Tuesday, September 29, 2015

She left us with a legacy of Love, Laughter, Kindness & Family.

Wow, has it really been that long since I've put thoughts down into words??!!  This was heavy on my heart and me wanting to share from mom to mom.  A mother that I've adored since middle school and that I will never forget. A mother that has a very strong and beautiful family, like many of us are cherishing similar to our own.  A mother that I wish I spent more time with before it was her time to go.  A mother that loved having her sons friends over (ok, maybe sometimes!) and always opened her home to all of us crazy kids while growing up.

The time together with our families can never be long enough.  Never take a day with family for granted and embrace each moment to the fullest. 
We never know our timeline with the ones we love the most.

"If you love somebody enough, you can still hear the laughter after they're gone"

Today, we bury a Friend
We say good bye to her beautiful smile, warm heart and loving hug that she embraced with us every time we met.  

Today, we bury a Grandmother
Of beautiful grandchildren that she loved so much.  Every moment of them together was her world.  I knew because she not only spoke endlessly of them but so many magical moments captured in endless photos tell us so.  The smiles, the laughter, the squeezes of fun, why did her time with us have to be done?

Today, we bury a Mother
Of two wonderful men that I’m so grateful to call my friends.  Two men that always made you smile, laugh and made a difference of kindness when you crossed their path.  Two men that married women whom their mother was very proud of and talked about so kind & lovingly.  Two women that she admired their sons for choosing…she told me so, but they knew already, it was no secret of the pride she felt inside.

Today, we bury a Wife
A wife of a very genuine husband that she laughed with, loved, held hands, talked with, shared a life with that we all wish for as husband & wife.  A couple that is the example of forever love, commitment and fun that most dream of.  A marriage that was not taken for granted and lived to at its fullest.  A couple with now only memories together that will last generations of a lifetime. 

Today, we bury a Sister
Years of friendships that only sisters understand.  A bond that mends sisters together through thick and thin and always lending more than a helping hand.  Endless memories of tears, laughter & love. Sisters that now stand as two but will always have their angel by their side.  An angel of hope and faith, she’ll always be their heavenly guide. (be still & listen in your heart, she'll be there the most!)

Today we bury an angel that I was so blessed to know.  A mother, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a cousin, a friend and so much more, none of us wanted to see her go.

But the Lord always does take the best, her time here was done. Her legacy lives on in our hearts and truly always will.  A beautiful mother whom left generations of love that will never be forgotten.

Her sweet soul, her warm heart, her laugh, her caring ways that her family will carry on forever and many of us have learned from.  I will never forget how she opened her welcoming arms when our families first met, and was such a loving person that I’ll forever miss and so many more hearts will too.

Thank you Mrs. Kathy Smith, for always being you, you left us way too soon.

This morning it rained, I always believed that when it rained it was the angels transition to heaven; raindrops of sadness they they must leave us but missed family rejoicing once they are Home... sure enough it was today.  This evening sun lit the sky up with such a brightness and went down leaving such beautiful colors since this morning rain and it was a sight that seemed to go into eternity. Just like her memories in our hearts.  May God Bless You always and keep all our hearts strong until we meet again...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pediatric Stroke Awareness

Lauren & Jillian
I truly believe the people you meet in your life are crossing your path with purpose.  

Moms' biggest support system in our lives is other moms. When I met Lauren Glende, I immediately became comfortable with her kindness, smile and friendly personality.  Our girls were dancing at the same studio together and I was happy to hear they would both be starting K5 at the same school the following year.  We grew to know more of each other in our passing, and what I didn't know of Lauren, was more about her beautiful daughter Jillian.  I was not aware of what challenges Jillian had faced as a younger child until I saw a note come home from my Julia's K5 Class:

"In support of classmate Jillian, please wear purple on Friday for 
Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month."

What?  Pediatric Strokes?  I never heard of such a thing.  I contacted Lauren, Jillian's mother, and asked her more.  If I didn't know about it, I knew there were more moms that should know about it and Lauren graciously sat down with me and took the time to share more about Jillian and her experience with a pediatric stroke.  
Jillian, far right, Julia and friends at playtime

Jillian & Julia were having a "Purple Friday" in their K5 classroom and Lauren was bringing in a purple treat that the kids were very excited about.  Mrs. Olson kindly allowed me to join in on the day and learn a little more as well.

