Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rest in Peace Aunt Jeanie

A light went out on Monday morning, as my dear Aunt Jeanie passed away.
My Aunt Jeanie always made me feel beautiful and special and most of all, treasured. She adored hearing about what the kids were up to and wanted to know not just generalizations but every detail. She was proud of and loved each of them to pieces.
And she loved me. With all my insecurities I always knew Aunt Jeanie adored me, and what a gift that was!
Some of you know that I almost always would have at least one piece of Aunt Jeanie jewelry on. Every time I wear something of hers I would get compliments, and would smile and say "it's my Aunt Jeanie's." We'd get "Aunt Jeanie" bags with goodies that i KNOW were all mine but I would generously share with my daughters if I felt inclined lol. We all loved how we could smell her in everything that was in the bag (even the boys!) Sometimes I'd snap a picture of what I was wearing and send it to her, or show her in person; the latter being the best cause I'd get to see her beam that radiant smile. I showed her the ring I was wearing last week at a point when she had opened her eyes, and she smiles then held my hand. She held onto my hand for over an hour, even when I needed to leave the room she held tighter. It hurts down to my core each time I realize I can't show her anymore.
This beautiful woman with the infectious laughter that tinkles like bells, how can she be gone? This amazing woman who marveled at and passionately embraced the freedom to practice her religion after coming to the US from the Europe of WWII, where they had to live as Catholics to survive the Nazis. She loved her faith and religion, loved to be near the Torah. She was actively involved in many aspects of her Temple.
And her boys, how she loved her boys, my cousins Steve, Neal, and Ron. They were everything to her. And then came the "messiah" Julian, her grandson! I loved hearing her talk about his funny stories and all he was up to as much (if not more than) she loves telling them! And oh so much pride in her beautiful Nova, who was exactly like a granddaughter to her.
My Mom. She is hurting right now. She and Aunt Jeanie would have typical big sister/kid sister situations as long as I can remember, but she loves her big sister and already misses her terribly.
Oh but then there is Uncle Herbie. There's is a spectacular true love. Sure they had normal moments lol, but there was no doubt they loved each other. To see the way they looked at each other there was no denying the truest love existed between them. One of the most beautiful moments I saw over the past week was when he took her hand, and she lifted it to kiss his hand. My God they loved each other. I'll repost the video of them singing another time.
I love you Aunt Jeanie. I don't really know how to do this, but I'm doing it. I miss you. We all miss you.

For those interested, the obituary is on Legacy.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some GOOD News about Teens Today

Over the past several weeks there have been some truly horrific stories about teens doing terrible things to special needs people. I'm going to counter that for you today, and I hope everyone pays attention!

Last fall, Zachary was given the opportunity to be a "Little Brother" for Lenape High School's Varsity Boys soccer team. The program was started by the Paul VI girls varsity soccer coach and presented to parents of players in the TOPSoccer program, and I sent an email to have Zach participate.

His first day with the team was on his birthday last year. I was nervous because I know kids can be mean, or feel uncomfortable around special needs kids; as Zach walked up and I saw the incredibly warm welcome given him all my fears subsided. Not only did they have him participate in the practice that day the entire boys soccer program (all levels were out at the practice that day) sang Happy Birthday! Each and every game and/or practice he went to for the rest of that season followed suit, filled with greetings and acceptance.

Needless to say, Zach had been asking about the next season ever since the last season ended lol! Finally in June I sent an email to Coach to ask if they would be continuing the program. I got an email back to let me know that while Coach didn't know if the program itself was still going on, they (the team) would love to have Zachary back as part of the team and invited him to come out to the summer league games, where he was instantly greeted by each of the players. The fall season began this past week. Zach has been so excited and proud to be part of this team, and wanted to express this so naturally he got out his Legos and designed this plaque for Coach. It has a collapsible easel on the back, and is an exact replica of the logo on the shirt Zach wears to the games:



He also wrote a letter. Keep in mind that along with autism, Zachary has pretty severe processing disorders, dysgraphia, and generalized learning disorders. I was on the phone as he was typing and the only help he asked for was how to spell 2 words. Prepare yourselves, this letter is something!

The L on the shirts and all does not only stand just for LenapeIt stands for love loyalty and leadership.And I believe that all of those are in us when we put on the shirts. the L stands with us whether were on that field or on the bench and no matter what. win or lose we are a team. A team that will stand tall if the game gets rough and if we fall we fall together. That’s what I see when I look at this team. Brothers friends and and to see that is amazing in a large school like this many kids don’t even notice each other but in a game like this a team can really get to know each other and I’m glad to be a part of this.  We stand for Lenape and Mt. laurel and we always will.  
There is so much more I have to say and so many more stories to tell about this amazing team; I'm saving some of those in the hopes that this heartwarming story makes it into newspapers. I think Zach's words more than adequately express what this program has meant to him and therefore, to me.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coffee Buzzin'

I was just dragging today. I had my usual Pepsi Max but there was no pick up wake up happening; in fact I was ready to get back in bed. With a daunting list of household chores waiting to get done I made the ultimate sacrifice and drove to Wawa to get a Mocha Wake Me Up. Coffee does not agree with my stomach but my activity levels jump for joy when it hits my system! An hour later and coffee gone I found myself plummeting into exhaustion yet again.

I said, "I'd need an IV of coffee just to keep me awake today!"

Zach answered, "So put a pot on, you got a coffee maker, then just CHUG IT!"

"Yea, and then I'd end up in the hospital!"

"Nah, you'd end up in San Francisco by the time you're done." He said it seriously dead-pan. Then we both lost it cracking up out loud, high fives all the way around. This kid's got the sarcasm gene for sure.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today my oldest daughter wed her Prince Charming out on the ball fields of the Camden Riversharks. I downloaded this little video filled with just a bit of the memories from that spectacular day :)



I posted it here for those of you not on Facebook.

Monday, August 18, 2014

FREE on Currclick!!

Download this awesome pack on Currclick today! It is filled with activities that can either supplement a current study of the Revolutionary War or act as a launch pad for a unit on the war. Enjoy!

Currclick Revolutionary War Activities Click Here!