Monday, December 31, 2012

On to a New Year....

When 2012 started, we really thought that this would be the year when our luck had changed. That by the end of this year all our troubles and worries would have faded away. Honestly, every year we start with those hopes and dreams.....well the year turns out worse than the previous year. So this coming year, we have no expectations. We are just happy to be together and even though we know we have some major life changes happening in the next few months, we are ready for the adventure. Because as long as we are together, that's all that really matters!
Our day started off by saying good-bye to my Baby Brother. We were sad that he had to head back to Michigan but we had got to spend 11 days together over the holidays. We made amazing memories together as a family. And to tell you the truth, life is more about the memories and time spent together.
 As for the rest of our day, we had a few errands to run and had hoped to beat the incoming snowstorm. Well we got caught up in the Clearance aisles (have a great start on next year's Christmas presents), so we got caught in the snow. It started snowing around 10am and will continue into tomorrow. We probably would have more snow on the ground in these pictures, if we hadn't used most of it for our snowman the other day. Once we got home, we spent some time packing, talking to out of town family and just relaxing (which isn't something we have done in the past few weeks).
I had hoped that Keree would make it till midnight this year, but that isn't the case. It's 10:50p and she's been asleep for about a 1/2 hr. And I have to say, I'm not sure I'll make it to midnight tonight either. Happy New Year's Eve Everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Off to Tennessee

Well today, we are off to Tennessee for our big show. We are so thankful that my Uncle R has so graciously agreed to let us stay with him saving us some major bucks by not having to stay in a hotel. We started off our morning having to pack a large handful of things at the house. Then we headed to the storage unit for all the stuff that goes on top of the van. Now this particular pack was harder than usual! We have gotten some new display racks and as awesome as they are, they don't pack well. Here is Keree & KittyKitty hanging out while we packed at home.
We got a late start on the road. I wanted to be out by 10am, but we didn't finish packing till almost 1pm. So, we stopped for some lunch and that is where I snapped this picture. See Keree's hand sticking up over everything. We are really at the point were we need to a major upgrade in transportation. Actually, we been at that point for almost 2 years now. I'm leaning towards an RV and trailer, Mom just wants a truck and trailer and Keree thinks an RV would be pretty long as she can get a cat.
 As you can see, Keree was pretty snug as a bug but she was happy. She had a bag of books, games and her music to keep her entertained. For some reason, this drive was a hard one on me. I was exhausted by the time we hit Kentucky. And then it started raining on us, no, it was more than rain, it was blinding rain where I couldn't see the car in front of me. I thought about pulling over but then thought, nope I really need to keep going. I didn't want this trip to last any longer than it had to!
We called my Uncle when we hit the Tennessee border. We were just going to stop and pick up a bite to eat for dinner since it was after 7:30pm. But being the amazing person he is, he offered to make us dinner. We finally rolled into this driveway around 8:30p. We unloaded the few things we needed and then relaxed. I will tell you, he makes a crazy delicious meatloaf. Keree ate a huge plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn. He wanted us to stay up and watch a movie, but we were all beat. Plus we still had tomorrow to visit before the show.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On the 2nd Day of December....

we spent our day working. In just a matter of days, we have a huge Show in Tennessee. My Mom and I have been making stuff non-stop. I've been making tons of larger hair bows and accessories and Mom has been making lots more couture dresses. Keree, like always, is so good and just does her own thing. She'll read, do her workbooks and then read some more. Since we forgot yesterday, Keree also got to eat both December 1st and 2nd in her advent calendar. I really had wanted a non-food advent calendar like the past few years but weren't able to find one. So Keree got to pick out this German made, chocolate one instead.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Movies & a Christmas Party gone wrong

Our morning started out with the Cans film festival. We donated enough cans so we could see two movies at the Theatre. Which as you know for us is a real treat, since Keree has only seen 2 movies so far on the big screen, Tangled and Brave (at the drive-in). We were so excited that we got to see Wreck-It Ralph and we got to see Brave again. I just love getting to see and hear her reactions to movies on the big screen.  I also gotta say that I loved Wreck-It Ralph and can't wait for it to come out on dvd so I can see it again!
 After our 4+ hours at the movie theatres, we went home and got ready for our annual Homestudy Adoption group Christmas party. Well, we purposelessly got there late. I was to the point of us not attending these group gatherings anymore but felt that since this maybe our last year and after some intense pressuring by my Mom...we compromised by showing up late and leaving early. Now the Christmas party was in full force, the little kids were watching dvds, while the few older kiddos (Keree and a few others) were coloring and talking about Santa. Now, Santa has always made an appearance and it is always a big deal because he brings the children one special present. Well this year, he didn't make it. What was worse was they gave a very awful excuse why he wasn't there. I'm so thankful that Keree was move involved in what she was doing than listening! I cringed at the thought because if she had heard what they said, it would have been our last year of secrets.
 Now as I said, the kids each get a special gift from Santa. Usually we get this amazing reaction from Keree over her gift but I think because it wasn't Santa that handed it to just wasn't the same. Plus since she knows how to read, she was trying to figure out why Santa had went to Toys R Us for her gift, instead of just making them at the North Pole. We ended the evening with a group shot, this was the lowest attendance I have ever seen for a Christmas party, there was only 8 families there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Break from the heat

Nothing really special about today. We did school, we worked on crafty stuff and we cooked. But in other news, it was cool today! No record breaking heat, it was actually in the 80's and just lovely.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Official 1st Day

We considered today, our 1st day of school and 1st grade. So what did we do? Well we spent the entire day in our pajamas. To be honest, it was so hot, it was actually cooler to stay in our pajamas. We did a full day of school today. We worked on math, french, science, geography, history and language. 
So what is Keree doing in our homeschool right now:
Math - right now we are working on two and three digit adding, we will be moving on shortly to greater, lesser, equal.
Language - we are working on learning the parts of a sentence (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, etc). She also has to write everyday a complete and proper paragraph in her notebook. Along with other activites.
Reading - she just started reading Chapter books. Before now, she would get upset that there was so many pages, so she would refuse to read them. But something just clicked a few weeks ago and she likes that she can mark her pages and then continue the story later.
Spelling - I will be using the spelling list from her old school, she will be learning the 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade list every week and then I test her on it at the end of the week. I looked at all three lists and couldn't help but laugh because they are so easy and honestly don't think they will be too much of a challenge for her.
Geography - we are learning about the 50 states
Science - we are learning about the solar system, space and space travel
History - we are learning about important symbols in the United States and their history
French - we are working on basic greeting, animals, colors and days of the week.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last day of the County Fair

Today was the last day of the County Fair. Which it always makes me a little sad because we really enjoy our County Fair. We had to go in the morning and pick up Keere's premium's, ribbons and the money she had won. We started a tradition last year of having Keree get her picture taken with the premium she won Best of Show with. So here is her Dream, Believe, Love sign made out of recycled newspapers and magazines. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

1st Time Bowling

Keree was invited to a birthday party for her friend, Alicia (from kindergarten and scouts). We were quite excited because it was a bowling party and Keree had never been bowling. For everything we have done with Keree, it honestly surprises me that we haven't been bowling. Keree had so much fun, she used the smallest bowling ball there and it was still way to heavy. I had to help her carry the ball to the line and then she would roll it down the lane. 

Some of her technique was quite funny. It also was amazing her ball actually reached the end of the lane. The ball moved so slowly down the lane that her turn would last almost 3-4 minutes. There was also a time or two that it stopped mid-lane. I would then have to throw a ball down there to get it moving again. 
 Keree was so proud of herself here. Can you see that, she left only one pin standing! This was her best roll of the day.
 Keree and the Birthday girl, Alicia. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Official Withdrawal

This morning, we had to get some errands ran and more importantly....we had to send off the official withdrawal paperwork to the school district. It's so silly, I mean they were the ones screwing around with us. But I wanted to follow the procedure to the letter, so there is no mistake and hopefully will prevent any questions in why we were chosing to homeschool this year. So here is Keree holding the official withdrawal paperwork before I went into the post office and sent it off. 
Otherwise, the rest of our day was spent doing school, working on craft stuff and just trying to stay cool.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

County Fair Talent Show

This evening, was the County Fair Talent Show. This is Keree's 3rd year participating (she missed last year because we were out of town), she is also on the record books as being the youngest to ever compete at the age of 3. There was over 30 acts this year competing and Keree drew the #11 spot. We were also thrilled that my Aunt P was able to join us for the evening. Keree was so cute when she got on stage, she sang "I make my own sunshine" and even had a few dance moves to it. There was so much applause when Keree came off stage. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good still pictures because their lighting in there is so wonky that all of them indeed up either blurred or super dark. I did take a video also, so we at least have that. 
 It was after 9pm, when they finally announced the winners. We honestly was shocked by who the winner was, actually the entire crowd was shocked. But I had seen her Mom greet one of the judges before the competition started and they were old friends. Keree's scores were amazing except from the one judge. From Keree's scores and talking with the others that competed about their scores, she was either in 4th or 5th place this year. Honestly, it doesn't matter except for those who the audience really thought deserved to get something. A couple of people asked me if Keree was sad because she didn't win. I told them, she doesn't care, she got a ribbon and she knows she did a good job. I mean look at that smile, she's so proud of her accomplishment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Opening Night of the County Fair