"What is Pediatric Stroke?"  Can anyone raise their hand and share with us?"

It was obvious Mrs. Olson had taken the time to teach and help the students understand Jillian's special needs in the classroom and they were all very excited to have a day just for her. 

"Its when your heart and your body may not be communicating."  This and much more came from the brilliant kindergarten minds as Mrs. Olson called on anxious hands in the classroom.

I was honored that both Mrs. Olson and Lauren let me join in and share the day with them and I was even more honored to have Lauren share with us in her own words her experience in our video below...

Here are some more facts from www.CHASA.org & please note the site referenced by me in the video is WWW.CHASA.ORG! I stand corrected & my apologies!   

A Few Facts About Stroke in Infants, Children, Young Adults and Before Birth
  • Stroke can occur before birth, in infants, children and young adults.
  • Risk of stroke is highest in the first year of life and peaks during the perinatal period (a few weeks before and after birth).
  • Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke in children.
  • Perinatal stroke occurs in 1 in every 2800 live births. This incidence is likely to be an underestimate.*
  • You may also hear terms like fetal stroke, prenatal stroke, and in utero stroke. Your doctor may refer to a stroke that occurs between birth and one month of age as a neonatal stroke.
  • Sixty percent of infants with a stroke diagnosis have specific symptoms such as recurrent focal seizures in the first three days of life. Their stroke will most likely be identified early.
  • However, forty percent of infants with early stroke do not have symptoms and the stroke is recognized later with delays in movement, development, learning, or seizures.
  • The risk of stroke from birth through age 19 is approximately 5 per 100,000 children.
  • Perinatal, neonatal, infant and childhood stroke are some of the most common causes of hemiplegia, hemiparesis, or hemiplegic cerebral palsy in children. Sixty percent of the children who survive a stroke will have permanent neurological problems.
  • We’re sad to report that stroke is one of the top 10 causes of death in children between the ages of 1 and 19 years.
While I do realize this blog barely scratches the surface on how much more there is to know, I am still in the process of learning more about Pediatric Stroke and spreading more awareness of it, please take the time to do so as well. 

Like I said in the video, when my Cameron was having "feveral seizures", I first processed it as a "stroke" and my family said, "no way do kids have strokes Connie".  Be aware of this, they do, and the sooner the right resources are found, the sooner the child can move forward living a stronger, healthier life.

Jillian & Mrs. Kasar
Lauren & I are both very blessed to have our kids attend such a great school with all the help, education and tools our kids need for a better tomorrow.   Especially for special teachers that have helped Jillian on her journey like Mrs. Kasar & Mrs. Buck that take the time with her one on one to achieving her many goals.

I'd like to thank Lauren for her time & sharing this journey with us, and Jillian for being the fun loving friend to my Julia in their Kindergarten class with more fun for future years to come!  

To Mrs. Olson, always the kind, loving teacher that I've been thankful to have for 3 out of my 4 kids so far!  Thank you so much for sharing your classroom with us to interview and for all you say and do with our children everyday. Mrs. Olson was also a featured Mom sharing her journey of Breast Cancer with us, definitely a mom of #strength #courage #love & more!  Read more of her courageous battle @ STRENGTH from Aug. 6, 2014 Post.

Stay Strong Moms, Stay the Course, and help us spread the Pediatric Stroke Awareness together!
Like their Facebook page for current, up to date events and opportunities to get involved!
CHASA; Children's Hemiplegia & Stroke Association

DNA Miracles Omega 3

Great Brain Power Food for our children that I love to share is a DNA Miracles Omega 3 Supplement.
Please take the time to learn the benefits of this great tasting product and why Omega is so important for our children today.

Supports brain health, 
Helps to promote a healthy immune response, 
Provides a healthy blend of two essential fatty acids, 
                                                           EPA and DHA 
No fishy taste; great fruit flavor!

Learn more nutritional value of each product for our children at DNA Miracles

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our American Flag & One Strong, Sweet, 11 Year- Old Soul

Our Flag, One Boy, and a moment to never forget...

