Sunday, July 28, 2013

National Dance Day and CSDSA Picnic

We had a great National Dance Day yesterday!! There were lots of people at the studio to dance and hang out and have fun!! We had a few downpours of rain, but no one seemed to mind too much ;). The kids had a great time dancing, getting their faces painted, bouncing in the bounce house and eating, eating, EATING! Here are a few pictures...

 Kennedy's friend Emma from school stopped by to check out the studio and dance :) 

Kennedy and Hannah in their new "Giggles" costumes from Teen Beach Movie... 
Thanks for the costumes, Debi!!!

 Look! She's Hello Kitty!

Silly girls!!! They were having fun!!

Today was the picnic for the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association... we had fun hanging out with friends and meeting some new families! We were a little worried that it would be rained out, but it stopped just long enough for the picnic and then poured again! It's been sweatshirt weather this afternoon, which is weird for July, but whatever! We'll go with it!! Here are a few pictures from our day...

This morning Elise and Kennedy started working on their duet for the new competition season. It's going to be SO cute! So excited to watch these two grow as dancers and friends this year! :) 

 Kennedy's friend Kate from school joined us for the afternoon :) 

Frank and Keeghan doing the 3-legged race. I think they need more practice lol

 Kam and Keeghan catching bubbles

 Kennedy and Kate playing with their fans

Keeghan was so excited that the park was right behind the fire station... they were more than happy to let him explore the station and climb around in the trucks. Thank you Manitou Firefighters!!

Happy Boy!

He looks good in red ;) 

 A glimpse into the future maybe?? 

After we left, it started pouring so we went to our new favorite coffee shop and got hot chocolate to warm up. :) Now Kennedy is playing at Kate's house for awhile... thankfully the skies have cleared! It was a good weekend!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy National Dance Day!!!

We have been busy... watching our summer quickly slip away. *sigh* We had a nice few days with my mom before she went back home and then we've been getting back into our schedule for the next week or so before we start our new schedule of backpacks and homework. Blech!!

Anyway, TODAY is National Dance Day so we are heading over to Kennedy's dance studio to dance, eat food, play games and have some fun!! :) Be sure to dance wherever you are today! ;) Here are some of Kennedy's dances from her recital in June. Can't wait to see what this year brings! :)

This was her rec class hip hop piece. It's actually going to be changed up a little, have different costumes, and used as a competition piece this year. :)
This was her rec class ballet piece. I loved this one! And loved her costume!! So pretty!!!
This was her competition piece from last year. It was bittersweet to say goodbye! 

That's all for now!! We're off to get ready for dance day!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The North Pole

My friend Nicki and her daughter Ashlyn are staying with us for another day. They came from Michigan for the convention and decided to stay a couple extra days to hang out, so we had some time to play today! After the hectic schedule of the convention, it was nice to not really have a schedule. Kennedy slept in until 10:00 this morning and then we got ready and headed out to the North Pole which is a little amusement park here in Colorado Springs.

Before we left this morning, my friend Angie who was still in town from South Dakota texted me to ask about our zoo here in town so we invited them to go with us as well and they joined us too. The cool thing is that Kennedy, Ashlyn and Micah (Angie's son) all battled the same Leukemia right around the same time. We all followed each other's journeys, prayed for each others kids and watched them kick cancer's butt. Ashlyn actually went on to fight ALL after she beat AML so she is a double cancer survivor. It was fun to have all 3 families together today and watch all our kids bond and have fun!! 

 SUPER SURVIVORS!!!
Kennedy, Micah and Ashlyn

 Sitting on Santa's sleigh

 The kids touching the North Pole which is FREEZING... some of them may or may not have licked it too. *ahem*

 Jarek and Keeghan - they had so much fun together running around, riding rides and trying SO hard to be good! ;) 

 Lunch time!!

 Talk to the hand - Ashlyn did NOT want her picture taken! LOL 

 Aww! Ashlyn and Nicki 

 Keeghan and Kennedy talking to Santa... they had quite the conversation lol


Rides, rides, rides...







 Our whole group - such a fun day!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

NDSC Convention

I have been busy busy the last few days!! Every year the National Down Syndrome Congress has a convention somewhere in the United States. I first went in 2005 when Kennedy was just over a year old and they held the convention in Anaheim, California. I was able to stay with my grandparents and I was anxious to go attend sessions and soak up all the information I could. It was fabulous and overwhelming and amazing and I cried lots of happy tears as I stalked watched teens and adults with Down syndrome wandering around doing... well... normal things! haha Kennedy was just a baby and had no idea what was going on, but it was an experience I will never forget.