After doing a little bit of school this morning, we spent the rest of our day waiting for it to be 5 pm, so we could head out to the County Fair. Keree was so excited and couldn't wait to see how her premiums did. My Mom and I was curious to see how our Scouts did with their entries. We were so thankfully to see that all of them at least won a ribbon.Now Keree had over 70 entries, she got mostly 1st place awards and she 
also won Best of Show in the 18 & under Arts category. We were so proud of her. Her Bandanna dress got 1st place. Here seams are a little wonky but it just proved she really used the sewing machine and sewed it herself.
 Both of these t-shirts are hers, the brown one was a decorated t-shirt, which she added beads too the bottom of it. The other t-shirt was her tye-died one, she used the sharpie marker and rubbing alcohol technique so she was able to create some really awesome hearts all over it.
 This is her Crossstitch entry. I had gotten the idea off another blog (wish I could remember where I saw this because I would love to give credit to them). They had used checked dish towels for their Scouts to do crossstitch with. This way it created larger x's for them to stitch. Keree made this towel for her Great-Grandma's birthday in October.
 We are currently learning about the solar system and this is a mobile we created. It was a perfect entry into the Fair.
We had such a nice time walking around afterwards. Keree kept telling me that she would go on the boat ride this year, along with a few others. I had to laugh because I know Keree, I knew there was no way she was going to do it. When we got closer, she started to panic. Finally, she stopped dead in her tracks and goes "no, that doesn't look safe to go on." I chuckled because she also isn't tall enough to ride this anyway. We left the fair without riding any rides or playing any games.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

4 years ago....

today, I held my baby girl for the first time. She was so little, just a little over 5 mos old and 0-3 mos clothes was big on her. She was so sick the day my Mom and I meet her. Who would of known, that she had Polio and was fighting for her life. For how long had she been fighting it? We will never know exactly, other than I do know she contracted it between 3 1/2 - 4 mos old. I will never forgot how she just stared at us, we had to stop talking so she would take her bottle. She was so aware of her world and everything in it. 
We don't really celebrate today, since today isn't our Family day. My Mom and I sat down with Keree and we told her about us meeting her for the first time. About how Grandma forgot to take any pictures until after Keree was already in Mommy's arms. We told her about how little she was, how at first I didn't think the Nannies had the right baby until I saw her face. Then we went about our normal day. Today with school, I have started setting a timer. Keree knows that she has to do a certain subject for X number of minutes and then we can move onto the next activity. Plus, I have to say, it helps me stay on track also. Since the timer went so well, we did a art project to end our day. Keree made a paper Perry the platypus.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crafty pictures

Well today, originally was going to just be a work day. But soon we realized that we needed some updated pictures of our products. So, we headed out to capture some. Even though it was super hot and humid, there was an ok breeze. Plus we were able to find quite a few shady spots. I was surprised by how quickly we got our photos done. Once home, I did a few crops, softened a few borders, then sent them to be printed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fair Entries Turn-In Day

This morning, we got up bright and early. We wanted to be at the County Fair office within the first hour to turn in Keree's entires. We also let our Daisy Scouts enter a few items, so we also had all there stuff to be tagged also. Keree had a total of 75 premiums to enter, which sort of amazed us also when we started counting. Once all the paperwork was done at the Fair office, it was then time to start the tagging. Tagging amazingly only took us about 2 hrs.  Here is Keree with a few of her premiums after we were finished tagging. 
As we do every year, we took Keree's picture by the Fair Entries sign. I swear she hadn't grown at all since last year.
 On our drive home, we stopped and picked up some lunch because we were starving. When we got home, we were walking up our sidewalk and spotted this DREADED CREATURE!! Thankfully it seems we caught this Tobacco Hornworm early on and it hadn't done too much damage to our tomato plant. It's amazing to think that in all my years growing tomatoes, it isn't until I move here that I discover this damaging creature. So, I used two pieces of paper and scooped him off our tomato plant and threw him in the road. I just can't bring myself to killing them, so the road seemed like the best place....far away from my tomato plant and he may just get run over by a car or a bird will eat him.
 I spent my afternoon and evening working on some crafty stuff, my Mom spent her's sewing and Keree spent her's building. She was so proud of her tower that she just had to take a picture of it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

