Monday, July 25, 2011

One Lucky Community


Today our community just got a little bit luckier! We have the first Boundless Playground in our state. A Boundless Playground is an inclusive playground where children of all abilities are able to play and learn together in a fun and welcoming environment. One of the best things about this project is it the community teamed up with businesses to fund this project. In a time of government cut backs this is proof what a community can do when they work together towards a common goal.

Our governor spoke at the ceremony as well as other important local officials.


To me, the most important speaker was a parent. He is disabled as well as his child and he was very emotional talking about how wonderful it will be for him to be able to join in on the fun with his child instead of watching from the sidelines. It was very touching.DSC_9748

After the ribbon cutting the children charged the playground.


My cousin’s husband, Joe, was helping AnnaKate climb up the climbing wall.


My cousin’s daughter, Elise, loved playing with AnnaKate. It was truly special to see all the children playing together in such an inclusive environment.


Elise and AnnaKate go tandem down the slides and a sweet girl helps AnnaKate get up.


Whoa AnnaKate…I was shocked when she climbed up 3 steps on this ladder!


This sweet boy got off his swing and pushed AnnaKate. It made her day…she even signed thank you to him without me prompting her!!


AnnaKate and Elise catching some air!


Back for more fun…


AnnaKate really wanted to do the twisty slide but she was apprehensive. Elise patiently waited…


With a little coaxing…she made it!


More climbing…


Obviously her confidence was up and she tried the twisty slide on her belly…


Now that is impressive!


It was a very special day today for our community.
We can’t wait to go back!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Heartfelt Thank You

This week is the last week AnnaKate will have with her speech therapist. Some therapist come and go but AnnaKate has only had one speech therapist, Melissa. Melissa began with AnnaKate in 2007 when she was one and continued on with her for the past for 4 years.

Melissa did speech in our home once a week with AnnaKate for the first year. I think her speech time was part therapy for me as well. Melissa helped me learn how to be a mom to a child with special needs, she listened to me as I dealt with issues related to AnnaKate and she cheered with us as AnnaKate made accomplishments. It is hard to believe when she first started with AnnaKate they were still doing tummy time and working on sitting up!

IMG_0943Summer 2007

Melissa also introduced us to AnnaKate’s very special school, the Meyer Center. She continued to work with AnnaKate there. She always communicated with me on how AnnaKate was progressing. She would even video her in sessions so I could see therapy. It would make my day to get a text message from her telling me the new sound that AnnaKate made that day.


October 2008


October 2009


Ladies’ Luncheon
December 2009


January 2010

October 2010

AnnaKate has made so much progress over the last 4 years with Melissa. Our family is forever grateful for her love, encouragement, smiles and caring heart.

It is so hard to say good-bye but we are happy for her to make a career change that will help her be with her family more.

Melissa…we will miss you and we love you dearly!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fresh Air…

We went to my parent’s mountain home over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.




Let’s look at that picture a little closer…
AnnaKate LOVES her dog and her TT (grandmother).

mom and ak

They have some amazing blueberry bushes so we spent some time picking. I think about 3 gallons was harvested! (Not a lot of help from the wee one…she either ate them, spilled them or picked the green ones!)


Even Beau helped…sort of…DSC_9641DSC_9643

DSC_9732A great storm rolled in…


After the storm…DSC_9658

AnnaKate helped Billy with some projects. She loves to help.


Beau just being cute…DSC_9687

AnnaKate through the outdoor shower was pretty cool.DSC_9688

Check out the view over the top of the shower…DSC_9695

We did lots of relaxing and…DSC_9692DSC_9703


and nature watching.DSC_9704

AnnaKate also slept in the big girl bed instead of the pack and play! Wow…


Saturday night my mom treated us to a great summer meal…Billy helped with the grilling.


Tomato Pie, Fried squash, Fresh corn and grilled sausageDSC_9725

Oh…and for dessert…delicious peach and blueberry cobbler.DSC_9730

What a weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sous Chef

AnnaKate loves to cook and be in the kitchen. She was such a big help while I was making Billy’s birthday dinner.

First, she helped wash the potatoes.


She helped put the potatoes in the pot.


The next item on the menu was homemade chocolate eclairs. AnnaKate helped to make the dough and the filling by putting the ingredients in the mixer.

Here are the eclairs before we put them in the oven.


Here they are all nice and golden brown.


All filled and iced…yum! Billy said he thought they were better than the bakery’s.


My sous chef…



Billy’s birthday dinner…

Iceberg Wedge with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Steak au Poivre
Marinated Mushrooms and Onions
Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Spinach

Chocolate Eclairs


Happy Birthday Billy! We love you.047