Of all the thoughts to write about on this very special Memorial Day, no words can express enough to thank the people that have served for our country and their families that have sacrificed even more. 

Embrace the ones closest to you and celebrate this 3 day holiday weekend safely but never, EVER, forget our true heroes.  Below is a video I came across from a year ago.  It is well worth the share to show how powerful history is to our next generation and how we cannot forget what Memorial Day really represents. 

Please pass, forward, and share this 7 minute video of this 11 yr. old boy, if you haven't done so already, and take the time to remember those we have lost...

As a mother, I cannot imagine how proud this mom is today, and every day after, and especially this day on the beach at Normandy...

Click below at;
Project Vigil to read more about this amazing, heart warming story & visit
www.TheVeteransSite.Com to learn more.

God Bless America & may you take today to remember 
all of those we have lost & those that continue to do everything it takes for our freedom.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Your Child Going PRO

So picture this, its team talk time, the coach is pumping the kids up ready to start the game...
“Watch the plays... no errors... keep your head in the game.  Play strong and remember, YOU'RE not going PRO, but hey, lets make it a great game!”

Seriously!  He just set the team up for failure!  “Let’s get out there and play, but you’ll never be good enough so don’t worry about it.”   

I've never had the experience to hear this, but I did just read an article explaining to parents, that your kid is not going pro and the chances of your kid ever going pro are pretty slim to none.    So let me share this with you, “Your kid is going Pro, until you both decide otherwise.”  Why would you want them to think any differently?

We see parent’s reactions not only by plays made on the field or a stumble in the sport by their child, but also when their child gets hurt.  Kids will get injured, unfortunately that’s part of the territory regardless what sport they play.  When they are injured, some parents naturally will ask, “When can they play again?” or “How long will they be out?”  Even I have said, “Ice it up, you’ll be fine and get back in the game” before getting a professional opinion.  Not because I think he or she will ruin that “Pro” future, but mainly because we want them to always do their best and see it to the end.  We ask about the next time they can play because we want to know, as a family, will our player be out for the season?  We are thinking, planning, wondering what to do next; medical appointments, therapy, scheduling, letting the team know their teammates status, how serious is this, is there something more emotional or physical that we need to be aware of.   From what I have seen, an injured player, is still part of that team, unable to play, but at the game, cheering them on.

When we commit to playing a sport, it is an entire family’s commitment.  So natural reactions of when our kids get hurt, is not, in most minds, will this ruin their future PRO career, it’s more of, what’s our next step to move forward with this sport or without and what do we need to do to help our child recover safely?  And yes parents, THAT IS IMPORTANT!

Our kids are impacted today more than ever with negatives all around them, social media, bullying, depression, suicides and much more facing today’s society.  As a parent, running around from practices to games, endless nights of laundry, late dinners, packing coolers for weekend events, living out of the car, going from work, to and from the games, sitting outside rain or shine for hours.  This, not including our volunteer coach’s life; endless calls, organizing and planning for team events and strategies, in constant preparation mode, leaving home to work to the field and crashing in bed at night from a long day.  What is it all for?  For. Our. Kids. By. Our. Choice.  It’s a choice of time commitment or an option of trouble with no direction for our kids and staying “plugged in” with no activity or social interaction at all.  So we make the sacrifice with the busy schedules day in and day out.  And yes, if our kids get injured and we need to ask how long until they play again, it’s with great concern of knowing what kind of day we will have tomorrow and the day after that and the next.

Whether it be a team sport, or individual, it’s what our kids are involved in that makes up a large part of who they will become.  It is their “career” as a student; teaching them to be on time, to practice and get the end result of what they've been working hard for, to be prepared with equipment, uniform, and all they need to participate in for the event to be ready.  It teaches them time, structure, team building, relationships, personal leadership, qualities that help you grow to be the person you were meant to be and like some teams, priceless friendships & memorable direction from coaches.  Yes, you as a parent may know exactly what I’m talking about.  Of course, this all goes without saying, grades are first priority, bad grades =no game.  Playing great in their sport leads to scholarships for their future.  No matter how big or small, every scholarship helps and being involved in team / individual sport activities makes it possible. So again, yes! If injured from a game, I’ll ask if & when my child can play again to continue the student/ career responsibility, with the heart of what do we need to do to recover as quick as possible from the injury.

