Angelica Grace Designs Blog

Friday, May 09, 2008

THE BAG EVENT

Well, in an effort to keep spirits alive and upbeat, I wanted to post a regular ol' blog post for today beings that the past few days posts have been consumed with school board issue's. Never fear though - those are still top priority and will continue to be as we launch petitions - online and in person - as well as discuss with the attorney any plans moving forward regarding the issue at hand. The letters of support are still rolling in and I pray that they keep overflowing the inbox of the superintendents email account there at his office. We are forever amazed by each person's support and compassion for this journey. The mission is to keep the essential skills class at the elementary school where it has always been housed at rather than move it to another school in the district as well as the mission to find a place for the high abilities classroom which is just as much of a necessary need as our wants for the special education children. So...continue to stay tuned in the coming days. We'll maintain up to date information here and will keep this fight "fired up" and raging on until we see a compromise or solution brought forth all while banding together to create stability for all of these children. Keep forwarding on the link to the blog post below to each and everyone of your friends and family members willing to listen. We truly appreciate it.
With that said, I wanted to share some photos from a charity luncheon I participated in downtown yesterday. The first photo above is of me with my sweet friend, Nicole, who is from Chicago. She got up at the crack of dawn and drove all the way to Indy (2.5 hours) yesterday morning so that she could be my guest at the "Bag Event" downtown at the Conrad hotel. The luncheon was created and formed as a way to bring awareness and knowledge to ovarian cancer. About a year and a half ago, I was introduced to Jen (shown in the photo below).
ABOVE: left to right - Nicole, Caroline, Me, Jen, & Sara
Jen or "The Watson's Girl" as most of us Hoosiers know her, became a sweet friend and a dear customer of mine after a trunk show that my other sweet, sweet friend, Sara Brauer, held for me. Long story short, Jen (the Watson's girl) asked if I'd be interested in donating a couple of my custom boutique handbag designs for the charity event this year. Jen is on the committee for the Bag event charity. I immediately told her yes. I was extremely appreciative and honored to be a part of the event. It was great to see Jen and Sara there too. We had a great time girls. Thanks for everything. Jen, by the way, is pregnant with her second little baby girl who is due in August. Isn't' she just the cutest pregnant Mommy ever?
In the photo below, you can ever so slightly see/read my name listed in the event brochure on the left side...

The bag event is a special charity auction where handbags are donated by the public as well as by celebrities and such. You then are allowed to go around and bid on the bags that are a part of the event. It was very humbling to see bids on my bags and know that one of them was snatched right up in a "buy it now" purchase at the very beginning of the auction. In fact, Nicole even talked me into going up to the women who purchased my first bag and asking them if I could get their photo for my blog with them holding their purchase. I believe they were totally confused and probably had no idea what I was saying or why I wanted their picture. I'm sure they might be second guessing their decision to give me the OK to take it now. No worries girls....we just wanted to share you here on the ol' AGD blog with our visitors. So....here they are with their AGD win...Once the auction ended, we were served a fantabulous lunch that included this delectable chocolate mousse dessert pictured below...

You know me and chocolate. What could be better than a chocolate dessert with a white chocolate eatable handbag disc on the top??? Especially when I was really "stress eating" after the past couple of days I had been privey to. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Some of the women at our table clearly thought I was nuts when I whipped out ol' "razzi" (my camera) to take a shot of my dessert. Little did they know that I was a "blogger" and just wanted to share my dessert with ya'all. Even if they had known about Mrs. Blogmeister here, they still probably would have agreed that I was a nutso. Never mind me - I just snap shots of anything and everything - any chance I can get. Remember what I told you guys early on about "getting uncomfortable" when shooting photography? Well, there is nothing more uncomfortable than being surrounded by a group of highly intelligent women at a charity event when you decide to whip out your big ol' camera just to take a picture of your dessert plate. One woman in particular even muttered the words...."Your going to take a picture of your dessert???" YEAP! Sure am! And I did. Hope ya'all liked it. The highlight to my day was this purple Charm & Luck handbag that I walked away with from the event. It retails in the stores for $250. However, I placed one bid of $50 and walked away with it for myself. I love any kind of shoes, purses, etc. with buckles. This one made my heart sing when I spotted it. It will be a great bag for the fall season. Not only that but I felt good knowing the proceeds went toward the fundraising for ovarian cancer. Lastly, this little kit from Saks 5th Avenue shown above was what all of us were given at our table settings when we sat down for the lunch. Great touch! Love that! Aside from the fact that it was once again pouring here in Indy when running in and out of this place (I swear it feels like it has been raining here for a year now), all was well with the day. I am growing accustomed to looking like a drenched rat for the past week. Either way, it was a neat experience and a great afternoon with girlfriends. A big thanks to Nicole again for driving all the way here and back today just so she could attend with me. Can't wait to head to Chicago next time for you girl.

