"Everyone needs a place to call their own"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

School We Visited......

I wanted to update you on our day yesterday, we had an appointment to meet with a school at 10.  Ayla was excited and mommy was nervous.  Mostly because I had heard so many good things about this place that I knew I was going to like it.  And what comes after that, was scary!

So we entered the school that has been around for 20+ years, it was clean and very artistically decorated.  Each and every space with made up with intentioned items, all serving a purpose.

This school is a Montissori type learning environment and I was pleasantly surprised at the thought that went into each book, puzzle or game brought into this place.  There are 4 spaces within the school all working together to give the kids a well-rounded learning environment.  By no means is the kind of place that your child will do meaningless activity to pass the hours.

There was even a music room where the kids get together and sing songs and play authentic instruments.  The teacher even does Yoga with the kids.  The dress code is yoga pants and shirts and for my Ayla, she couldn't be happier about wearing "comfies" all day!

There were 15 kids and 2 teachers, highly educated and very much in love with learning and teaching.

When I asked the teacher about a scenario that has played in my head over and over.... "What if a child is brought to school with a green runny nose, will you call me so I can come get Ayla?" Her response: "No, I will be sending that child home"

I got the sense that this really is a learning environment and not a babysitting service.

The kids learn about being respectful to others and respecting themselves.  They learn about being independent and picking up after themselves...if they are thirsty, they get themselves a drink....This will be new for Ayla since I pretty much do it all for her....But a good lesson for her to learn.  After all she will have a lot of things in her life that if she doesn't manage-could get out of control.

The teacher told me she had a "couple" spots so I signed Ayla up on spot.  For me that was big!  I was really impressed by the school and all it had to offer.

I think Ayla will really thrive there and I am actually excited about it! Thank God!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Visiting Schools.......

Tomorrow is a day at times I thought would never come....When we got the diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) we thought this would never be an option for Ayla.  We immediately thought the worst as you do when you get any kind of devastating news.

And for quite a few years CF took over our dreams, thoughts and hopes for our family.  We are now on the other side of that, we have learned to live with this disease, we know what to watch for and how to handle it.  Getting through this has happened in our own home and controlled environments where we can for the most part dictate what goes on.

As the years have passed Ayla's future is always in the forefront's of our minds.  The first of many tough decisions is upon us and we have limped toward a decision..She is turning 4 next week and is eligible for VPK (a program in the state of FL where pre-kindergarten is paid for).

In the past I thought homeschooling might work for Ayla...it would be the best of both worlds for CF and for learning...But as I marinated on that thought I couldn't get peace with it.  I have such a social little girl on my hands...whom I don't want to ever have to tell......

" I chose ___________________ because you have C.F."

I don't want her illness to define her, or have her life filled with choices and options that were tailored to C.F.  I want her to do things that everyone else said she couldn't, I want her to build lasting relationships with people who support her and lift her up while she is hurting.

So with all that said....we have decided to visit some schools this week, VPK certificates are going to be issued next week and the mass public will be out choosing the place for their kids and I need to have my options available.

I have one in mind that I think may be "it"- when I called the school today the director said she too takes digestive enzymes and that seemed like a glimmer of hope that I'm moving in the right direction.  This program is 5 days a week from 830-12 (EEK!) I am so nervous about actually signing the forms, this is such a huge decision.

My fears are many but mostly about her becoming ill from getting the usual "bugs" that every child gets when first put into a program.  About those "bugs" turning into something else and causing lung problems that until thus far and been non-existent.  And the fear of the guilt that these repercussions could have on me.

I have to make a decision either to make all choices BECAUSE of CF or in SPITE of CF....

So prayers are appreciated as we make this transition and for Ayla that she adjusts and enjoys this experience abundantly...

I will follow up with the school of our choosing and my list of "likes" about it.....


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lia Sophia Party A "Success"

Wow, what a great way to FUN-raise!! It was just that a lot of fun!  A bunch of ladies eating and looking at pretty jewelry.  My Host Debi Gunter was such a blessing to me.  She bought all of the food for each guest and had an amazing spread of all her prettiest pieces.

We had about 28 people there and I was so excited to have all of them there, some I knew and some were friends of Debi's.

I spoke a little bit (nervously) about CF and Ayla and explained where the money were raising is going and why...

Then it was mayhem as 28 ladies tried to squeeze around the tables of jewelry.  Everyone found many items they wanted and a few of their favorites were purchased.

Lia Sophia has great incentives for Hostess' (me) I got a 120$ in free jewelry just for booking the show.  Then based on your shows sales you get 20-40% of sales in free jewelry, plus half price pieces and 15$ pieces.

Our party did a total of............................................over $1800.00!!!!!! So 30% of that goes to the CFF through Ayla's Army which is appx: $520!!!

If you have a local Lia Sophia rep you should try and work somthing out like this. But it will be hard to find someone as generous as Debi!
She has offered to book shows through 4/30 and give a portion of her proceeds to the CFF-so If you live out of town and want to do something like this contact me and I will forward her your info.  She can do online shows as well!!

Big thank you to everyone who came out and supported us!  As you can see from my last post I have an amazing circle of family and friends.  Each event we do each year is a success because of that,  so THANK YOU ALL!!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Ayla's Army Fundraising Events.......

2011 has brought many new ideas and people getting involved in our cause.  Last year we had a couple events and ended up raising 10,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Which I was very proud of, but of course reaching one goal breeds higher expectations.  This year I really hope to do better than that.  I am so grateful for all of my friends and family who have signed up to help!

In late February we had our 2nd annual Rummage Sale for CF.  It was very successful again this year and we had so many items donated and ended up doing a whopping $1300.00!!

On March 10 we had our First Annual "Steak and Take" -we got our church and a local restaurant to donate some of the food items and sold 400 tickets!! We had to turn at least 50 away b/c we were sold out -we could have done at least 500!  We will keep that in mind next year!!  Our 2nd event brought in $2400.00 profit towards our goal!!

I am so excited with all that's going on, I sometimes forget how much I love this time of year!! Fundraising is something I would have never thought rewarding in my younger-more selfish years.  But I get such satisfaction after completing an event and deeming it a "success."

This Tuesday I have a new friend who is throwing a Lia Sophia party at a local restaurant and donating all her profits to Ayla's Army and the CFF!  What a great way to couple fun and fundraising together especially for women.  The jewelry is gorgeous and I can't wait to have some "girl-time."

I will be sure to update on how we fair after our party tomorrow night.  I am so blessed by all the new people in my life giving their time and talents to benefit Ayla and everyone else with C.F.

I know we are going to blow away our goal this year!!!