When do you let the kids know they are NOT going PRO?  When you as a parent and your child make that decision together that whatever sport they are doing, is not for them anymore and they stopped having fun.  If in their heart they really DO want to go pro, they’ll learn & do everything it takes to make it happen, and then its up to the coach’s to decide with them.  This is not about quitting, giving up early or being lazy, it’s about finding what they love to do, giving it their best effort, your 100%, making it thru the struggles and knowing/ seeing they are giving it the best shot possible. When, then, as a parent, you still see your child has lost interest and its effecting more in his life than impacting positively, then its time to let it go, and together, realize, you CHOSE NOT to go pro.  Until then, you bet they’ll go PRO and they will walk out on that field or dive into that pool or walk onto that mat or enter that event, with the confidence, strength and courage of being PRO, giving it the best shot they got, and I don’t ever want my child thinking any different or attempting any less. 
I end with this story;   A child started T-ball, could care less on the field, picking at the dirt like most kids.  Some parents were bored out of their mind, or chatting with others, or reading a book, until it was their child’s turn out of the 15+ up to bat.  Every week, for that hour, this entire family, siblings and all, would watch, again, until it was their child’s turn to bat, did any of them get excited, this not really including the child up to bat.  

Then the child was old enough for Little League.  The entire family would go once again, every week, siblings and all, watch the team win, lose and this same child going thru the motions, again; no desire to be there, very obvious.

Then another Little League year of the child going to practices, now with familiar friends and excited to be out with the team, some were in his class, some new friends from another school, but still, not a lot of excitement when playing outfield or up to bat, just having fun being with other kids.  Then… day after day, Dad started practicing in the back yard with this child.  Mom hears some yelling one day and looks out the window.  Dad yelling at son, “Give it your all!  Come on!  You’re not even giving it your best effort!”  The son almost in tears. Mom was mortified this son was getting demolished by his dad and the entire neighborhood was hearing it but Mom let them both argue it out, leaving it between the both of them.  This continued for a little while, Dad believing and son never giving up.  He wanted to see his son give some effort, it didn't matter in what but at that moment, Dad just wanted to see him give some effort, any effort and he was going to push until he saw exactly that.  Mom had to let this one go and let it be worked out Father/ Son.

Now, it was another year of Little League, son was starting to learn different positions, experiencing more than just the outfield prior season in the same position that he had no interest in, an enthusiastic coach teaching team impact, practicing and doing his best with Dads tough love every day in the back yard, a smile and effort on and off the field.  

A combination of Dad & Coach working with him, seeing a potential that this player did not see in himself.  The love of the game, was developed.  And today, now at 5th Grade, this was read by his parents at a meeting in school for the transition of leaving Elementary and getting prepped for Middle School: 

What was your biggest accomplishment in Elementary School?
"Becoming a better baseball player and being the best Pitcher I can be."

As a parent, was it worth it?  You bet!  Did he ever get injured? Yes, he did.  Did we ask when he can play next?  Yes.  Why?  Because we needed to know the next step for our family and what tomorrow would bring.  Did being PRO during any of this time cross our minds?  Absolutely NOT, but we never told him otherwise either.  We never let him give up when he wasn't giving it his all (especially his Dad).

If you are a coach, thank YOU for doing all you do with our kids to make a difference in their lives (and especially THANK YOU to all the coach's in my own children's lives) and if you are a parent that can relate to a crazy, endless living family schedule, I know you agree that its worth it and wouldn't want it any other way.  

A disclaimer to the loyal parent fans every day, every year, in and out… leave it to the coaches to criticize and critique.   Trust them to do their jobs; helping our kids make improvements & adjustments at practices or on/ off the field.  Leave the calls to the umps and the plays to the team.  We are their fans, there at that moment to encourage and build confidence.

Don’t embarrass your child, or their team, by playing coach or ump while in the stands (I call it the back seat coaching) and don’t worry about what the other team is or is not doing.  Be a "Focused Fan". Cheer on your team during the good games and the bad games and keep moving forward developing their PRO ATTITUDE! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Puppy Love!

Christina & Penny's Pups!
One year ago today, two amazing moms saved a life of another mother, and delivered her pups two days later.  This pregnant puppy was in a high kill shelter when Kirsten from a pet rescue made a call out to her friend, Christina, asking if there was any way she can take her in and save her.

Christina's Family
"Operation Save Penny" went into full effect.  Christina, a mother with three young beautiful children already, didn't hesitate, and took the drive to rescue and save this sick, pregnant puppy, Penny.  Two days later, Christina and her family delivered 7 adorable puppies at their home, yes, at their home.  They not only saved Penny, they saved her 7 pups; seven lives that almost never were. Christina bottle fed these babies because Penny, was not in good enough health for her babies to feed from her. With the help of Christina's friends and family; donating cleaning supplies, food, time and more, these puppies, were loved, fed, cared for, and even potty & crate trained!  At the same time Kirsten was working on the phone finding families that were willing to adopt.  Working together, these moms were on the clock doing everything they can for these new little lives and their mother Penny.  Families were found for everyone, The adoption took place with all the families together saying goodbyes & hello's at a public pet location.  Penny went to a loving family as well!  Eight families changed because two moms, went out of their way to make a difference.

Our family welcomed one new addition, Logan, to our home at 3 months old.  We nick-named him Orso, meaning the bear in Italian.  Logan looked like an adorable little teddy bear to us, Orso seemed perfect and the meaning behind Logan could not be changed, who says puppies can't have a first, middle & last name?!!  Three puppies were named after Christinas children and Logan, was one of them.  As soon as we walked in we knew Logan and our puppy had a strong connection that broke my heart to separate.  I knew both Logans took care of one another and that little man helped his mom take such good care of all the puppies.  It was hard for them to say good bye to one another.  It was an emotional adoption for all the families involved that day.  We are very grateful to Logan, Kirsten from the Pet Rescue and all Christina's family and friends that came together to "Operation Penny" a huge success.

We told our own kids the day of adoption that we were going to the pet store to visit some puppies so when we held Orso and the girls asked if we could keep him... the moment was absolutely priceless.  "Yes" was something they never heard to that question.  It was the day of Julia's 5 yr. old birthday, she was always the one pushing the hardest to leave with a puppy when we went to adoption shelters "just to visit".  Yes, only two weeks after our puppy blog on June 15th,  (Click here for that story!) Julia didn't have to ask anymore.

So while others said to us, "Don't do it, don't give in!"  We took the leap of faith, and here we are  proud dog owners one year later!!!  What a year it has been, I've never owned a dog in my life and always felt that most others that had a dog, just seemed to yell at them all the time.  Give or take a few that loved them like their own child.  Which brings me to exactly that, I don't know how Christina did it!  A mom of 3 already and dedicating 3 months to 7 little pups AND their mother, AND potty training AND bottle feeding them! WOW!  A true saint that made it happen.  We were spoiled, a new puppy, potty and crate trained before even coming home with us!  The kids couldn't get enough of him!!!  Orso was growing fast, and learning how to raise him taught me even more.  This family has more love for our sweet Orso than ever, and here I share with you, what every family should know when adopting.

1.  They grow up fast... super fast. For every month he grew, my 7 yr. old Mia grew in a year! 
(This is how Cameron explained dog years to Mia, Julia & Maximus)  It was true too!  She grew up fast in 7 years and Orso grew up even faster in ONE!
2.  TAKE Puppy CLASSES!!!  Our entire family went together with Orso to get trained on what they are thinking, why they do what they do, how to properly correct it, how to keep them safe, and keep them obedient. ( NOT our kids, sillies, our Puppy of course!)
3.  You won't be perfect after the classes, but you'll understand more of how to work with your puppy.
4. BE PATIENT!!!  Don't yell at them all the time, they don't understand your language, all they know is that you are angry and it scares them & they know when you are happy, and that makes them happy.
5. Love them!!  They want your attention, they don't get to socialize the way you do, include them in  the family, they ARE family treat them with the same respect and they respect you and look up to you (alpha, you are the leader of their pack.)
6.  Be consistent!  They are puppies, they will jump up, get into things, explore, get excited, you need to watch them and keep danger out of their reach!  Be consistent with the schedule you keep them on and the disciplining when in training.  Don't leave all the training up to someone who is not living with you and your new family member.
7.  It IS having another child, they need the love and attention and to be watched so they don't get into anything dangerous.  (Keep them safe in cars too!  We crate him in the car, in case of an accident, he would be the first to go flying out if we didn't!)
8.  Don't make it a party when you get up or walk in your home.  Anxiety and anxiousness from your dog is created from YOU!  We keep Orso in the crate for 15 minutes when waking up, then let him out and 15 minutes after walking in the door from being gone.  This keeps him calm and stopped him from jumping on others when we let him out of the crate.
9.  WALK, WALK, WALK your puppy!!!  This is stimulating for them and wears them out too ;)
10.  Enjoy your puppy!  Don't be screaming and yelling because YOU don't understand why or what he's doing, learn about your puppy and remember, they don't outlive you for the most part, enjoy them while you have them in your life and learn everything you can from them.

**Take my tips carefully, every dog is very different.  Research the habits and likes as much as you can.  My sister and her family adopted a beautiful new puppy a few months after us.  Both dogs habits are very different, being 2 completely different breeds.  Orso took classes, Cooper did not. Cooper didn't need the training that our Orso did.  Cooper is a beautiful, well behaved, very laid back puppy. Both are part of the family and while we try to be direct & implement as much as we learned from our classes with Orso, it wasn't as necessary with Cooper, he chills and hangs out knowing his boundaries already.  The cousins, play, and are the best of friends. :)  Point is, every dog is different, like every child is too :). ***

Julia with Orso Logan, Day 1
What I've learned, is patience.  I now have 5 children, yes 5! We include Orso in that count. I've learned that my kids will walk and feed Orso before the fix their own bed or do their own chores. They will sit and love him, they have fun doing different tricks with him.  Things are put away quicker now so Orso doesn't get into things.  The kids love introducing him to other dogs as his play buddy.  Am I exhausted?  YES!  But do I regret it? NO.  (He keeps me at a fast paced walk that I appreciate with him too, no slacking for me!) This is a puppy's life that almost never was and its our job to embrace everything about his beautiful life. We. Choose. Him.  He is our family to take care of and love.

Orso (1) & Mia (7) today
If you are wanting a puppy or looking into it, learn about the responsibilities of what to expect with their first year of puppy love!  Orso has already calmed down alot since his first year of puppy hood. We may call him Jaws because he still circles around the dinner table and nabs at the first chance of food he gets but we are working on it!  We may not have that friendly poopless back yard to play in, but we'll get there, (the kids will get there I should say!)  and Orso loves his big yard!  He definitely does not nip like he use to or jump up, that's huge progress!! and we may need to find a friendly pet sitter when traveling some places over night, but Orso brings our family together and we all work at it with him every day.  Orso has traveled and met so many new puppy friends his first year with us.  We've had so many puppy lovers come to see him and he loves everyone back just as much!

Thanks Julie for this one!
Happy Birthday Sweet Orso!!  Thank you to Kirsten, Christina and her "Operation Penny Crew" & Tiffany at Pawsitivly for teaching our family on how to work Paws-itively with our Orso!  We've come such a long way learning from you about how to take care of our Orso!!!

And to all the family friendly pet lovers out there that have met Orso already and hugged and loved him the minute you saw him, thank you.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Big Food Bowl!

Moms (& Dads!) bringing all of our PTO's, Students & Community... together.
2015 OC Elementary Schools Big Food Bowl

The more I learn about our community, the prouder I am to have my family as a part of it. Many of us are fortunate enough to have food on the table each night and day.  Some of us, in our own community, are not as fortunate.

This year six elementary schools in the Oak Creek area came together for the 2nd Annual Big Food Bowl Drive.  Nikki Gudzielanek, Edgewood PTO Parent & President, (Extremely busy mom!) brought our Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO)  together to give back to the community in a way that would help other families have the food that many of us take for granted.  

