, musical smarts and sport smarts. 

My first smart is people smart which means I'm very social so I can help in a social problem. Most people work alone, but for me the more the merrier! Actually, one thing I usually do is some kind of after school activity. Also I can work better by interacting with others. That's how I'm socially smart. 

My next smart is musical smart. This smart means I like music. I can easily pick up on patterns and I'm really good at timing. For me, musicals are more interesting than dramatic plays. Plus, I enjoy many kinds of music. 

My last smart is sport smart. This smart means I'm good at staying active and playing some sports. I can't just sit still for a long period of time. Plus I can understand some sign language. Also, I like doing arts and crafts, and I learn by doing. 

Well, now you know that I am social smart, music smart and sport smart. Even though I'm not as fast as a cheetah or as graceful like a butterfly, I'm special and if you think that anybody is exactly like me, I'll be amazed. So if you think that you're not special, forget that voice that says you're as useless as a rock. Just tell yourself that you are special. And that's all I have to say! We're all unique and that's how I'm unique in a social, musical, and active way! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Q&A #249

There is a DUCK STORE!! Why oh why must I be in NY far away from the duck store?? lol.. 
My 7 month old has a love for all things ducks and in her short little 7 months has collected quite a few already I am sure my house will be over run by ducks as she gets older! lol..

LOL Yes, Kassidy loves ducks too! She has quite a few as well. I should take pictures inside the store sometime. They have THOUSANDS of ducks in there. It's really a sight to see! Check out their website... it's nuts! LOL 

I was wondering if your Mom will participate in the DS Walk in TN for Kellsey or would you fly "home" for that? 
Tennessee Buddy Walks can be pretty hot depending on the year and there are A LOT of people there so I doubt they will go. Lots of over stimulation there and they have characters which freak Kellsey out. When she went to the Buddy Walk here last year she definitely paid the price afterwards. We were still learning all of her triggers at that point, and the weather is lots cooler here than there. Beyond that, it would be hard for me to fly there (I don't really consider TN my home lol) since I'd have to buy 5 plane tickets and rent a car and the kids would have to miss school. Hopefully one day she will be able to participate in a Buddy Walk again, but I think for now it would be a really bad idea. 

Um, I listened to Keeghan talk...a lot...last week and didn't catch the Southern at all, lol.  
Well, I guess you would know best. I think you heard him talk for 4564565645632223234 hours! LOL 

Quick question: how did you end up "surprised" by RAD? Did you have any required classes as part of your adoption training? Since you felt you were rescuing a little girl from a life in an institution.... How did it not occur to you that a kid in an institution might have institutional behaviors?? 
Well, this question has been addressed quite well in the comment section on the post, so please refer to that section, BUT I do want to say that 1. Kellsey was not in an institution. She was in a baby home. 2. Our home study agency required NO training. In hindsight, this is NOT a good thing! At the time, it was one less thing we had to check off our "to-do" list. So we truly never heard the term RAD. We also never had a post-adoption visit so our social worker never even MET Kellsey, which I later found out is also unusual. ALL the adoption blogs we read at that time had happy stories of happy kids and happy endings. We didn't know to know differently. We were naive! Truly. We thought we would be bringing home a little girl with Down syndrome, who surely would be more delayed than Kennedy since she never had early intervention, but we would get her caught up in no time! I mean REALLY, even her profile said she was potty trained already! LOL Seriously, naive. 

If a birth child of yours had the same physical and mental issues that Kellsey has (as some congenital mental disorders can mimic RAD) would you make the same decision? Or, since the child would be one that you had from birth, while the bond would not be there you would have the unique connection that comes from a birth child? 
You know, it's hard for me to answer that. Someone asked me before if I would make the same decision if one of my birth children had RAD, and that was and easy answer... my birth child wouldn't have RAD. He/she wouldn't be left alone and not given the chance to bond with me. I know of some families who HAVE made similar decisions for their biological children for different reasons. And I know that all these decisions were made out of love. It's hard for me to say WHAT I would do because that's a journey I haven't walked. I know that sounds like a cop out, but 3 years ago it would have been so easy for me to say, "I would NEVER disrupt." If nothing else, I have learned to never say never. Every child, every parent, every situation is different. 

I am curious though, what sort of resources are available (if any) to other families dealing with RAD, that may not be as fortunate to have someone as wonderful as your mom to take over the care?
If a child with RAD is already legally adopted by one family, can that child still be reassigned to another family, like will your mom have to officially adopt Kellsey now from you? 

WELL, there is respite care for those lucky enough to get it. This depends on insurance, what programs the child qualifies for and funding and SO many different things... The problem I ran into with Kellsey is finding someone qualified to care for her. I had a nurse tell me once to just find someone on care.com! LOL I about laughed out loud! Between her g-tube, allergies, CIPA, RAD and her love of putting small things in her mouth, that would have been SO easy to find someone to come sit with her for a few hours. @@ Most parents have a hard time finding someone to care for a child with RAD, especially if they are aggressive, which Kellsey is not, but many children are. There are RAD support groups out there... somewhere. LOL I've found a few online, but none locally sadly. I did hear about a GREAT annual conference in Florida that's supposed to be life changing... but it's in Florida. I'm a wealth of resources, huh? ;) I'm planning on working on that eventually. I don't always plan on being the Debbie Downer of RAD. One day I'm going to be the encourager, it just takes time. ;) We still have healing to do.
Yes. When you go through a disruption (which we did not) that child can be legally adopted by another family. Basically you sign away your parental rights and you are no longer the parents and the other family adopts the child and they become his/her new parents. However, in our case, we signed over temporary custody to my mom so she can make medical/educational decisions for Kellsey. This is on a year to year basis, but Frank and I are still her parents, my mom is still her grandma and the kids are still her siblings. Basically she is in respite care. 


I'm going to ask this at the risk of sounding totally rude but please understand I mean this out of pure curiosity and I hope you don't take it the wrong way! I'm assuming your mom is somewhere in her 60's, and I was wondering if you think there will be a point where she no longer wants to raise a child? Obviously she loves Kellsey and wants to take care of her but as your mom gets older, do you think she will become unable to constantly give Kellsey attention? I'm also assuming that in ten or so years all of Kellsey's issues will still make her very dependent--I could be totally wrong on that. Again, I'm only asking because I'm interested and I really don't want this to sound critical or like I'm doubting your mom's ability to care for Kellsey or anything! I think it's really cool that you're able to talk about this and run the risk of harsh criticism!!
Yes, my mom is in her VERY young 60's ;). As to everything else... I... don't know. LOL My GUESS is that Kellsey will need constant care for the rest of her life. What that means... I don't know. Realistically, in 10 years, she will be a teenager, going through puberty. That's enough to make anyone run screaming! HA! I don't know. We don't have a 10 year plan, or even a 5 year plan or a 3 year plan. We're not really planners. This probably isn't a good thing. LOL Sorry, I know that's not the answer you're looking for, but I guess we'll cross those bridges when we come to them. 

I am a little sad to hear that the kids don't miss her, but I'm sure it's because it's hard for them to seperate that it's the RAD that was causing the hurt, not Kellsey. I'm sure they still love her though. :)
That has a lot to do with it. It also has to do with MY reactions to everything that has happened in the last couple years. I'd be lying if I said it didn't. Our household has been VERY stressful and that hasn't all been because of Kellsey. It has been in large part because I didn't know WHAT to do. I am, by nature, a fixer and if I can't FIX it, I stress. When things are under control, I am very easy going and happy and laid back. When things are out of control, I tense up and stress. RAD is not something that I understand (even though I can explain it) and I can't control it. Kellsey absolutely got the best of me and everyone in the house knew it, especially Kellsey, which led to mass chaos. I shut down, and the order and normalcy of the house just... crumbled. I think that the kids know that Kellsey not being here means that normalcy has returned. Everyone can function again. We're back in routine, no one is walking on eggshells around Kellsey, everyone has expectations and it's taken some adjusting. The older two GET it, the younger two don't really... but one day they will. And I will make sure they know that it's NOT Kellsey's fault, it's not HER, it's just a bad situation caused by RAD that we weren't equipped to handle. 

