Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hoping for Help!

Last year Genea started taking performing arts classes at a studio near by. She has been singing, dancing, acting, and most recently, tapping her little feet out for local audiences. At Christmas, the whole studio does a show at our largest venue and this year, it was filmed and shown on PBS stations across the state. So, it's a serious thing.

 She is somewhere in there, I swear!

Genea has gone from a shuddering, soggy, mess of hair to a sort- of confident and brave performer. She gets excited and struggles with a triple dose of overwhelming anxiety but to her, it's worth it to push through and try her best.

Girl can sing. Not just I'm-her- mom- I have- to -say-that sing, really sing. She has a beautiful, sweet voice with a natural vibrato that is startling to hear from a kid. She is starting private voice lessons in the fall, and earned her way to a higher level ensemble group at the studio.

So, am I just bragging or what?

Well, I'm super squeamish about this. My bragging is about to turn into begging.

This fall, the studio is taking a trip to New York City and Genea and I signed up! We will stay in Times Square and spend a lot of time in Broadway theaters. She will attend performance workshops, see a professional show and go back stage. Meet real actors and actresses, and be able to ask questions.

 NYC is an expensive place and the trip, while pricey, is within a reasonable range as far as these things go. The problem is, Genea and I have to have our own hotel room. Most people are sharing rooms, which cuts the cost down by a huge chunk. I guess if anyone has been reading here for a while, it is easy to imagine why we cannot share a room with another mom/daughter. Just Genea's medication list would probably scare the crap out of any regular family, not even considering the ocean front bedding issue. Regardless, it's going to be a LOT for Genea and so far out of her comfort zone she will be able to touch Jupiter. There's no way we could go if room sharing were required- thankfully we have the choice. We just have to pay for it.

*Begging Alert*
(argh, the hair on my legs is cringing I dread this so much)
If anyone out there should, you know, think they maybe might want to help out in the financial department here, there are a couple things.

I wrote a tiny little short 40+ page e-booklet about Reactive Attachment Disorder. For the longest time my biggest struggle with Genea was why. Why is this happening, why is this not working, why am I getting this reaction, why why why. I wrote down what I figured out, and threw in some tips, tricks and idea's. It probably sucks. Argh. Anyway.

It's available on It is called Parenting Pandora, Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder. Written by me, Essie Johnson. It is priced at $12.99 which should result in an $8-$9 dollar donation for our trip. It can be purchased directly from Smashwords for any e-reader and in about a week it will show up on book retailer sites like Amazon, B&N, ibooks, etc.

I got the title, Parenting Pandora, from the Greek myth and not from the ipod app. Pandora was a goddess given all the best qualities at birth. At her wedding, she received a gift  from Zeus. When she opened the box, the evils of the world were released. All that was left in the box was hope.

"But wait Essie, what if I just want to send like, a thousand dollars but don't want your ebook"?
I thought of that! I put up a link to Pay Pal on the top left sidebar hoping for donations.

SO THERE YOU GO! I am sucking it up and doing this, lol. I know people do fundraisers all the time on blogs so I shouldn't be flipping my lid but I AM. I am actually planning to cut costs and take an electric kettle so we can sort-of- cook. I figure I can pack a bunch of protein bars, fruit, ramen noodles and instant coffee which should save us a couple hundred bucks. We are having a garage sale fundraiser for ourselves, and doing car wash fundraisers with the studio for group workshops.

If anyone can help us out it will be SO GREATLY APPRECIATED YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!

AND, if you like the book and could link it on your facebook groups, message boards, twitter etc I would be SO happy!
(Click the words not the picture. Surely there is a way to imbed the link right in the picture but I surely do not know what that might be)

Friday, July 18, 2014


Hello Wendy? You won the book, Beauty from Ashes! Yippee!
I have your email address from the comment you left, so will send you a message to get your information.

In other news, we have a BIG THING coming up. It's very exciting, (it's not Oprah though) and I have a few things going that might be interesting. How's that for vague?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Beauty from Ashes

The subtitle to this book is "An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake", written by Melanie Wright Zeeb.

Tragic indeed. 

As did many others, I followed the news in horror. I knew several people who adopted from Haiti and had met their children. It was terrible to imagine all the families around the world who were waiting somewhere in the adoption process but had not yet brought their children home. The process of adoption was already arduous, but became near impossible once the buildings that held records were reduced to gravel and dust.

The author was employed by God's Littlest Angels, an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince. Children were placed there by parents who either intended to come back for them, or wished for them to be adopted. Ms Zeeb was responsible for updating adoptive families with photos and information about the children. Following the disaster, they were of the few who still had communications, and helped tell the world of the devastation.

The book focuses on the children- all of whom survived-  and the difficulties and concerns in trying to keep them safe and alive. Haiti was already a hard country where it was difficult to meet life needs. A good example given by the author is simply water.  Before, to have running water, one had to pay a company to deliver it by truck. After, there was no way to know what would happen. Had the owners of the business even lived? Were the trucks intact to make deliveries? Were roads passable? Was the water source clear?

The author develops strong visuals for readers describing the actual earthquake and it's aftershocks. She states the ground was constantly moving to the degree that people experienced motion sickness. It went on for weeks with the earth moving a specific direction, so that some things moved and others did not.

Readers meet many of the intended adoptive families. We learn of the incredible logistics in trying to legally evacuate the children and the constant uncertainties. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop here!

The book is highly detailed and concise.  The author concentrates on the effect of the tragedy on children of the orphanage, and spends very little time on the horrors many of us saw on TV. I think that makes is a safe read for most people.

So! Details!

Beauty from Ashes: An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake
An Eyewitness Account of Haiti's Tragic Earthquake
Written by Melanie Wright Zeeb

AND since the book was given to me I would like to pass it on! To win this copy, leave a comment with your email address and I will draw a name next week. Hmmm, lets say Wednesday.


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