The next year it was in Atlanta and I was excited to go again. This year I was a little more pulled together, I had a lot more friends in the Down syndrome community from all over the country and I was SO excited to get there and meet friends! Frank was deployed so my mom and I took Kass, Kam and Kennedy to Atlanta for the convention. Instead of attending sessions, I took lots of merchandise from my online store and went as an exhibitor. My friends Christina and Courtney helped me out at my table and we had LOTS of fun!

We missed the next several years... chemo, spine fusion surgery, Ukraine, moving! I watched the pictures roll in on Facebook every year from Boston, St. Louis, San Antonio and Sacramento and longed for the day we could go again. THEN it happened. Last year they announced the convention would be in DENVER! WOOHOO!!! LOL I think we could manage that drive! ;)

We've been counting down to this weekend for MONTHS and were so excited to see old friends and make new friends. Kennedy had a BLAST this year being older and ready to make friends. She loved meeting new people and of course seeing friends she already knows. We didn't sign up for sessions this year because I really just wanted to socialize and hang out. I did get the opportunity to be on a parent panel for Natalie Hale's session... if you've never heard of her and you have a child with Down syndrome, go check out her website! She has lots of great resources for teaching reading to children with Down syndrome and she has written several books!

Here are lots of pictures... some from my camera, some from other people's cameras and some from Kennedy's camera. That girl takes more pictures than I do!!! :) Sadly, I missed lots of friends. I was SO busy talking that I wasn't taking pictures. Fail. It was a GREAT weekend and we still have my friend Nicki and her daughter Ashlyn here so there's still more fun to be had. ;)

Next year... Indianapolis. Can we get there? Maybe. Kennedy made so many friends this year, it would be awesome to go see everyone again and foster those friendships for her that I've been building with the parents for so many years. We'll see where life takes us!

 Kennedy with (I'm pretty sure) all the Wisconsin crew

 Kennedy took this picture of Chrystal, Dez and Melea... Kenn and Melea had fun looking at the pictures and taking them over and over and over! ;) 

Mom and Kennedy at Sam's #3 waiting for lunch... we did A LOT of waiting at restaurants! haha

 Kennedy's picture of some of the California "Sisterhood" :)

Beautiful Lila... Kennedy style

Kennedy, Natalie and Jamie... next year they need to bring their girls!! :) 

 Our friend Adrienne couldn't make it to the convention so our friend Amy made a bunch of "Flat Adriennes" for us to carry around and take pictures with so she could feel like she was there... hence the head on the stick hehehe. It was actually really fun. We had a "hard to find" list and everything! LOL 
Shylo, me, Linda, Amy and Maggie at the dance... with creepy eyes! ;) 

 "Flat Adrienne" had to hang out with the kiddos too! ;) 

 Kennedy and Carrie Bergeron (And Flat Adrienne)... Carrie was on the hard to find list and only thought we were slightly crazy for asking her to take a picture with a head on a stick! haha She was a good sport!

 Kenn and Amy 

 Kenn and Kim... Kim kept Kennedy company while I was on the parent panel. Thank you, Kim! 

 Beth, Joanne, Linda, Me, Kennedy, Lila and Lexi :) 

 Lexi, Linda, Lila & Kennedy with Emma (Ethan Saylor's sister) 

Kennedy and Ashlyn

 The parent panel... Gail Ford, Nina Fuller and me (and of course Flat Adrienne! haha) Honored to be included with these women! :) 

 Kennedy and Ella... divas!!!

Me and my Keeghan... the boys came up Saturday afternoon to hang out... they got bored quickly! LOL 

 So serious. HA!

Melea again... via Kennedy ;) 

 Kennedy's picture of Natalie! hahahaha

 Nina, me and Kennedy at lunch :) 

 Kennedy and Lila, ready to party!

 Love these girls!

 Of course they brought Adrienne along! 

Posing on the red carpet before the dance ;) 

 Kennedy with Jamie Foxx's sister DeOndra

 Goofy boy!

 Her dream come true... a life size Claire's bag... if only it were full! haha

 Kenn and Karli... these girls had so much fun together! :) 

 Oh I wish I could remember this sweet girl's name! We ran into her all weekend and she was so fun!!! I'm hoping we cross paths again someday!
Update: Her name is Faith! Thank you, Amy! :) 

 Kennedy and Kayla... these two had so much fun!!! I am thinking they could do some serious damage at a mall together!! haha! 

Whew... this morning... Flat Adrienne got some Barbie friends... Diane and Suzanne... You can't ever say the moms don't have fun at the conferences too! ;) 
Linda, Joanne, Carmen and me

So much fun... so little sleep! hahaha If anyone else has pictures, please tag me!!! :) Thanks for a fun weekend NDSC!!!!