Do you regret the adoption and can you even undo it now? Can she be sent back to the adoption agency to be re adopted, or is your family now stuck caring for her for the rest of her life? I feel badly for your mom being burdened with the extreme responsibility since you no longer want her. Somehow it Doesn't seem quite fair to your mom. I will pray for all involved. 
I addressed the first question here. My answer still stands. We did not use an adoption agency and even if we did, we would not "send her back". I think that so many people have a skewed vision of "disruption". There was the mother in TN who put her son on the plane back to Russia and "sent him back". This was absolutely not ok. She's paying the price (literally) for those actions now. In no way shape or form would we EVER send Kellsey back to Ukraine. The fact remains that she does NOT deserve to be rotting away in an institution there for the rest of her life. The fact also remains that WE are not equipped to handle her wide range of needs, most specifically, her RAD. She NEEDS to have 1-1 care and attention. We are not "stuck" caring for her for the rest of her life. We had some other options, but my mom ASKED to try to care for her so she could stay part of our family... our daughter, the kids' sister. She wanted to try. We didn't force her, we didn't beg her, we discussed it, and my mom, knowing all of Kellsey's issues, wanted to try it out, knowing that she too may not have been able to care for her. We weren't trying to burden my mom, we weren't trying to stick her with an unwanted child. She loves Kellsey and wanted her grandchild to stay in the family. This was HER choice and we are SO thankful and eternally grateful. IF there comes a time when my mom decides that she can no longer care for Kellsey, we will decide what happens next as a family. We will always keep Kellsey's best interests at heart. No matter what happens though, she will never be rotting away in an institution. She will never be unwanted or unloved. Again, this was NOT the life that we planned when we adopted Kellsey, but we're doing the VERY best we can with the hand that we've been given and we are praying that God will show us the way that is best for EVERYONE involved. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Q&A #248

Random question inspired by my recent trip to TN- hope you aren't bothered by it. Do your kids have a southern accent?
Actually that made me smile! :) We are originally Californians. Kassidy and Kameron were both born there. We moved to TN when I was (very) pregnant with Kennedy. When Kassidy went into pre-k the year we moved there, she had a wonderful teacher named Miss Lynn who was VERY Southern... sure enough, after a couple months, we started noticing a few words that Kassidy would say that had... well... twang. LOL It was awesome! When Kameron started school, eventually the same thing happened thanks to his awesome teacher Miss Jana. Not long after we had a friend visit from California who very quickly pointed out that *I* had an accent! NO! Surely not! haha But then Frank pointed out that sure enough I said words like "night" with a twang. Fine. LOL I don't think Kennedy ever really picked it up too much but Keeghan, oh my word, he was the BEST! He still says some things where I think, "There's my little Southern boy!" Kass and Kam have all but lost their accent, and I think I have too (but I could be in denial), but if you listen to Keeghan talk long enough you'd know he was born in the South... and I thank his preschool teachers for that as well! ;o)

Kam looks so much like you! So with Keeg being your last baby in Kindergarten, does this mean Kellsey is also in Kindergarten this year too? I meant to ask how your mom toilet trained Kellsey so fast? I can only imagine how difficult it is to train a child who is non verbal or is Kellsey now talking and understanding English better?
WOW that's the first time anyone said Kam looks like me! Thanks!! :o) Maybe his looks are changing a little as he is growing! Yes, Kellsey started Kindergarten a few weeks ago... you can see her first day picture here. She was pretty much potty trained during the day before she left here, BUT when she would get mad at me she would make herself pee just as a control mechanism so she had to stay in diapers. She had to stay in them at night as well because if she got overstimulated during the day she would poop and then eat it and/or "paint" with it. Fun times. Thankfully she's stopped doing that since going to a more calm environment. Her understanding of English has been GREAT since about 6 weeks after she came home from Ukraine, it's the speaking that's been the issue, and that hasn't changed. She's pretty much on a timed bathroom schedule and it's working well. 

How is Kellsey doing in her class in TN?
OK. There have been some serious safety issues with her overheating but hopefully they understand now how important it is to keep her cool. We'll see. 

I am in the Co Springs area. If you do any more walks please let me know. If I can, I would love to join and support. 
I sure will. It kind of came up fast this year and I wasn't prepared. Next year I'll do more advanced warning and planning. Maybe. ;) 

It was great meeting you in person! I've always thought Kennedy was such a pretty little girl in the pictures but she's much more beautiful in person!
Aww thanks!! :) It was great to meet you, too! I got to meet so many new people at the Walk that I wish I had more time to talk to. We'll have to get together for a playdate or something sometime! That would be fun!!

Question - Kameron seems tiny in the photo next to his friends ... is he really small for his age ir is this just a strange angle?
Actually, the twins are quite tall for 5th graders! LOL Kameron is pretty average height for his age I think... he's ALMOST as tall as Kassidy who's in 7th grade (but she's fairly short, so that's not saying much haha). Frank and I are both short, so none of our kids are going to be giant. ;) 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Buddy Walk - 2012

Today was the Colorado Springs Annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. We were so excited to go and walk with 3,000 of our closest friends. ;) Seriously, that's just AMAZING!! There were people and dogs everywhere!

Kennedy had some great support there from lots of friends! She had quite a few friends from school come, including her teacher, one of her paras, her vice principal and principal and then of course lots of people were there from her dance studio. They have been long time walkers for Kennedy's friend Jaemen, and they of course supported Kennedy as well. We had some friends who we know through the Army come too, which is awesome!! We are so thankful to be part of such an amazing community with so many people to support Kenn and all people with Down syndrome here in Colorado Springs.

Here are some pictures from our day...

 This is Devon, she is the Miss American Jr. Teen Queen for Colorado. She was looking for a team to walk with today and asked Kennedy if she could join ours... of course Kennedy said yes, especially when she saw the pretty crown!! :) 


 Devon and her sister... they both are going to Florida for nationals in November!! We wish them the very best of luck! :) 

Grandma Debi and baby Eli... She's the baby whisperer. ;)

 Kameron with his friends Cooper and Zack

 Kennedy and her friend Emily

Kass made a sign for Kennedy, so sweet! 

Kenn and Ms. Miller

 Team Kennedy and Team Jaemen!! 

 More of Team Kennedy... it was hard to get everyone in one place at one time! LOL 

 Brooklyn, Emily and Kenn

 Walking and Talking... love these girls!! 

 Kennedy and Mrs. Taylor

 Kennedy by her sign

 Meet Kennedy 

 It's the only way to REALLY do a Buddy Walk! ;)

 At the finish line! We did it!! 

 Only YOU can prevent forest fires! 

At the Duck Store on the way out of town. My kids love this store... ducks ducks everywhere!

Kameron went home with his friends for a little bit and the rest of us are laying around. We're tired!! Thank you, CSDSA for a wonderful day and thank you Manitou Springs Police Department for only giving us a warning on all our cars instead of an actual parking ticket. We appreciate it! ;) 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Still Here...

I wonder how many blog posts I've written on this blog that are titled, "Still Here." I bet there are at least 20, maybe more. But sometimes there's just nothing better to say. I'm still here. There were times that that really meant, "I'm barely hanging on, I can't catch my breath, I feel like I'm drowning, and I just might jump in a hole after I finish this post" (what, you couldn't read between the lines?!) but I was, for that moment, still here.

There were other times that it meant, "I am out having fun, enjoying my family, soaking up every second of fun and laughs and giggles and making memories" but I'm still here. And then other times it meant, "I'm BUSY. We are getting back into routine of school and homework (have I mentioned how much I despise homework? Seriously. That may just be another post for another day) and trying to figure out how these kids are going to eat even a remotely healthy dinner when we are at sports and activities every night, and I'm getting projects done for school and I'm TIRED." And that's kind of where I am today. But I'm happy to see how this year is shaping up for the kids and I'm excited to be getting involved in new things, and sleep will come eventually. Right?! But I'm still here. I promise. And I hope you all are too.

Tonight I am having a Thirty-One party with my wonderful friend Jen who flew here all the way from New Jersey to host. (She really just wanted to hang out with ME, but we're using the party as an excuse) ;) If you're in Colorado Springs and want to come support a great group of dancers, let me know, I'll get you the details. I think the party will be online afterwards so if you want to shop and are NOT in Colorado Springs, that can be arranged too! ;)

Tomorrow is our Buddy Walk. We have over 20 people on Kennedy's team this year! :) That makes me so happy! It will be a great walk and you know I will have lots of pictures to share. In the meantime, here's one of a little Diva who was having fun with me taking pictures the other day. She cracks me up.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Full Swing

Every school year it shocks me that I'm SO tired when school starts! LOL After a summer of no schedules (mostly) and no getting up (too) early, setting my alarm for 6am shocks me and I'm exhausted! Beyond the first week of school, all the kids' activities are starting back up too, but as the schedules roll in, I begin to feel more organized. Once I can plan and get things on my calendar and see everything written down, I feel more in control of my life... and anyone who knows me well knows I like to be in control! ;o)

As it stands right now every week day afternoon is full... as usual. I'm just thankful that there's no real crossover. Somehow I think that Kennedy's dance teacher, Kameron's drama teacher and Kassidy's soccer coach must have met up and said, "Let's not kill this poor lady, ok?!" HA! Kennedy has dance on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Kassidy has soccer on Tuesday and Thursday and Kameron has drama on Thursday... but his drop off and pick up times are an hour after Kassidy's so it's perfect. Kassidy will start her soccer games on Saturdays next month and Kennedy has some dance conventions coming up and then competition season officially starts in January. Kameron's play is mid-November so it will be exciting!!

