Saturday, September 29, 2012

more pictures

I took some pictures of my flowers that are newly blooming for the fall.  I still have quite a few summer flowers still in bloom, but these are the ones that make me happy right around this time each year.  I love fall - it is my favorite season. 

I got my new battery and new cord for my laptop.  Last step will get the connection fixed that holds the power cord and I will be back in business.
I am not sure what these first two flowers are.  I got some "free seeds" when I ordered some nursery plants, and this is what came up recently!

 This is a Chinese Lantern.  It is really cool.  It will turn red, but I was excited to see it was showing up, so I took it's picture.  It is really delicate:
 Burning bush:
 My mums are almost all in bloom.  They look really great:
 No idea what this is, but I have quite a bit of it:
 These are fire pokers.  I am actually surprised to see these blooming right now - they are more of a summer plant:
 I have a lot of colors of mums.  The people before me had them spread all over the place, but I grouped them all together:

  My last iris.  You can't tell from the picture but this one is HUGE:
 Can't remember what this is.  It just popped up under my pine trees:

 Stone crop.  One of my favorite plants.  I have a ton of it:

Friday, September 28, 2012

While the Computer is still being obnoxious

I thought I would post some pictures I had saved.  Enjoy!

Finley had a camp out with her Daisies a few weekends ago.  The girls had a good time.

 Arlington and Cejai spent a whole date doing all the doll's hair in the house.  they were pretty proud.  Then they had Cainan take their picture:
 This is where Rosie hangs out when Finley is at school:
 My friend, Maria, watched the kids for me during a meeting and this is the picture she sent me on my phone:
 The kids and I walked a one mile fun run here in our town.  We wore our Finley's Fighter's shirts!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Computer problems

So - my laptop decided it was time to cause problems.  First the battery went.  Then the little place where I plug in the computer decided to not work, so I can't even run the computer by plugging it into the wall.  It is sad. 

So, I am having to use Finley's Ipad to type.  That is not ideal.  It is not very good for typing.  Especially blog post.  And I can't post pictures because I have no idea if I can plug my camera into the Ipad to download the pictures.  I am sure you can't.  Apple is cool like that.

So tomorrow the computer is going to the computer hospital.  And Mat ordered me a new battery.  Until then, my blog post will be short.  I know you are sad.

I will tell you this.  Cane travel lessons for Finley have gotten to the point where she will start to use it other than in lessons.  So - we are starting to pump it up for her.  Right now, she is trying to think of a name for her cane.  This has proven harder than I thought.  Who knew naming a large white stick would take a few days of thought?  She told me she would get back to me.

We are also going to get her keychains to attach to the string on the top of the cane.  Since she can't decorate it with stickers, etc., keychains is the way to go.  She has decided she would like to earn the following:  elephants, skeletons, skelanimals, dogs.  Raise your hand if you are surprised.

I will also tell you, that Arlington is a freakin' drama queen.  When did 9 become the new 13?  Her emotions are so unpredictable that we are afraid to talk to her.  She is a mess.  She needs boarding school.

I have nothing to report on Cainan because he is normal, non-dramatic, and a good boy.  The end.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

RDH12 Fund for Sight just gets more and more amazing

Yesterday one of our RDH12 Families - the Kinney family held a charity walk.  Their daughter, Abigail, is just like our Finley.  She has RDH12 LCA, and is going blind.

When Lori first joined our group, I called her up and talked to her about what we were all about.  I remember talking to her about what we were doing fundraising wise and she said to me.... "I don't think we can do that."

I, of course, told her "yes you can.  Just tell one person what is going on with Abigail and that we want to cure her".

So she did.

That was over 2 years ago, and I can tell you....Lori is amazing.  She is our success story.  Any time we get a new family in our group and they start being overwhelmed on what we have accomplished, I always say, "let me tell you a story....."

Yesterday, Lori's fundraiser raised $31,000 for our RDH12 Fund for Sight.


RDH12 is fierce.  We are a force to be reckoned with.  And we WILL DO THIS.

Congratulations Lori for all of your hard work.  We are so lucky to have you in our group and on our side.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Week in Review

Pictures in this post are Cainan at his soccer game.  He is #2. :)

 This week we stayed busy.  Monday I had lunch with Lindsay.  Yummmmmmmm......sushi......

Tuesday I spoke at the Humanitarian club at our local high school.  They help with community events, and help with fundraising, etc. for different non-profits, so I went in to talk about our RDH12 Fund for Sight.  They were a really big group, and so sweet.  Great kids.

Wednesday I participated in a graduate study that my friend Sonja (and fellow LCA mom) is doing.  It is a study on mom's of vision impaired/blind children.  We have to do three separate interviews (my second one is today).  It is good therapy to talk about it, so I have enjoyed helping her out.

Wednesday was also the cirriculum night for Cainan and Finley's classes.  Of course they were on the same night and at the same time.  Luckily Mat was in town, so we were both able to go.  And kids were invited (although I hope they cut this piece out next year) so everyone came along. 
Cainan's soccer practice was also Wednesday night.  It was right before cirriculum night, so that boy was tired by the time he went to bed.

