Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Relay for Life 2009

The past three years, our family has participated in the Relay for Life of Hemet, an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.  I first learned about the Relay in 2007 from Julie Pizzitola, who contacted me to ask if Matthew could be their poster boy (I've been corrected - he was asked to be the the Angel of Hope. But he had a poster sized picture, so I'm sorta kinda right, lol) for the Relay that year. I agreed not really knowing what I was getting ourselves into, and when we showed up to the Relay that morning,  I was asked at the last minute to give a speech about Matthew's story during the opening ceremony. Public speaking is one of my greatest fears, and with a few hundred people there, I didn't think I could do it. Chris wasn't there to bail me out, so I nervously got up on that stage with Matthew dancing around behind me, took the mic, almost threw up, and the words just flowed. It was awesome! I agreed to serve as the online chair the following year. It was fun but a lot of work! Unfortunately I couldn't commit to this years event due to a busy schedule, but there's always next year. Most cities have an annual Relay for Life event, it's worth checking out if you get the chance!

As most people know, Matt is a cancer survivor. He had ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He has been out of treatment for three years, and has two more to go before he is considered completely "cured".  I can't wait for the day when he gets his blood drawn and I don't have an anxiety attack while waiting for the results! Matt is a fighter and we know he's going to win the fight!

Here are a few pictures of Matt at the Relay. We didn't get to stay long, but he ran around the track a few times, made balloon animals and drank slushies. He also got his purple survivor shirt, of course. The Family of H.O.P.E team had an an awesome booth, and raised a ton of money! Those girls are amazing and put a tremendous amount of time and heart into putting on this event. As the mom of a cancer survivor, I am very thankful!

All the cards the girls on the Family of H.O.P.E. team made to sell at the Relay. Julie worked on these for a few months! I made a few packs too...:) They sold all of them and the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Dance

Hayley got all dressed up for her middle school dance, and she looked so cute! This was the second dress she picked out. The first one was a cute yellow number, but it was a little too short and not daddy approved, so luckily we found this one the night before the dance. It was totally Hayley! 

The dance was held at Monteleone Meadows, which makes me all warm and fuzzy because that's where Chris and I got married. Memories....but back to the dance. Chris and I dropped her off at 6pm. Well, we tried to drop her off, but she and a couple of her BFF's waited in the parking lot for about 45 minutes for other BFF's to arrive, because you can't walk in without ALL of  of your girlfriends present. Duh. So we waited with them, which was fun because we got to watch all the kids arrive. The kids sure do clean up nice! 

The kids partied until 10pm.  I asked Hayley how it went. "Good" was the standard answer. Then there was something about how "old-fashioned" and "not cool" some of the dance music was. I asked for an example. She said, "they played Thriller, mom. Seriously, like nobody knows that song. We were all just looking at each other like what?".  That's what she said. If I wasn't already feeling old, I definitely am now....

The girls signature pose. I just love how fun and goofy they are! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Celebrating Easter and Grandma Jeanne!

The family gathered together this past Sunday to celebrate not only Easter, but grandma Jeanne's 80th birthday!  It was so nice spending time with family that we don't get to see very often, and I'm pretty sure that grandma Jeanne was over the moon with having her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids all under her roof for a full day! She is a beautiful, strong and funny woman and she deserved to be celebrated!

After some cake and ice cream, the boys went on the obligatory egg hunt, which started at the front of the house and ended in the back. Afterwards we took some pictures with grandma, and then relaxed and visited with family. It was a splendid day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We knew he could do it!

I wanted to take a few pictures of Matthew today, and he agreed to sit through a quick session. In an effort to keep him in one place for more than a couple of minutes, I asked him to grab his favorite book.  Then I thought, hey, I'll get some shots of him looking like he's reading....everyone will see what a smart kid I have, and maybe I'll be back in the running for good mom of the year award! (one can dream, right?)  Well, Matthew sat down with his book and one of his favorite buddies, and started to read. And read. And read!  Before long he wasn't even paying attention to my camera, and just sat there reading his entire Dr. Seuss book to his buddy. He did a a really good job, and it made me so happy to see him actually read a book on his own, and seem to enjoy it too!

You see, Matt has never been a fan of reading. Or homework. Or school in general! He's quite smart and capable, he just doesn't have the attention for anything that requires him to sit still and focus for more than a few minutes. He's our square peg we're all trying to cram into a round hole. Lately though, he's been trying to make more of an effort to prove to us and his teachers that he can do the work and meet the goals that we set for him in his last IEP.  It's finally paying off  - Matthew's RSP teacher let me know today that they are no longer recommending the SDC (special day class) program for him (a program that would have required him to change schools for second grade)! He'll remain in his current RSP program as long as he continues to make progress. It was awesome news, and Matt's pretty stoked he doesn't have to change schools. We knew he could do it!

Here are some goodies from our photo/reading session:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fun with clippers

Last day of spring break, and Austin was badly in need of a haircut. The poor kid inherited his dad's hair - it grows in every direction, and when it's long, he starts to resemble a chia head. 

The only thing you can really do with it is give it a buzz. Unfortunately, Supercuts closes early on Sundays, but we thought why not? Let's cut it ourselves and save $12! So, Chris dusted off the clippers and headed outside with a very willing and excited kid.

Now, you would think that a buzz cut is all simple and stuff. After all, how can you mess up a #2 on the sides, #3 on the top? Well, with a very ticklish boy, a head full of cowlicks and an impatient father, it's pretty easy. Needless to say, Austin ended up with something that resembles a #1 most of the way around. I didn't take any after shots since Austin wasn't too keen on his new 'do. He liked wearing a hat to school today though, which is a good thing considering he may have to wear it for a week or so! 

(Click on any picture for a better view):

First go-round on the head, and he's starting to look a little nervous. And he's cold and itchy.

Check out those cowlicks! Poor kid. And judging by the look on his face, it seems as if he knows that this do-it-ourselves project is not going to end well. 

Since we're buzzing our half naked kid's hair on our front lawn, I thought the old blue lawn chair in the background added a nice and somewhat appropriate touch.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A lazy spring day...

The kids are in week two of Spring break, and are getting restless. I'm not one of those super-organized moms who fills every day on the calendar with non-stop activities, so I suppose it's mostly my fault. However, it's not like we haven't done anything fun! I took the kids to the Happiest Place on Earth last week, and then to Build-a-Bear a couple of days later. We've enjoyed sleeping in, staying up late and eating breakfast twice a day. Austin even got a special treat of accompanying me on a visit to my gynecologist. He seemed ok with it, but I'm hoping it hasn't traumatized him for life...

The boys have spent way too much time in front of the TV the past few days, so despite their protests of  boredom, I shut the TV off and sent them outside to enjoy the nice, sunny weather! It was also a nice time to dust off the Gazillion Bubbles machine and let the kids run around chasing hundreds of bubbles all over ours (and the neighbor's) lawns.  I also took some pics of Hayley so that I could practice my photo editing skills. I'm pretty happy with how they came out! Here are some pics from today: