Saturday, May 23, 2009

Let's Not Forget

To many people, Monday is just part of another three-day weekend and the beginning of summer with most schools officially being out. To others, it means much more. To those people, along with countless veteran's of our great nation, Memorial Day is an important reminder of those who died while protecting our freedom.

Many people don't know the exact origins of Memorial Day, myself included, so I decided to look into it. I know we celebrate our fallen soldiers, but wanted to know when it started, how, and why. Here's what I found...

"Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns." (US Department of Veteran Affairs)

In researching, I did find there is some controversy as to the actual first Memorial Day celebration, as well as the birthplace of the holiday. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., on April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well. Macon, GA; Columbus, GA; Richmond, VA; Boalsburg, PA; and Carbondale, IL are among the 25 cities that claim to be birthplaces of the holiday.

In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, The National Moment of Remembrance Act was signed into law, to encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

So, whether you are at the beach, at work, at home, or at The McWane Center (where we will be with some OI friends), please remember what this holiday is all about and remember to observe a minute of silence at 3pm. Thanks to all our service men and women who have served us in the past and continue to fight for this great nation!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm the best postponer in the world!!

Sigh...I come here daily and THINK about posting, but dread it because it has been so long. I feel like I have so much to catch everybody up on, and really do want to post more often, but then I think about it and it makes me tired. I need about 5 more hours in a day.

Rhae had her first birthday April 9th (yes it's been that long since I posted). I got her ears pierced on that day and they look adorable! She didn't cry, she hasn't messed with them, and they haven't been infected. I've had people tell me they didn't think I should have done it, but I think they are so cute on her. She is so girly anyway that they just fit her. Jay was working an outage during the week of and week after Rhae's birthday, so we didn't have a party. I did make her an Elmo cake, though, and she, Aidan, and I celebrated at home. She loved the cake and had a ball getting into it.

Aidan finished up baseball for the year, and unfortunately, I think it will be the last. Apparently, he did not inherit the love of baseball that his Daddy and I have. Right now is not that important, so I hope when he gets older he will change his mind! Aidan has also lost another tooth and got a buzz cut. It took me a few days to get used to it, but he loves it so I guess I do too!

Well, my Momma has come and gone. She's only been gone a few days, but we miss her so much already. While she was here, we went to Omaha for Rhae's appointment...many of you may not have talked to me since we got back, so here's a quick rundown. We had a great visit. The doctors were wonderful. We are basically waiting on Rhae to start standing and her legs to break on their own before we go back for rods to be put in. Dr. Esposito said that will probably be in the next few months. We met several OI families while there and fell in love with the Novak's from TN. Laurie (the mom) is a member of the OI Parents group that I am on on the web, and it was nice to meet them in person! She has 2 OI kids (adopted, but natural brother and sister) that are absolutely adorable! I have wanted to meet Robbie and Alexia from day one and I am so glad I finally got the chance! They have type III, and are living a wonderfully active life! They are full of spunk and everything I want Rhae to be. Both are independent walkers, but Robbie was in a wheelchair during our time there due to a broken leg and pain in the other leg. He had been running fever for about 2 weeks, and while there, found out not only was his femur rod migrated out of place, but he also had a serious bone infection that had already started eating away the bone around the lower end of his rod. Subsequentally, he had to stay in Omaha and have surgery to remove the rod, remove pus from the bone, and start IV antibiotics. He is doing good now, but still will have to be on antibiotics for at least 6 weeks (mom is doing them every 6 hours at home), wear a leg brace because the rod was removed, and have to rely on his wheelchair because the bone is so weak from the infection and not having the rod to help support it. I fell in love with this little boy while there (he's 5) and he and I had wrestling matches (yes, that's what I said) and I became a pony giving him rides! We had a ball, and he nicknamed us Cargirl and Fishboy! I miss them already! Oh--forgot to mention, while in Omaha, Rhae decided she was going to start pulling up on everything! She is also trying to push up on her legs and stand. don't know why she thinks she can do this without learning to sit first! She's really starting to scare me!
Well, I could go on and on, but I'm tired already and feel like I'm probably leaving more out than I meant to. I wish I could find the time everyday just to make a little note about what's been going on, but I guess that's just dreaming!
So, Rhae's been saying her prayers, and here's some people we want to ask you to pray for:

1. Robbie Novak--my little buddy from TN. He had his surgery and is back home doing well, but it's going to be a long recovery. He is SO active and doesn't need to be walking on his leg until it heals. He's also going to be on antibiotics for several, several weeks.

2. Laurie Novak--mother to wild man above...draw your own conclusions of why she needs the prayers! :)

3. I've recently become friends with a girl down the road and just read on her blog tonight that she has a brother in Iraq. Please pray for his and his batallion's safety, good judgement, and that their message will be received for the right reasons. I'm so tired of hearing everybody talking down about soldiers when they are risking their lives to make ours better. God Bless America! We take for granted how lucky we really are!

4. I'm taking the kids to the dentist on Tuesday. Aidan tends to freak out a little in new situations, so please pray he will do ok. I'm not expecting the best news with Rhae, as I'm pretty sure the 2 teeth she has coming in will be DI teeth (dentogenesis imperfecta==like her bones, but teeth--OI kids have 50/50 chance of getting it and it can cause lots of problems). Just pray they won't be severe and that we will be able to prevent a lot of problems for her early on.

5. Halle--my neice out of the blue started running a temp this morning. It has been up to 103.8 twice today and is not staying down as long as it should with Motrin. She has tubes in her ears and in the past, those have been the culprit of most of her fevers. I'm hoping she hasn't had a tube come out. I know kids run fever and get sick all the time, but it just seems my sweet Halle has had a really hard time so far and I can't stand her feeling bad.

6. Sean--We met a mother and her little boy while in Omaha that were so sweet. He has had a few heart surgeries and looked so good. We talked to them for a long while. A few days ago, I had a comment from her on Rhae's website that they had gotten some bad news that day and meeting us helped her put things in perspective. Please pray that little Sean is ok and his mother, Jacqueline, will continue to remain strong for him. Also, please pray that Rhae and I will always be able to help others through her condition, even when we don't know it. It's so nice to hear that the little time we all took out of our day that day helped others.