Well, it is 2:35am on Friday morning. I really need to wrap this party up and get to bed. My adrenaline and emotions are so pumped up and ready to go considering the past four days events that I'm having trouble sleeping now. With each wonderful letter of support that comes in for the school system from you guys, I gleam from ear to ear and praise God for his wondrous ways and truly owe all of the glory to him for this fight we are gaining so much support so quickly for. As I look into Kenidi's eyes, I smile & imagine the day when I can eventually pull these letters out of her hope chest later in life and let her read what each one of you wrote about her and the children just like her. Your letters have just been incredibly amazing. Your passion and compassion is so heartfelt and so strong in each of them I've read. I imagine telling her all about the fight of our lives and the outcome of that fight for her and the others. Brent always reminds me that I need to "expect and receive" what I am praying for. He pointed out tonight that we needed to continue to believe and expect that God will battle this war for us and ultimately bring the school system to re-evaluate their decision and find an alternative measure or a simple compromise in regard to this issue.

Therefore, as I hit the pillow tonight - or this morning rather - I'm expecting and receiving the Good Lord's grace and promises as he wages on by our sides during this journey. I expect it and I receive it B-Ster! Thanks for always being there to help me stand firm in my faith.

And the fighters "fight on...."

10 Comments:

Anonymous Mindi said...

AMEN! Keep up the fight Angie! I am the mother of a high abilities student. We just recieved a letter two days ago that his scores were high and they recommend him for these classes. It is something we are going to look into but since he will have to attend another school I don't believe I can do that. I too have a younger daughter who will be at our home school. I don't want to split them up. I can totaly relate to your problem. My son on the other hand does not "need" those classes. I know Kenidi "needs" her classes. I pray that they keep them at your home school. You keep up your fight girl!!

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

FOLLOW THAT LIGHT!!!

5/09/2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie, just got my canned response from the school system and copied you on my response to that. Bottom line is..........WHY CREATE THE CHANGE?
IF THIS HIGH ABILITIES CLASS IS JUST BEING INTRODUCED...PUT IT WHEREEVER YOU ARE PLANNING ON MOVING THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS CLASS TO.... let the student population LEAST capable of dealing with change stay put. Is that so hard to fathom?

Keep up the fight! I am emailing a news reporter my friend dated in college. (national news)

5/09/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angie,

I am glad to see that you were able to attend this event. I hope that this gave you a small break from all of the stress that is going on right now. As usual, you are always giving to help others. And for this, God will reward you.


Melissa

5/09/2008 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Jen Gaskill said...

Not a problem at all...we're Moms (and Dads) and if we don't fight for our kids - who will. I am proud to be a member of "TEAM KENIDI"!

Love ya - Jen

5/09/2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Kelly Jandron-Duquette said...

Hi Angie, I am writing in support of your cause regarding Kenidi and the school she should be attending next Fall. Even though I do not live in the same state as you do (I'm in Michigan....the one that emailed you about being snowed in while you were on vacation), I thought I would share with you the amount of support our special needs children receive in our school system.

Our school system provides two different special needs classrooms; one for severely handicapped children and a Pre-school for children who can function on their own but need special attention....(autistic, down syndrome, speech issues, etc.) These classes are offered to children beginning at the age of three. Kenidi would excel in our school district with the amount of help it offers to children with special needs. She would have the ability to move up each grade with the friends that she started out with and still receive the extra care necessary to help her succeed.

Fortunately, our school begins with these two classes and goes to Young Fives, Kindergarten and on up to the 8th grade. Our High School is also within walking distance of the Elementary/Middle School. For those of us who have children of varying ages like I do (Freshman, 6th Grader, 5th Grader, 2 Year old), this makes a huge difference when attending school functions, volunteering, etc.

Although I do not have a special needs child, I am somewhat familiar
with IEP meetings. When my middle son was 3, he attended our Special
Needs Pre-school for a speech problem. He also has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - diagnosed at the age of 2) which makes change very difficult to deal with. He was lucky enough to get the extra help he needed by starting in the school at the age of 3 and transition through each
grade without having to switch schools or speech therapists. Even though his issue was small compared to most, I cannot imagine how much harder it would have been for him through these years if he had to suddenly move to a different school with different
surroundings and unfamiliar teachers and students. As it is, his OCD becomes more obvious when his daily routine changes because of the end of school year, beginning of school year, Christmas break, etc.
I must say, the staff we have for each of our special needs children is amazing. Most have been with us for many years and provide a
wonderful environment for these children. To change that would affect the staff as much as it would affect the children as I'm sure they develop a special bond as well.