Every Elementary School in Oak Creek, a week before Spring Break, participated in a contest to see which school could collect the most food items.  To keep the students engaged, items were tallied up each day by their PTO and students.  A running tally was posted daily on the Oak Creek Elementary Schools Big Food Bowl Facebook Page.  The schools were able to see by this running count who needed to catch up and who was in the lead!  The school with the highest number of items donated wins the customized "Big Food Bowl" Flag to fly at their school for the year.  A prize package for students also included a free BOWL of ice cream from our Georgie Porgies & passes for free BOWLing from our Classic Lanes & More!

The Edgewood Families collected over 6,000 items alone!  

ALL TOGETHER students from Elementary Schools of Carollton, Cedar Hills, Deerfield, Edgewood, Shepard Hills & Meadowview collected over 13,717 food items!!!!

Riteway Transportation generously donated their time and buses to collect the items from each school transporting two bus loads of food to local pantries; The Salvation Army, St. Stephens Family Life Center, All Saints Lutheran & OC Community United Methodist Church.  Each organization waiting for the busloads of food with friends ready to collect and distribute, many, many helping hands came together.
**Click on the name to learn more of each organization**

Students from Edgewood, (Sylvia's daughter specifically!) organized in their own home community by distributing flyers & collecting items door to door with the subdivision contributing over 200 items!  What a way to teach our students on how important giving back is and developing our younger generation to care for others even more.

Thank you to Nikki, Sylvia, Kate, Lynn, June, Zach & TJ for your time today and 
Cathy Pielsnik for your Video Production Expertise!

Most of all THANK YOU to all the Oak Creek families that contributed and made this event another success helping our own families in need.  
Stay safe this Spring Break, today and always! 
Like & Share our OC Big Food Bowl FB Page to be a part of next years annual Food Drive!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Mia turned SEVEN Yrs. Old!!!

Our Beautiful Mia WAS 6, NOW...SEVEN!!!!!

What?!?  Seven?  I remember someone once asking me awhile back, "Doesn't time fly by so fast?"  I responded, "No, its going by just perfectly."  Now, I take that comment back.  7 years old crept up so fast that I DO look back and wonder where in the world has the time gone?  You may know our little angel from her fun, crazy comments of The Moms Mia-ism's Page so in honor of her special day, I had to share with all of you, fun- loving- moms, what I've learned from my beautiful girl.  Some may say she rules my world, and I say, "your darn right she does!"

Stylin as always!

1. I've heard she's stubborn.  Thank GOD! While others call it stubborn, we call it strong- willed!  Don't mess with her and you'll be fine.

2. You can never wear enough layers...and dots go with stripes, prints go with dots.  It's a "fashion-mista" statement. Seriously.  This girl can make 8 dresses, all on at the same time, look great!

3. There is no rule on # of jewels to wear, enough bling never hurt anyone or clashed any adorableness! # of Purses?  What?! That question doesn't even make sense!

4. Keep good friends close to you, and always make them where a seat belt. (Dear friend, St. Fran, as pictured with Mia, was in a little fender bender with Mia & her hot rod. May he rest in peace, I'm pretty positive he is.)
Mia stuck in a snow storm!

5. Say how it is, "China?! Why does she make everything?  France only made one thing, China makes everything!" regarding her headbands & toys, most say, "made in China."

6. Birthdays are celebrated all day, all week, all month.  If you forget, you'll be reminded, so don't worry about forgetting.
(Hey its the Nana way, everyday's a celebration, you can never be sung to enough and your never too old to blow out your candles!)
Mia partied out.

7. Notes, notes, notes, you can never leave enough love notes in the house.  Mia goes through notepads and post its like crazy leaving us little "I Love You's" everywhere all the time!  It'll NEVER get old!

8.  Sleep, it doesn't matter how, where, or when, just get your sleep in!

9. Love love love your friends, color them pictures, give them hugs, write them letters, laugh and cherish every minute.  Mia loves loves loves those closest to her and she makes sure they know it too!
Mia 4 yrs old & Maximus

10.  You can always be a complete mess and still be as beautiful as ever.  "Me and Layla are just always messy because we like it that way!  Julia and Emery can be the neat ones instead." #luvcousins!
Mia 5 yrs old & Julia

...and there you have my lessons learned from my Mia!
She is my shinning light, my sweetest angel and most of all, she's ours.
Happy 7th Birthday Beautiful Girl!!

Myself, Mia &  Nana.  1 of Mia's favorite Angels.