Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Living On The "Space Coast"

The shuttle launches are now are part of history, but living on the Space Coast, we still get to see NASA launch rockets.  Even though there is nothing like watching a shuttle take astronauts into space, a rocket launch is still pretty cool to see.  Last Friday an Atlas 5 launched just after 5:00pm.  The sky was pretty clear and we had a great view from the backyard. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two Pirates And A Princess Meet Up With The Keirnan Clan

When Mike used to get together with Francine it would just be the two of them to hang out together.  This is what it looks like, now, when they get together!     


Monday, February 27, 2012

A Girl's Best Friend, Too!

One Sunday, a couple of weeks ago the girls spent the afternoon out in the yard playing with the dogs.  They apparently had a little doggie Olympics with various competitions.  They spent hours outside with the dogs, and everyone was worn out by the time the sun went down.  The golden retriever in the pictures is not ours.  She belongs to Allison's best friend, Lauren, and was apparently the winner of the Olypic games.  Sorry, Cookie and Snoopie!  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Better Late

Okay, so Leah's birthday was January 3........her party was January 27th.....her birthday post is February you see a trend here?  I have been late with everything lately.  Having a birthday right after the holidays is tough for me and therefore, for Leah.  I never even get a chance to think about Leah's birthday until about December 27, and it always surprises me to realize, at that point, that it is just days away.....ALWAYS!  Another trend you might see here is that I am a slow learner!

Anyway,  I am finally posting a picture of my now ten year old.  Another kiddo in the double digits!  The day of her party she wanted her hair crimped and she picked out a t-shirt and earrings she got for Christmas to wear to school.  She came downstairs, and I just couldn't believe how grown up she looked (and color coordinated for that matter, she doesn't usually excel in that department!)   


Don't ask me to explain the moustaches, no idea!  The mariachi and (teeny, weeny) sombreros went along with Leah's "taco" theme.  Hope no one considers any of this politically incorrect............ late Happy Birthday, Leah Bear!!   

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Father/Daughter Dance 2012

Last night Leah and Rachel went to the father/daughter dance at their school with their daddy.  The dance had a Luau theme, not fancy dress up like at the school the girls used to go to.  I think that is why Leah wanted to go, though.  She seemed more excited about dressing up than actually going.  This was the first time Rachel has gone to a father/daughter dance.  I asked her if she wanted to go to a dance and she said, yes.  She got really excited when she found out she was going to get to wear a dress.  She even seemed to think the little pink flower I put in her hair was neat.  At first she said no to it, but then seemed to think it was okay (maybe even a little big girl cool!) and left it in her hair, amazingly.   Below are some pictures that I took before the dance.  Rachel was just too funny.  She was full of giggles and silly faces, and she didn't even know what a dance was! 

Nature Post

I was driving back into the neighborhood this week after dropping the girls off at school and saw a Bald Eagle sitting on the roof of a nearby house.  He hung out long enough for me to get to the house and get my camera.  I can never get over how majestic (and BIG) they are!!

This is just a zoom in of the picture above. 

Later in the day he was back fishing in the lake behind our house. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Change Is In The Air

Rachel has struggled this year in school.  She started the year not following directions and generally being disruptive in the classroom.  Not really sure how much of that has changed, it is just that the school stopped sending home daily reports.  They said it was too much work.  That or they saw that I was posting it on my  blog hahaha! 

I pushed to keep Rachel included in the regular classroom as much as possible and was glad when she was kept in the regular classroom with an aide back in the fall.  At that time, the district put a new math and reading program in place, too.  I had high hopes, but math (number recognition, actually) is still a struggle and the reading program is a joke.  Now, here we sit, three quarters through this year with nothing to show for it.  Last year was a waste, too, when the school took away the original VE teacher and brought in a brand new teacher who seemed more than overwhelmed with the class.  How can it be that I have let two years get by me?    

It looks like it is time for me to rethink my plan.  I spoke with a mom who recently moved her daughter out of Rachel's class to another school and is loving the change.  I have decided it is time to look for another option too.  Last week I went to a meeting about a new charter school that will be opening in the fall.  It will be for children with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.  They will take 30 kids the first year and will have three behaviorists on staff.  After talking to one of the behaviorists, I handed in an application for Rachel.  There is still lots to talk about with the school and more information to get from them about what they can do for Rachel, but not matter what she will be doing something different this fall.        

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Say, "Cheese!"

Almost got a smile!  Rachel is a smiley girl, but she refuses to smile on command for the camera.  She let her guard down the other night and I almost got a smile!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good Friends

It is so hard to stay in touch with friends, especially friends from your younger days.  Mike has one special friend, Francine, that he has known since he was in middle school.  They have managed to stay in touch despite the years and distance (mostly thanks to Francine).  I remember meeting Francine when I was in college.  I went to Connecticut with Mike when our spring semester was over.  On my visit to Connecticut, we also drove to Boston to hang out with Francine.  I am not sure if we got to see one another again until mine and Mike's wedding in 1992.  Francine was there for that, and we made the trip to Connecticut in 1997 for Francine and David's wedding.  We met up again in 2001 in Boston when we were in the area for Mike's job.  At that point our families each had two kids about the same ages.  This made for a closer relationship with Francine as we commiserated on the ups and downs of being parents.  I always enjoyed Francine's company, but I am not sure how close we would have become if it had not been for the births of our third children.  Both of us ended up being moms to children with Down syndrome.  Not only that, but we both found out from prenatal testing.  Now, you get us together and we just can't stop talking, comparing the kids to one another, the husbands, etc.  It is sometimes scary how our families seem to be so similar.  At one point during Francine's visit with us this past weekend, out two oldest children said the same thing at the same time! I am very thankful that Francine stayed in touch with Mike over the years and that we have gotten a chance to become good friends.  Good friends are hard to come by.....good friends who know where you are coming from are rare.  Rare and cherished.