While summer has passed in the flash of one thunderstorm after another, I think we only made it to the pool for five or six swimming lessons, and one family visit. Disappointed to say the least, as that is one of our favorite summer-time activities. Another disappointment, is that we finally invested the money in outdoor furniture for our deck - and the cushions have spent half of their summer inside staying out of the rain. Ridiculous, but true. So, here it is now August, and I'm saying summer is over. I suppose that is the line of ridiculousness. August is knee-deep summer, but here in Georgia, Andi Bean returns to school next Monday, August 7th. Recently, I heard they do this because it is the hottest time of the year, and to help the kids who benefit from the school lunch program. Some kids, outside of school, don't have much to eat, let alone air conditioned homes. So, the teachers and administration fire up the margarita machine in the teacher's lounge and head back to it -- educating our children, keeping them safe and trying to stay sane while doing such a magnificent task.
So, here's Andi, finishing up her last day of summer camp -- all-day daycare where they actually did learning activities around a theme each week. It was expensive, but, money well-spent. But, I will enjoy the return of an additional $500. to my checkbook each month now that she's going back to school. Today, I met her homeroom and her DHH (deaf/hard-of-hearing) teachers. One is on the 2nd floor and the other is on the 3rd floor. I have to admit, walking up all those steps had me seriously winded, so much like Andi will be returning to school, I will be returning to the gym! Geesh! Both teachers seemed wonderful and well prepared for the lil' firecracker that Andi can be. Although sweet, she can also be a little spicy, a little saucy, and test you to the point of indigestion. She's incredibly sharp, and they have been warned. At least this year I didn't walk out of the meet & greet with a dry, 'see ya later, suckas!' that I usually tend to drop. Later being the several teacher/admin. meetings I'd have to attend because my kid was being a PITA. Yes Poppa & Ginga, Grandma & Grandpa, you're little angel was sometimes a terror last year. But, that teacher is gone, c'est la vie! and this year, they're older, wiser and ready for the challenge! YIPPIE. So, bring on 2nd grade. This year, I promise to be more involved, more on-top of the demands, and riding her lil' ass like Seabiscuit to make sure she succeeds. Ah, the glory of school-aged kids...
So, bring on 2nd grade. She might not have swam to her heart's content this summer, but, it's time to get back to work. I'm ready, and I'll make sure she is too.
On a whole different page, we recently returned from the 13th Annual International CHARGE Syndrome Conference, which was held in Orlando, Florida. This 3 day fun-fest is a family reunion of your 1200 closest relatives -- whom are only related by experience with CHARGE Syndrome. It's overwhelming with people, information, camps, sights & sounds. Although fun, it's exhausting. I came back more worn down than ever, but reCHARGED to fundraise for the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation. The CHARGE Syndrome Foundation helps supports education efforts, grants, and families of individuals with CHARGE Syndrome by something as meaningful as helping them get to conference. The out-of-pocket expenses for someone attending conference is quite extensive. The hotel, the transportation to/fro, the food not covered by conference, the bar bill... it is quite a lot for most families whom are already taxed to the neck with medical bills, insurance deductibles, doctor's appointments, medical procedures or surgeries, some families are simply unable to make it due to cost. And it's not like this conference is a money-making operation. Actually, the foundation loses money by hosting this event, as the registration fees simply don't match what it takes to host such a large conference, and without families attending, what's the point!?! So, I'm hoping to fundraise a lot on behalf of Andi Bean so we can help the next group of families in 2019 attend our next conference in Dallas, TX. So, if you're able, please reach deep into your pocket and donate anything you can. Any and all will help us! Feel free to share this fundraiser with your friends and family. Educate the masses on behalf of Andi Bean and let's help future families!!!