6 month visit and almost 1 year post-op

Today we got up bright and early (before 4am), so we could get on the road for Keree's 6 mos. visit and almost 1 year post-op appointment at Shriner's. I was a little on the disappointed side at this appointment. We never even saw Keree's primary doctor and our usual Nurse Practitioner saw us for maybe 3 minutes. Our appointment consisted mostly of meeting with the Physical Therapist. Which I'm happy to say, it was one of our favorite Gals. Instead of the Last One, who said that Keree was just lazy and that's why she wasn't getting around. It was figured that Keree's leg difference is increasing about 1/4 of an inch every 6 months. They say there's nothing they can do about it now, except continue to watch it. They are also arranging for Keree to get a fitted wheelchair. They told me that in reality Keree's condition isn't going to be getting any better, the wheelchair will help her live a fuller life and help us with not having to carry her so often. I'm not going to let Keree depend on the wheelchair but for trips to places like the mall or zoo, it will help since she doesn't fit in a stroller anymore. More than anything, I really just wish we could wave a magic wand and Keree's Polio be gone forever. 
So after our PT visit and a few notes from the Doctor. They released us until next year, it was weird walking out of there knowing we aren't suppose to come back until August 2013. In Keree's entire life, it has either been every 3 or 6 months. What makes me sad about it, it's not because they think she's cured, it's because in their words "there's nothing else we can do for her." How sad to hear those words uttered about your child. It's feels like a death sentence they have given you.
Our finally stop of the day was the SHOP. They had to make some adjustments to her brace because it was causing open wounds in 3 spots. Keree also got two new pairs of tennis shoes because her good foot had actually grown and they needed lifts put on them.
Our final stop before starting the long drive home, was our traditional picture of Keree beside the koi pond in front of the hospital. Also for being such a good patient, she got a singing Hannah Montana Christmas doll. She got to press the music button twice before we got on the road and then it had to be quite until we got home.
 By the time we got on the road to head home, it was blistering hot (105). Since the van doesn't have a/c, we were sweating to death. I had heard that a Disney store had recently opened at a mall that is on our way home. So we decided to make a short stop to cool down. Plus, this was only Keree's second time in a Disney store and the first time she would be able to remember. The store is on the 2nd level and so as we came up the escalator, she suddenly saw the giant Disney on the outside of the store. She literally fell into a fit of giddiness, she just couldn't help herself. The store lady showed her the magic mirror and she got to see Rapunzel. Or as Keree keeps telling everyone, "it wasn't a fake Rapunzel, it was the real, real Rapunzel in the mirror."
We ended up spending almost 2 hours in the store, we just looked at everything slowly. Keree held up Merida's dress and Rapunzel's wedding dress to see how she would look in it. But otherwise, we just looked at everything. We walked out of the Disney store not buying a single thing. Keree saw a few cool things that may go on her Christmas list but other than that, it was more about the experience of just being there. Life really is just about the simple things, like window shopping.
By the time we hit the highway, Keree was passed out and stayed that way until we pulled into the driveway. We stopped to grab a drink and I just had to snap this picture, her doll stayed balanced like this the entire ride home.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Play Ball!

Tonight, Keree had the great honor of not only getting to sing God Bless America during the opening ceremony of the Grizz lies game (think Minor league baseball) but she also got to start the game! Being that it was a Monday night game and also that it was 116 degrees (without heat index), the crowds were a little light. But if you saw the shaded side of the stadium, it was packed.  My Mom, myself and my Aunt P was able to watch this amazing moment in Keree's life. 
This is the head of promotions walking Keree out to the dirt right behind Home plate. 
 Keree singing God Bless America. I was amazed to look around and see quite a few people wiping tears from there eyes. Not sure if it's because of the song or because of how amazing Keree did. I'm going with, how amazing Keree sang!
The flag is in Center Field, so that is why she has her back to the stands. 
 This is Keree with K urt Cope land getting ready to start the game.
The microphone wasn't working at this point, so Keree had to yell "Play Ball." Which, she threw her arm up and yelled Play Ball. It was so adorable.
 Keree with Izzy, he is the mascot of the Grizz lies baseball team.
The view from our seats. Tonight was also $2 nacho night at the ball park. Since none of us had eaten, we decided to try their pulled pork and buffalo chicken nachos. They were so good and none of us were able to finish our plates.
 One of Keree's many favorite moments of the nights, the running of the eyeballs. Seriously, it is hilarious to watch a bunch of eyeballs bounce around the field.
 Keree got a game-used baseball signed by all the baseball players. She was in heaven. Kurt chuckled and told us how adorable and smart she was because when he handed back her baseball, she gripped it only on the red seams. To top off such a wonderful night, the Home team won 12-6!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday learning and craftiness

Today was suppose to be a break in the heat....LOL, yep it's only suppose to be in the low 100's. This heat and drought is just crazy stuff. I don't think I've ever seen yards, flowers, trees and bushes so brown that they almost look burnt. As for today, my Mom and I worked on crafty stuff. While Keree did her core curriculum and went back to learning French. She is loving learning French and I really wish I had stuck with it, when she was a baby. After a few hours, she decided she need a break. I have to say that right now, I don't set any time limits on what she has to do and for how long. It has worked out so far because she will spend 2-3 hrs at a time learning but when August hits, I plan on setting more of a schedule for school. She spent the rest of her afternoon and evening playing and practicing for singing tomorrow at the Ball Stadium. 
 One of the many crafty things I got done today. Keree really wanted a fancy Brave flower. So, I added some bling to the petals of the flower. I think it turned out pretty cute.