Thursday and Friday Mat was traveling on a business trip.  That is always fun.  Not.

Thursday I spoke to the trail council for our event we are planning here in Massachussetts.  They were really great, and we worked out a lot of details.  I think it is going to work out perfectly.  Thanks to my friend, Maria, the kids got to hang at her house while I attended this meeting.  They were thrilled because they got chocolate cake and got to watch the Muppets.
Friday was picture day for Arlington at school.  She was less than thrilled.  But she lived.  Friday was also Cainan's first cub scout meeting.  Mat was still gone, so the kids and I went together.  It was a bit chaotic because it was outside, and we were freezing.  But Cainan had a great time.  I will be anxious for him to get started and see if he likes it.  I think he will.

Today started with Cainan's soccer game.  Then Kumon for Cainan.  Then babysitting of a neighbor girl, Arlington having a friend over, Finley going on a playdate, mowing the know....typical weekend stuff.
Arlington has had boat loads of homework.  I love this teacher, but even I am overwhelmed some nights with what she has to do.  But she is doing great.  Thank goodness for cheat sheets for parents when it comes to math.  It has been awhile since I have had to define rhombus.....quadrangle........quadrilateral.......polygon.  Seriously - is this 4th grade?

Finley talks and talks about her days at first grade.  She really does love it.  Things are going very well so far, and I hope it continues.  She is keeping on pace with the rest of the class, and they are really challenging her to think. 
Cainan doesn't tell me much about Transitional.  He tells me he has fun, and what his friends and he did that day.  As for learning.....well, I have to assume he is doing some.  The cirriculum seems very easy right now, from what he brings home, but my guess is the teacher needs to see where the kids are (since it is quite a wide range of learning abilities in there) and then will start to branch out.  At least I hope so.  I know he isn't there to gain a lot of new knowledge, but just to grow, but hopefully it will be a little bit of challenge for him.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Sorry I have been quiet for a few days.  I know - not a lot of pictures either.  (sorry grandparents).  During this week I have been busy trying to get some details together for a race we are going to hold here in our new home town.

I am happy to say that after talking with everyone I needed to, we are set to have a race here in Massachusetts on June 15th!!

No worries, Connellsville, we are having our annual race there on August 24th...... 

This one is an extra.  Because I have gone completely crazy.

I am looking forward to it.  Summer 2013 is going to be a busy one.  We have already started working on the details and I am excited to try this out here in Massachusetts.  The races/picnics are a lot of fun and a great way to bring Finley's Fighters together.

So be on the look out!  More details will following starting the beginning of the year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Casino Trip for Finley

Hi All!  Time for another Casino Trip!  Below is the info.  We hope you will join us.  This time - Apple Tours is helping us by taking all the reservations (we thank them so much), and this means you can pay by CREDIT CARD if you want!  How great is that!

Please join us and thank you for helping us fundraise for Finley

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lessons Learned

Today I had lunch with a new friend.  Her name is Lindsay.  She has LCA like Finley - just a different type.  The difference is that Lindsay has been blind since birth.

When I met Lindsay (online on our LCA group), I liked her immediately.  She was smart, and funny.  I was excited to learn that she lived near by so that we could meet in person.

She is involved in the study that Finley participated in a few weeks ago, and that was our first chance to meet in person.

We both have a fierce love for sushi, so we got together today to eat and chat.  The more I get to know her, the more I like her.

And the more I learn what it is like to be a blind adult.  And what blind adults think about being blind.

That was a lot of blind in one sentence.

What I am learning is that Lindsay isn't identified by her blindness.  Lindsay is just........Lindsay.

Smart, funny, Brown graduate who works at MIT.  She is a scientist who is deeply involved in her work.  She tells GREAT stories.  She had an amazing childhood and a pretty amazing life.  She lives on her own in Boston.  She hates to cook.  She has a magical smile that lights up a room.

When I sat with her today in a crowded restaurant, swapping funny stories and silly antics, I saw what I want for Finley.  An outgoing person that lives life to the fullest.

She taught me today that being blind is not a sentence.  It is not sad or depressing or dark.  She said that what drives her the most crazy is people who don't think her life is full or meaningful because she can't see.  That when people talk to her and wish that someday she could see, it bothers her.  It bothers her that they feel she isn't good enough just the way she is.

I am guilty of this with Finley.  Of COURSE I want her cured.  Of course I don't want her to lose her vision.  Of course, of course, of course.

But I want to make sure that her life is full.  That she realizes that no matter what - she is amazing and can be amazing - blind or sighted.  That I expect her to go to college, get a job, get a house, get married, have children.......blind or sighted.   I expect from her what I expect from Arlington and Cainan. 

Lindsay grew up in a house where blindness was accepted and a part of life.  It did not define who she was.  She was not coddled or held to lower standards because of it.

And look where it got her.  Look at what she has done already!  And she is very young still - still so much to do.

I smile when I think of her today.  How much fun she is and how much she has taught me about what you need to see in EVERY person and what you need to see PAST.

Thanks Lindsay.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I have been serious on the blog for awhile, so I thought I would entertain you today instead.

Well - have Pinterest entertain you.