Our school system focuses a lot of time/money into these extra
programs, but also has special classes for children who excel in
school....children who I think would be better equipped to adjust to a change of environment or routine if that were necessary. We have several advanced classes available for our honor students and when they reach high school
level, they are able to take classes at our local University (15
minutes away) for college credit as well. I don't imagine our community would be okay with moving our special needs classes to
make room for more advanced classes. There is no reason why both cannot or should not be accommodated.

From reading your blog each day, the bond between Brennan and Kenidi is obviously so strong. Part of the reason why I enjoy reading your blog so much is seeing the pictures of them and how much they remind me of my youngest son who is 11 and my daughter who is 2½. The love
between my son and daughter is stronger than words. He is her hero, idol and favorite person in the world....yes, probably more so than me, but thats okay. He wanted a little sister from the time he was 2 years old and we were finally blessed with her when he was 9. He does everything and anything for her and is beyond patient when she gets too demanding. We have three boys (15, 13, 11) who are so amazing and then we had her and she melts all of our hearts. I am in no hurry to see her go off to school, but when the time comes, I take comfort in the fact that he won't be too far away if she needs him. I understand your concerns completely and I truly hope that everything works out for you.

I will definitely be writing a letter on your behalf and will email it to the addresses you have given. I know I'm in a different state, but we are a small town, and if we can accommodate both special needs and higher abilities, then I don't see why it wouldn't be possible for larger school districts to do the same.

By the way, when I read your blog the other day and saw the picture of Kenidi in the curlers, I immediately smiled and thought of the attached picture of my daughter and thought you might enjoy seeing it. Good luck with your mission. As hard as it may be, God will see you through this life lesson. You were chosen because God knew you would give this a voice....so sleep well knowing you have already won the battle by reaching out and giving the issue the recognition it needed and educating others along the way. God Bless!

Kelly Jandron-Duquette
Lola Chic
www.lolachic.com

5/09/2008 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Janice Wallace said...

Angie & Brent,

My name is Janice Wallace, and I am a Speech/Language Pathologist who works in a southern Illinois school district.

I just wanted to let you know that I, too, am outraged at the poor decisions made by your school district. What a TERRIBLE disservice to the children with special needs! You are absolutely correct.... A transition like this may be extremely difficult & even traumatic for many of the children involved. This wreckless use of power & politics is unacceptable.

If there is anything I can do, please let me know. I would be MORE than happy to email your district's administrators on your behalf, as well as on behalf of the other children that this move concerns.

My heart & prayers go out to you & your family. Kenadi is very lucky to have such wonderful advocates. Hang in there & keep fighting!

Sincerely,

Janice Wallace, MA,CCC-SLP/L
Speech/Language Pathologist

5/09/2008 1:10 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Hm, the venting....another fab handbag and custom-made outfit for Tatum and we'll call it even. Ha! So glad we could talk...you know I'm here to answer any questions or whatever. OR if you just want to vent. For free! :)

Such a good time yesterday! Now that I see that yummy purple bag again I'm a bit jealous...I love it! Congrats on getting it. You will make it look even better!

And I'm STILL thinking about chocolate cake. Somehow I ate that whole thing, pretty sure without saying a word the entire time. Mmm.

5/09/2008 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Lori S. said...

Hi Angie,
I am one of those random blog subscribers that you must realize you have. A friend of mine buys your outfits online and sent me your "must have" list a few times. I decided to subscribe myself, and thanks to you I own a pedi egg, a broom vac, and a Leona Lewis CD. I've enjoyed reading your blog and feel like I know your family, even though I am a total stranger to you. When I read about Kenidi, I couldn't rest until I wrote a letter. How easy it was for me to spend a few minutes typing out my letter of support, and I hope it, along with all the other letters, can help make a difference. My cousin has a son with Down's Syndrome, and I watched her fight for years to get him in the same elementary school as her older son. She did succeed after a court battle, but it was very exhausting for her. So I had immediate compassion for you and your family, and I wish you the best of luck. I will be following the story as it unfolds, I hope things go your way.

Best of luck,
Lori

5/09/2008 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Janice S. said...

You are VERY welcome! Your family is an inspiration to me. These administrators clearly have NO understanding of what children with special needs require in order to flourish. They have failed these children in the worst way, and it makes me absolutely SICK. Please keep me up-to-date on the happenings and let me know if I can be of further help. I already forwarded on the info to all the others in my address book, and explained to them the urgency of this matter. In the meantime, I will keep praying for you guys! Janice

5/09/2008 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Krissie B. said...

You look amazing in that dress! I would kill for those ankles! Ly!

5/11/2008 8:13 AM  

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