Friday, August 31, 2012

First Day of School 2012

This was a very exciting first day of school for us all.  For Olivia, although she would be at the same pre-school with the same teachers, all of her best friends had moved onto kindergarten.  As excited as she was to be with Ms. Stipes and Ms. Devore, she was a little sad to be without her best friend Faith, whom she'd been with since her very first day of baby daycare.

For Juliana, this was an entirely new chapter in her life.  Not only was she moving on from the Pre-school campus into a new huge elementary school, she would also be, for the first time in a mainstream kindergarten class all day.  In her years at pre-school she had spent most of the day in a special education class and only part in mainstream.  This definitely has it's benefits, the main one being smaller class size so she got more attention.  But as we "learned" Juliana and she continued to mature we discovered that more and more she "wants to do what the others are doing" (this is a button on her computer that she uses often).  We also realized that her "disability" is physical.  Her mind works!  So, together with the school we decided to let this little chick soar into general ed Kindergarten.  Let me tell you mom and dad were VERY nervous and excited.

Here are the kiddos on the first day of school.  And yes, Ashely is one of our kiddos too.  She was awesome.  She spent the night with us that night to help us in the morning and then spent part of the morning at school with Juliana to help get her acquainted with her new class.  Then Super Daddy tagged her out and he ended up spending the first week at school.  Got to love the Super Daddy! So she is in a class of about 20 kiddos with one teacher and one teacher aide dedicated to Juliana all day.  She is wonderful and quickly learning Juliana.  Looking forward to the awesome things to come this year!
 Day 2 - This is Evan.  He is Faith's (Olivia's bestie) little brother and he is in Olivia's class this year.  I think Olivia has loved having a pseudo-brother that she looks after in class.  They car pool together with Super Daddy.
 And here is Juliana on Day 2!  I'd say day one was a success judging by that smile.  For those of you that don't know I was lucky enough to be able to transfer to Juliana's school this year, which is exactly 2 houses from our house.  So we have had the best time walking to school everyday and sharing about 20 minutes before school starts in my room together.  And another plus, we are in the same hall, so I can peek in from time to time.  Not sure that is a plus for her but it is for me!
 This was the moring of Day 3.  I'd say school is wearing them out a bit.
 Here we are on Day 3 - Still smiling!
 Day 4!
 And Day 5 - I'm so glad she is loving it so much
 And here is Mommy and Juliana after the first week of school.  We were both whipped!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Roger's Birthday

Happy Birthday to an awesome husband, my best friend and the BEST DADDY in the whole wide world!  This year we asked Daddy what he wanted to do for his birthday and all he asked for was a good dinner with good friends.  Done and Done!

Dinner at The Ranch.  This was Roger's plate

And his special request birthday cake!  A lemon cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.  I'm not a fan of lemon, but this cake is delicious!
 And here are the great friends!

 Fork out front

 Happy Birthday Roger - my partner in crime! and eating apparently

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Loose Lips Sink Ships

So, not probably one of my better parenting moments, but I couldn't resist.  So Olivia have been talking at length about how some things are private between the two of us and not for everyone.  Nothing like super classified information.  I'm talking like, when she goes over for a play date with a friend and I say, "Be polite and don't ask for everything you see."  Then she goes to the play date and tells the host, "I sure would love some of those oreos (or whatever looks good to her) but my mommy said I'm not allowed to ask for anything."  You know things like that, that aren't supposed to be repeated.  So I jokingly told her that "Loose lips sink ships"  Of course she didn't understand.  But the next day, when she told another one of my little pearls of wisdom, I gently reminded her that she has loose lips.  The following ensued after that comment.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Time with Aunt Melissa

This weekend Auntie Melissa and family came to visit.  Partly to hand David over the keys to his Almost New PT Cruiser!  And partly just for good times.  Olivia LOVES Auntie Melissa since she is the ONLY person that will allow her to paint her nails!
 Not too bad for a four year old.
 Then it was grilled pizza night. Juliana's favorite!

And finally, to end the weekend David, Kayla and Harriet the Honda helped me move into my new classroom right up the street from our house!  Juliana and I will both officially be Lively Eagles! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Scenic Drive

So after our big day, the Pacheco's were heading back to Big D.  But before we headed to the airport we had to take them to Scenic Drive.  This is a road in El Paso on a mountain that overlooks the entire city.  It is beautiful.

