Sunday, November 30, 2008

Allegro kids to perform at the White House - Again!

Charlotte's Allegro Foundation is becoming a holiday fixture at the White House.

For the third time in five years, the local organization – formally titled Allegro Foundation … A Champion for Children With Disabilities – has been invited to perform at a White House Christmas party.

The group's performance is scheduled for Saturday evening.

“We're certainly excited about going back,” said Christen Nechin, marketing director for Allegro, which provides music and movement training and activities for children with disabilities. “It's a big thrill for us again.”

In 2004, Allegro became the first group of children with disabilities ever to perform at the White House. They returned, at the invitation of the Bush administration, in 2005. The Allegro Foundation also visited Washington in 2006 for the National Independence Day Celebration and a performance at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for wounded veterans.

On the previous two White House trips, Allegro performed at open house programs, in which groups of VIPs were invited to tour the White House without the president in attendance. The group's leaders are holding out hope that this year's visit could be the big one – a personal party for President Bush.

“It could be a private party, and we won't know until we get there,” Nechin said. “But we've been rehearing the same, no matter what. It will be a big, big night for us.”

A group of 10 children with disabilities and 10 teaching assistants (high school students who work with the performers) will sing and do rhythmic movements to five songs, all with a holiday themes.

Leading the group are movement director Pat Farmer, who founded Allegro seven years ago, and music director Kenneth DeBoer, who also is music director at Sardis Presbyterian Church.

Farmer said this year's performance is dedicated to all veterans and current military members – in part, because of the group's experience at Walter Reed two years ago. She said she wished the performance could be broadcast to military members on duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The White House trip, Farmer added, is an opportunity that parents of the performers probably never expected for their children.

“What is truly amazing about the White House experience for children with disabilities and their families is that when many of the children were born with disabilities, there wasn't much hope,” she said. “Allegro provides that hope.”

It is touching, Farmer added, when a parent tells her, “What a miracle Allegro has been to us – my child, who has always been told what he or she cannot do, and then my child performs at the White House!”

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm also thankful for

my family. I really meant to write a post yesterday to say how thankful I am for my family, but time got away and it didn't happen. I feel very blessed to have the family that I do. There are so many people who love me and for that I am very grateful. We don't always see things eye to eye, but when it comes down to it- we definitely stick together. We pray, we defend, we comfort and we love each other through thick and thin. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband, children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and I can't forget the out-laws (ha ha!) Every one of them are covered in prayer by me and mean so much to me, more than they will ever know. I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am thankful for

our friends. Mike and I have a group of awesome friends. This past Saturday we all got together and celebrated Thanksgiving early, as a group. I am guessing there were at least 40 of us there. This was the 3rd year that we have celebrated like this with our friends and our children. We all get together and everyone brings side dishes and deserts. The family that hosted the dinner provided some groooovy turkey and barbeque. We usually see some of the friends many times throughout the year, but it is rare that we are all together as a group. The group started with two childhood friends - Mike and Bob. They have been best friends for a super long time. The group grew from there as the fellas played golf together and other men and their families started joining in the circle of friends. Our kids are all excited when it is time to meet up with everyone and they all play so well together. We had a few of these families over at Halloween too and it was a blast!! Over the years a we have had some families drop out as some have moved away and others got married and had different interests. But all in all, I feel that we have friends for eternity and I am very grateful for that! Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's that time of year again....

SIGH.... Wrestling season. For Mason. For Mike? For who? Mike wrestled in school and was good I tell ya, good! I keep telling him that he can't re-live his wrestling days through Mason. This will be the 3rd year of wrestling for Mason. The boy is so tough and strong wrestling/fighting with his 14 year old brother... why in the world doesn't he take that strength to the mat? He goes out there flops around like a fish so that he can hurry up and lose and go sit with his team and horse around. (tears my nerves up I tell ya!) I don't even like wrestling as a sport, it is too personal, too one on oneish, know what I mean? If you lose, YOU lose. Like I said, Mason IS strong and puts up an awesome fight with his 14 year old brother, but for some reason he won't get mad enough to go out there and *whoop* some fanny on a 6-7 year old boy. It is almost like in some matches that he is in a competition with himself to see how fast the other guy can take him down, so he can hurry back to the group and hang out. And the funny thing about it is, it doesn't appear to bother him. When he goes out on the mat I need a nerve pill... why, oh why are they doing this to me again this year?

Can you shout out some good vibes for ol' Mason this year? Pretty puleeeeese?

Here's Mason doing some push ups last night

Here is copy cat doing her version of a push up...

All of this exercising wears me out

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We are proud of you Sarah Palin!

Lyrics to Million Voices by Christain group - Barlowgirl ~
Tell me who'd have thought that we would be so controversial
And stand against the normal
Are we too outspoken, loud, and messing up the comfortable?
Well we've been messed up also

But how can we be silent
When a fire burns inside us
'Cause we're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here

We were made to start the riot, take on the impossible
And we will slay the giants
We are done with fake religion fighting now to find the movement
Won't stop till we find it

But how can we be silent
When a fire burns inside us
'Cause we're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here
We're a million strong and getting stronger still
They'll remember we were here
With a million voices breaking silence till
They'll remember we were here

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm so thankful that I live outside the city!! I went to vote today and honestly from the time I got out of my car, got in line and voted and back to my car was only about 10 minutes. It took me longer to wait on two pizza's at Little Caesar's right after that. The kids were out of school today and we did a whole lot of nothing!! It is 7pm and I am wiped out. I'm off to the bedroom to snuggle with Ashy and watch some t.v. and pray for our country. God be with us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Halloween pics

Ashlyn did not know what to think about this character.
The looks on her face crack me up~
She kept chasing her around all evening trying to pull that wig off.....


Our lovely door greeter

Trucking around to find some sweets!

Princess Snow White and her bodyguards

Slash~ aka Spenser
I think he could have passed for Howard Stern as well...