Mr. Keeghan is taking some time off from activities. He was going to dance this year as well, but he has some growing up to do and needs to work on his listening skills a bit... and he needs to WANT to do it (you know, for more than 2 weeks! LOL). He's tried a few different things now and he hasn't figured out yet what he loves. It might end up being dance, or he might go back to soccer, he even mentioned trying out Kameron's drama program or doing karate, but he's going to wait until he's 6 and get through Kindergarten and then he can decide. For now he can focus on going to school all day, and learning the routine of homework and playing with friends and we'll readdress activities in the Spring and see if he might be ready.

As for me, I am excited to be able to be more involved in the school's PTA this year. They always have so much fun stuff going on and I am going to love jumping in and helping wherever they need me. I'm working on an organizational project right now from home on my computer, which is right up my alley and then later there will be more to do. The ladies in the PTA here are awesome and I'm enjoying getting to know them!

Our church is starting 30 minutes later as of tomorrow which makes me OH so happy (an extra 30 minutes to sleep in! YAY!)  and I'm looking forward to finally getting involved in a community group there. Keeghan moved up out of the preschool environment there last week, which was a little bittersweet, but he is loving being able to see Kameron and Kennedy now (at least for the music part). Kassidy is still involved in her girl's Bible study on Saturday nights, which is good.

Next week is our annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome... I didn't think ahead so there will be no fancy t-shirts or anything, but we will go and walk and have fun. Some of the people from Kennedy's school will be there which is cool :). I am also having a Thirty-One Party next week. I don't know if anyone will come, but my friend Jen is flying out from New Jersey to host, so I sure hope people show up! LOL

Anyway, I guess that is all that's going on around here. I'm off to fold my mountain of laundry. It's never ending I tell ya!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School (Part 2)

Today was Kassidy's first day of school. She didn't go yesterday because her middle school was only open for the 6th graders. This gives them a chance to tour the school, get used to the routine and enjoy a day of middle school without the big, mean 7th and 8th graders there. ;) NEXT year I'll have Kassidy and Kameron both in middle school but they won't start on the same day. Weird! LOL Anyway, here are a few pictures from this morning...

 My 7th grader! 



Yesterday went well for the other 3!! Kameron made some new friends and is loving having a male teacher this year. He's fabulous from what I hear. Everyone who knows him says, "LUCKY!" when I say that he's Kam's teacher! haha That's always nice to hear! :) Kam's closest friends aren't in his class this year which is a bummer, but we'll make sure they see each other outside of school. Kam is very excited about being at the top of the food chain this year and ruling the school!! I think he's going to have such a great year! :)

Kennedy had a good day too. She made a new friend named Emma and was very excited about her salad that she ate for lunch! haha Her teacher called me last night to tell me about her day and ask some questions that she wasn't clear on. She's SO excited to have Kenn in her class. She has an older son with special needs so she "gets it". :) Kennedy had a horrible colitis attack in the middle of the night and I almost thought I would have to keep her home today but she seemed to bounce back before school and really wanted to go, so I let her... hopefully she'll make it through her day today.

Keeghan LOVED his first day of Kindergarten! He made 2 friends (and ONLY 2 friends! LOL) and one of them was a cute little blonde girl... he seems to find one everywhere he goes! ;) He went to music class and Spanish but did NOT like Spanish because he said, "I don't need to know that!" LOL I told him that when he grows up and becomes a fireman that Spanish will be VERY important to know because he might have to help people who only speak Spanish and he'll have to be able to talk to them. He thought about that for a minute and said, "Well... I don't need to know it when I'm a kid!" HA! I tried to teach him some fun phrases in Spanish but he wasn't having it. Since he has to take that class every year, hopefully he'll get over that. ;) He loved the whole experience of buying his lunch, and of course he loved recess. :) He has today off (Kindergarten has a staggered start) so we are enjoying some one-on-one time today.

Kassidy is taking the basic 7th grade classes this year as well as Spanish (but she chose to take it! LOL) and PE and then next semester she takes beginning guitar. She's pretty excited about that and so is daddy! He'll be home just in time to help her learn all her cords and restring his guitar for her to use. :) It sounds like she got some pretty good teachers this year as well. She ran into an 8th grader at orientation and when she mentioned some of her teachers, the 8th grader said, "OH you'll LOVE them!" Again, nice to hear!!

Anyway, I'm going to go jump in the shower... I promised a certain little boy some chocolate cake for lunch and then I have to go to the school to do a project with the Kindergarten class. Tomorrow I'm meeting with the technology teacher to start on a PTA project. Let the school year begin! :o)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day of School!

Today was the first day of school for Kameron, Kennedy and Keeghan! It was very strange dropping them all off at the same school! They are all so independent... Kameron and Kennedy both found friends from last year and ran off happily with a wave and a goodbye hug. Keeghan made friends quickly and joined them on his new playground. I can't believe my last baby is in Kindergarten. *sniff*

Here are a few pictures from this morning...

My 5th grader!






My 2nd grader!




My Kindergartner!!!



I have no doubt they will all have a GREAT first day!! Kassidy starts tomorrow... for today, we're going to enjoy some girl time! :o)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Q&A #247

I know this sounds like weird question, but is Kennedy missing her toenails? In the picture of her in her sandals it almost looked like they weren't there or something.
That IS a weird question! LOL I went back and looked at the picture and I think her feet were just dusty from all the dirt around. Those pictures were taken at Garden of the Gods. She definitely has toenails... in fact, right now they're pink and purple! haha


K sounds like she is doing wonderful and you could see your kids were happy in the pictures this summer...you could tell something was different (not that they dont look happy but maybe a little less stressed?... dont take that the wrong way). It must be a relief to know she is in good hands with you mom 
Not taken the wrong way at all! Several people have made the same comments and I can tell you that it's not just in pictures. It's been a stressful couple years for them. I am so thankful for my mom and that all 5 kids are getting the love and care that they need right now. :)

 I love the pink guitar Kennedy has. My daughter would love that.
I think my friend Brenda said she got that in Downtown LA but you can find them in little shops that sell souvenirs from Mexico and stuff. Kassidy had one when she was younger that we actually bought in Mexico. Keeghan has it now (it is brown) and he and Kennedy play with that thing all the time. Poor thing has broken strings and everything, it's well loved! haha

Ever consider putting Kennedy in modelling? She definitely seems to have the right stuff! The camera LOVES her! And Keeghan is so cute! 
She and Keeghan actually both just signed up with an agency. Who knows if anything will ever come of it, but maybe... 

What great pictures do you think your photographer wants to come to louisiana?
I'm sure she would if you bought her a plane ticket! ;o)

who is that handsome little guy in the small groups with the girls he is too cute.
great pictures 

That would be Jaemen :). We just love him!!

Do Kass & Kam still believe in Santa
But of course! Santa's REAL! ;o)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Haven't I Seen That Someplace Before? (Part 7)

One of my favorite things is to see Kennedy and Keeghan grow into my favorite clothes that used to be Kassidy and Kameron's. Interestingly, Kenn and Keeghan are both wearing the clothes that Kass and Kam wore in 2006! At the time, Kass was 7 (but the outfit is a size 5) and Kam was 5 and right now Kennedy is 8 and Keeghan is 5 so I guess it works out!! ;)



Ahh the memories! :)

You can see more of these here, here, here, herehere, and here!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pho.to Lab (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I posted some pictures from Pho.to Lab. I've been playing with it again and it's still fun! haha








You can make your own HERE!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The North Pole

Last weekend we had a chance to go to an amusement park here called The North Pole. We went with a foundation called Starlight who arranges all kind of fun events for kids with special needs. We've been invited to SO many of their events since we moved here, but we have always been out of town or someone was in the hospital, so we were pretty excited to be able to go this time. Best of all, Starlight paid for the tickets, so we just had to buy lunch and enjoy our day. :o) Thanks Starlight for all you do for our kids!! Here are some pictures from our day...

Of course we saw Santa while we were there... what's the North Pole without Santa?! ;) The kids told him what they wanted for Christmas... some of it was news to me! LOL 

Riding in a flying tree ornament

Touching the North Pole. It was COLD!!!!

 Taking a ride on the North Pole Railroad

More flying ornaments. Sounds dangerous!

 Riding in a bug

Feeding the reindeer. I think Rudolph was out playing reindeer games. ;) 

I wanna see them FLY!

Eww... he's licking her hand! LOL 

 Trying to steal Santa's sleigh. Thankfully it only works when reindeer are attached. 

 It's TOO bright out here!

Talking to Santa... he's a jolly old soul. ;)

That's all from there. It was a fun day! :)