   She was so excited to be on top of a mountain!

 Funny thing, Roger asked on the way up, "Wow, I wonder if it will feel cooler up there since we are on top of a mountain. . . "  Ummm, the answer to that is a big fat NO!  In fact I think the fact that you are closer to the sun makes it HOTTER than down below.  And here is a forced picture of Roger and Juliana - forced because in these temperatures, Juliana prefers to be indoors with air conditioner or taking a nap.


So then we get back home and I discover this gold mine!  I had completely forgotten about our "professional family photo".  Several questions come up here, (1)Why is Ray pasted in the bottom (2)Why would you pick the shot of me with eyes closed and (3) why is Danny wearing shades in the picture?

Then it was time for our last supper in El Paso.  We chose Jaxon's with my parents and Laura and Gary.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my girls having such a great time with their family.  Although we don't get to see you guys often enough - the LOVE YOU GUYS!

 Subsequently, they also had a blast with Omi and Opi who were also present, but don't know how it's possible that we didn't get a single picture with them that night.

And here is an awesome button that the Angel's of Faith made for the golf event, "Frankly Rett Syndrome, We DO give a damn!"
 And here we are, on our last morning in El Paso saying good bye to Mr. Frandina.  Mr. Frandina is the General Manager at the the Holiday Inn in Downtown El Paso and has hosted our family for two years now.  Thank you so much for your very generous hospitality.  It's become our home away from home.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

1st Annual El Paso Angel's of Faith Golf Tournament

So, this year instead of the Annual Spaghetti dinner, the El Paso Angels of Faith decided to take on a new challenge and instead they held a Golf Tournament this year.  Unfortunately we did not make it in for the signing of the proclamation, but the Angel's of Faith were there to represent!

 Here was everyone getting ready before the big event.  Shout out to Kohl's who sent volunteers to help work the event!
 Huge shout out to Texas Roadhouse who supplied the delicious Barbeque Brisket Sandwich bags before the event! 
 Juj and Linda - just hanging out watching their stories.  I must give Linda credit.  She was the only one of us out-of-towner's that got up early with the Angel's of Faith to get it all set up in the morning.  Thank you so much Linda!
 These were so cool.  So the team passed out angels wings to various people in the community - some artists, some children, some children that were in the Children's Hospital and some just "normal" people.  The were asked to decorate/paint them any way they chose.  They were then auctioned off at the event.  They were incredible.

 And this is the Jolly Trolley.  Gary drove around the course all day offering sno-cones on a very hot day.  But these weren't just ordinary sno-cones, how would you like a coconut sno-cone with a shot of malibu?  Now you're talkin!
 We thought we'd go out for a spin.  No malibu in our drinks!
Let the tournament begin!

 Okay, so it may not be that "green" but don't the mountains look incredible!
 Mrs. B and Linda takin' a ride around the course!  They look like professionals!
And another great shot of the mountains!
Eddie and David getting started!
And this is Xotchitl - one of Angel's of Faith MVP's.  This group is truly amazing!
After the tournament it was time to settle down and eat!
And do some more shopping with at our wonderful auction!

 This is one of the bands that played the event - Outbreak!  Awesome music, great time!
Thanks Outbreak!

A little bit of dancing!
Some more shopping!!!

And this is Monsignor Smith.  He presides over our local Catholic church.  He married Roger and I and has always been a HUGE supporter of Juliana and our effort.  God bless the man and all he does for his community.

Roger and I sharing a few words of gratitude about all the days event.  We presented the El Paso Angels of Faith with a picture and some words from Juliana.
Then it was back to partying with Everyday People!

Then it was time for some Rockabilly!

Some words from Gary and David
One proud papa!

Thanks to Great American Land & Cattle for some incredible steak burgers that night!
One more round on the Jolly Trolley

Saying goodbye to Monsignor Smith.
Do you think she had fun tonight?
At one point I couldn't find Olivia, found out she was tending bar with Aunt Laura - JUST KIDDING.  She is not TABC certified so she was just dispensing water and soda.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the El Paso Angel's of Faith!  Your hard work will always be an inspiration to us and to others to keep fighting for our cure - Juliana deserves it.  Thank you for the tireless hours of blood, sweat and tears it took to put on this amazing event.  We love you and are forever grateful for your support!