Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break Rocks!!!!!!!

I forgot how much fun a vacation can be. This is the first time since I was pregnant with Isabelle that we have really been on vacation. It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! For my graduation present Ryan, Dad and Mom gave us a trip to Orlando. So On March 11th we flew to Florida to take an 11 day trip in Orlando. Disney to be more specific. So the first day we went to Magic Kingdom, Then Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Epcot (2 days in a row), Gatorland and Hollywood Studios (1 day for both), Sea World, then for the last day we went to Downtown Disney and Magic Kingdom. We flew out the last day. It was Awesome!

So for the first day we went to Magic Kingdom and had a blast. The first thing we did was check in at Guest Relations because thanks to Mark and Susan Anderson (we owe you so much!) we found out that if you have a child on the Autism Spectrum you can get a special pass that makes it so you don't wait in the entire line, you just get to go to the handicap entrance and wait maybe 10 minutes! How awesome is that! So instead of seeing only about half the park we got to see almost everything that first day! But its a huge long bblog to write about all the stuff we did. So I'll just post the pics in slideshow form and you can enjoy!!!!!!!!!

Pink elephants do exist... without drugs!

Pink elephant spotted in Botswana
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
A baby pink elephant was sighted in the African country of Botswana
on Friday by a filmmaker for the BBC as he was filming for a wildlife
documentary. The cameraman took photographs of the elephant when
he noticed it in a herd of around eighty elephants in the Okavango
Delta. According to experts, it is most likely an albino, an occurrence
that is very rare among African elephants.

"We only saw it for a couple of minutes as the herd crossed the river",

said Mike Holding, who spotted the elephant. "This was a really

exciting moment for everyone in camp. We knew it was a rare sighting

- no-one could believe their eyes."

pink elephant

"I have only come across three references to albino calves,

which have occurred in Kruger National Park in South Africa,"

said ecologist Mike Chase, who is in charge of the Elephants

Without Borders conservation charity. "This is probably the

first documented sighting of an albino elephant in northern Botswana.

We have been studying elephants in the region for nearly 10 years now,

and this is the first documented evidence of an albino calf that I have

come across."

The ecologist said that the condition might make it hard for the animal

to survive for very long. "What happens to these young albino calves

remains a mystery. Surviving this very rare phenomenon is very

difficult in the harsh African bush. The glaring sun may cause blindness

and skin problems," he noted.

However, he added that it still might be possible for the elephant to

survive, as it appears to be adapting to the condition: "Because this

elephant calf was sighted in the Okavango Delta, he may have a

greater chance of survival. He can seek refuge under the large trees

and cake himself in a thick mud, which will protect him from the sun,

" Dr Chase noted.

"Already the two-to-three-month-old calf seems to be walking in the

shade of its mother. This behaviour suggests it is aware of its

susceptibility to the harsh African sun, and adapted a unique behaviour

to improve its chances of survival."

Information from: Wikinews,

Image: BBC News

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is my cousin ( 2nd I think)

Published: March 19, 2009 11:19 pm print this story email this story comment on this story

Mom says daughter lucky to be alive

23-year-old seriously injured in accident

Tribune staff writer

For nearly a week, Cathy Smith has been sleeping on a cot near her daughter’s bedside. She listens to the monitors and watches the doctors and nurses come in and out of the sterile hospital environment.

Staring at her first born, she says another prayer thanking God her 23-year-old, Richelle, is still alive. On March 11, Richelle lost control of her white 1993 Dodge Stratus near 5800 East and 100 North. Her vehicle flipped four times, ejecting her into a field.

She was lifelined to Methodist Hospital. Her spine was broken in three different places, her spleen was ruptured and her lung punctured. She had 11 broken ribs, two broken clavicles, a broken shoulder and torn tendons and ligaments in her knee.

“She shouldn’t even be here 1,000 ways with this wreck. She’s a miracle,” Smith said.

After the relief of knowing their daughter was alive, Cathy and her husband, Bill, still worried about the real possibility of paralysis. The doctor’s outlook was grim.

“He prepared us for no guarantees that she wouldn’t be paralyzed; 90 percent of the time that’s the outcome,” Cathy said. “... When he got done with surgery, he was like a kid in a candy store. He said ‘If I didn’t see this with my own eyes, I would not believe I put her back together this well and without permanent damage.’”

Cathy said she and her husband found peace when they went to clean out their daughter’s car.

“When we approached the car ... my father’s rosary was hanging on the outside of the front windshield,” Cathy said. “[I said] ‘God is not done with her yet.’ It gave me peace. I knew she was in God’s hands.”

Even though their faith has helped them through this, the Smiths are still burdened with many concerns. They fluctuate between gratitude and concern as they brace themselves for the days, weeks and months ahead.

Richelle holds three jobs, and goes to school for nursing. She has no health insurance and has many more surgeries to come.

The enormity of the accident has hit Richelle in waves.

While she’s grateful to be alive, she is anxious about the future and regrets not wearing a seat belt.

Many of her injuries were sustained because she was ejected from her driver’s side window. The most likely reason for being thrown was because she was not wearing a restraint.

“I’ve driven up and down Sycamore Street on and off Sycamore Street all my life. I did not put in consideration to put on my seat belt,” she said. “I was watching my speed.

“What happened to me was I saw an animal come out — a dog — when I was leaving my friend’s house. I didn’t have my brights on, pumped on my brakes.

“I was going around a curve right when I saw that animal. It was wet and gravely. I fish-tailed a little bit. I tried to figure out, ‘Do I slam on my breaks, or just go into corn field?’”

She swerved into the corn field and hit a culvert, throwing her car into the air and ejecting Richelle from the vehicle.

“I was laying in mud, covered in mud. It was hard. I felt so alone,” she said. “I just wanted to get up and I couldn’t.

“I just kept praying to God someone would find me soon because I was so cold.”

Her prayers were answered when a group of teenagers came upon the accident site. One of them was her little sister’s best friend. Once Richelle recognized her voice, she began yelling for help.

Her sister’s friend, Bertha Meyers, called an ambulance and called Richelle’s parents. “I’m so grateful she found me,” Richelle said.

However, Richelle is still concerned about the future. She will have to put her business, A Healing Touch Massage Studio, on hold. “The only thing I’m scared about is whether I’ll massage again, live a normal life again. I just don’t know what to expect,” she said.

“I’m just grateful I can move. I’m grateful I’m not paralyzed. I’m grateful I’m alive.”

Richelle said she’s also thankful for the support and prayers in the community.

“We’re really grateful the Lord let us keep her,” said her father, Bill. “She’s been given a second chance. We’ve just been really blessed on that part.”

Richelle and her family can still use help. Family friends have established a fund at Solidarity Federal Credit Union where donations can be made to help with medical expenses. Donations can be made in her name, “For Richelle Smith.”


Please pray for my niece Richelle (Bill and Cathy's daughter/age 24) that she will heal fast.
She was in a car accident Wed. night east of Kokomo. She went thru surgery on her spleen and back Thursday night. She has a lot of broken bones and will be in a full body cast for 6-9 months. She has 2 apartments that she will be giving up and moving back home. One apartment has her business where she is a massage therapist and her parents think she probably won't return to that profession, so they will be selling that off. The police report did say that her vehicle did roll on and off of her, so she is very lucky to be alive. We didn't get to see her, because she was in surgery for her back, but her mom Cathy said she didn't have any external injuries, just internal.

Richelle was transported to a hospital rehab in Kokomo. This is her home town, so family doesn't have to drive as far. Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery.

I took these right out of my email. Please remember her in your prayers and thank you. Get well soon Richelle! We love you!

Friday, April 3, 2009

new job... kinda

Ok. S o I know that most of you shudder at the idea but I have to amke some extra money signed on to be a substitute teacher. I have 2 days under my belt! The first one was Thursday working at Jackson Creek Middle School in the Resource Room, basically. For those of you who don't know this is the mild learning disablities room basically. There are kids there that range from Autism to ADHD to other emotional issues to just needing some extra time for tests and homework. Some of the kids are there all day and others just for one or 2 periods of the school day. But I did actually get to teach something! Even though I was subbing for the assistant, the guy who was subbing for the real teacher was not comfortable teaching Social Studies because it was on the greek gods. Right up my alley!!!!! So I held a 45 minute social studies class on the Greek gods. It was awesome, everyone of the kids particiapted in one way or another. Yea Zeus!!!!!! Go Hermes!!! Ya whatever, we even talked about the Disney movie Hercules so they could have some reference point, as well as the movie Troy, and Gladiator, and The Odessey.
Then today I was subbing a a self contained class at Summit Elementary. THis was also a special ed room, the kids here ranged from one child who was both deaf and blind, to 4 differnt cases of autism (these kids were all over the spectrum!) to severe ADHD and emotional handicaps. Today made me very grateful for Xander's Autism. It made me realize just how lucky we are and how blessed we are. The kids in this class while they had some skills like reading and a little more comprehension, thier other points on the spectrum fell behind if not at Xander's level, and they were all twice his age. But they were sweet kids. It was a little harder for me today because these kids were closer to Xander's age then the middle schoool was. But I will keep at it!
Oh! Here is a real kicker even today at the Elementary School only one kid, not counting the 2 in wheelchairs, was shorter than me and he was 7! Doomed! Doomed I tell you! I am forever a Pygmy!!!
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