Have you been to Pinterest?  Don't do it - it will suck your life out of you.  But it is fun.

I was on the humor section today, and enjoying myself.

This first one is how I live every day of my life since I became a mother 9 1/2 years ago.  My kids have not gotten any smarter about this stuff:




This next one is our Scooby:

Ha ha - this next one is SOOOOOOO Mat:

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

 This is me - every day of my life:

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest
This is how we felt about Florida from the moment we arrived to the moment we left

Mat's work cycle:  Well, Life cycle, really:

Me and Cooking:

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For my daughters

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest
I want both of my daughters to know that they can do anything. I tell them everyday - you can do it. I believe in you, so YOU need to believe in you. Arlington has a strong personality, and she is going to do great. Finley needs a bit of a push. And the harder things get for her, the harder she will need to be reminded that I believe in her. As does her dad, her family, her friends, and everyone who thinks of her every day.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Today was another successful Bunco Fundraiser for Finley.  I can't believe I was ever hesitant to try these out.  Thank goodness my friend Maria doesn't take no for an answer.

They have been the most fun we have ever had with a group of women.  Tonight we had around 30 women and we had an awesome time.

The best part?  We made over $1400 for our RDH12 Fund for Sight!  2 hours worth of Bunco - not too shabby.

What I noticed tonight, too, is how amazing women pull together for each other.  Bunco has become a girl's night out fundraiser.  Friday night after a long week with the kids - we escape, eat, drink, and laugh.

And while I was chatting and talking to everyone and thanking them for coming, the women gathered together and cleaned up.  I didn't even have to lift a finger.

We have been in our new town a year, and they have taken in our family and take care of us.  I am overwhelmed and grateful for our new friends and new Finley supporters.

Another step toward our final goal.  I can't stop smiling!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finding your Destination

In 2009, Mat and I started on an incredible path.  At the time, it didn't seem so incredible - it seemed like a desolate, lonely road through the thickest of woods.

Quickly enough, the path became incredible.  Do you know why?  Because we knew our destination.  We were no longer fumbling with what ifs, what is, what is not.  We were working with here is where we are, and here is where we need to go.

Our destination gets closer every day.  A cure.  No permanent blindness.  We are almost there.

We are headed into the sunshine.  The sunshine that Finley will not only feel on her face, but will be able to see as well.  Three years of rain has been quite enough, thank you.  And even though the storm gets a little shorter every day, it is not quite over.

 Dr. Thompson.  Dr. Bennett.  Our RDH12 family.  Our family.  Our friends.  Strangers.  All have joined us on this path, and have not left our side.  We will reach the destination together.

And when we is going to be a glorious day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Always Will Remember

Today marks 11 years since the tragedy of September 11th.  I have watched a lot of the coverage all day, including the Today show from 2001 as the events unfolded.

To watch that 2nd plane coming toward the towers has never gotten easier to watch.  Knowing that those are the last few seconds those people would live here on earth is just unbearable to think about.

How much we have changed since that day.  11 years is a long time.  Mat and I have lived in 6 states and have had three children since then.  Arlington wasn't even a thought in our mind that day, and now she is about to turn 10 years old.

Time goes by so quickly.  On September 11th, we couldn't even fathom how we would recover as a country, or how New York City was going to get rid of all of that rubble.

And now?  Now where the towers stood is a beautiful place.  A place to go and remember.

Hug your family a little tighter tonight.  Don't ever go a day without an I love you, or I am sorry. 

Monday, September 10, 2012


Tonight, I am watching MasterChef.  I don't normally watch cooking shows, but this year, I have been following along with Christine Ha.  She was diagnosed at age 19 with Neomylitis Optica, and slowly lost her sight.
She is blind.  And she is a chef.  And she WON.

Watching her is amazing.  She has a helper who just basically tells her where the knives are, and when something is blended completely.  I can't cook on a normal day with normal vision, so I am inspired.

The more we travel along this journey with Finley, the more people I meet, read about, watch that are blind.  They are not living with their parents.  They are not uneducated or unemployed.

They are graduates of MIT, Brown, Harvard.  They climb Mount Everest.  They work at the World Trade Center.  They are tri-atheletes.  They win Gold Medals in the Olympics.

The more I learn, the more I realize that Finley can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to.  Anything.  Just like any other person.

The only thing that holds you back is you.  Lately I have become more sure that Finley is going to have an amazing life.  I can't wait to see what path she chooses.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A few catch up pictures

This past week with the kids starting school, and me getting ready for a small fundraiser we had this weekend, I took some pictures I didn't have time to post.  (this is considered being a bad parent to the grandparents)

So - here are a few things that happened!

Arlington got her hair cut really short.  It is really cute on her

 Finley ate a cookie the size of her head at Eat N Park:
We made an orange brain with Finley's jello mold:
 The kids cooled off in a local lake:

 The kids helped paint the dog house.  It is......ahem......beautiful  (cough cough).....

 Rosebud waiting for us to leave so she can dig a hole somewhere:
 Trying to coax the dog in.  They didn't want to go in there:

 Rosebud is as cute as she is bad:
 Scooby being forced to stay there: