Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Decorating the Tree

This year, we had Mat's parents in visiting when it was time to trim the Christmas tree.  It was nice to have someone else to share the memory with.  I love taking out the ornaments - all marked with the year they were received and whom they belong to.  The kids love that part too.  Someday, they will take all of their ornaments with them to decorate their own trees.

Here are a few pictures - enjoy!

 Finley was in charge of the Angel this year.  Gramma was a little nervous, so she helped.

 Each year we pick a family ornament.  This year we went with bears.  We have a Black Bear that lives in our small town, and so this is courtesy of him.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rock Climbing

Last weekend, Finley did an indoor rock climbing trip with her girl scout trip.

She wasn't sure she wanted to go, but I convinced her to give it a try.  I am glad I did because she climbed to the top 3 times!  Little blind girl goes rock climbing.

Enjoy the pictures:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


December is a time of magic.  

This month's' giveaway for our One for A Million Campaign is a beautiful hand carved wall hanging:

Won't you join us this month and give to our charity?

Monday, December 1, 2014


Our One for a Million campaign is still going strong!  Have you participated yet?  If not, head over to

And donate today!  In the month of November between donations for our campaign, and fundraisers that were held, our foundation made $57,709.  More than we made in October.  We hope that our momentum continues to climb, so that we can raise that million dollars by this time next year.

We need everyone's help.  December is a month of charity and giving.  We hope that you will consider making our RDH12 Fund for Sight your charity of choice this holiday season.

All donations are tax deductible and 100% of your donation goes to research for a cure.

So won't you join us today?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I know I have been quiet on here for awhile.  Just getting through a busy month and not much to share.

Our campaign for Finley and our foundation has been going well.  We hope to continue to grow as the months go on.

If you haven't had a chance to visit our campaign website- go to www.1foramillion,com

We can really use your help.  Each month we inch a little closer to the promise of a clinical trial. But we are still so far away financially.

So in this season of giving, we ask you to consider our charity as your charity of choice.  100% of your donation goes to research for a cure.  Not many charities can say that!  And your donation is tax deductible.

So join us now!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Beautiful Soul

Last Wednesday, one of the most beautiful people on earth, my grandma, passed away.  After 9 months of battling multiple myeloma she succumbed to her disease.  Cancer is a horrible, horrible disease.

She was the most wonderful person I have ever known.  Her wake and her service were hard, but it was also full of laughter.  We saw family we haven't seen in years.  Many people came to pay their respects to her and our family and we are forever grateful.

In lieu of flowers, my grandmother chose to have donations made to Finley's foundation - the RDH12 Fund for Sight.  In honor of her life, she wanted to help ensure that her granddaughter didn't lose her sight.  Amazing to the end.

My brother and I had a chance to write the eulogy for my grandmother's funeral, and he and I and my two cousins (my grandmother's only other two grandchildren) had a chance to speak.  It was nice to have a chance to speak from our hearts about what she meant to us.

I have decided to post here my part of the eulogy that I wrote.  I thank my cousin's Kirsten and Alissa for sharing the burden of reading it at the service - that made it much easier to get through.  I need to ask my brother for his part because it was very beautiful and I want to make sure I have it down so that we will always remember what he said about her.

Amava con tutto il suo cuore
This is Italian for “she loved with all of her heart”.  This one sentence describes my grandmother and how she lived her life.  She never was without kindness for others.  She never put her needs before another.  There was no one else on this earth like her.

There are so many things I could say about her.  And none of it would come close to expressing what she meant to me.  I wa blessed with her olive skin and her laugh.  She was one of my best friends.  Being the eldest granddaughter of her eldest daughter – we had a special bond.   Before she got sick, we talked on the phone at least once a week.  Unless I was cooking something – then it was usually more because she would call me several times to make sure I wasn’t messing it up.   These conversations were always my favorite because she knew the recipe by heart.  When I would ask her “Gram, how much sugar should I put in” she would answer “oh, you know…..some”  or “until it tastes right”.  It always made me laugh because as someone who has no cooking skills – this was not going to work out well.

Growing up with my Grandmother was pretty amazing.  There was never a lack of food.  Or good stories.  Or food.  My brother, cousins, and I would spend many weekends at her house all together.  She had an amazing hill in her yard to roll down.  She had a huge basement that was perfect for roller skating, or playing make believe.  I could count on one hand the number of times we used television as a means of entertainment while we were with her.   We would listen as she told us stories of growing up and what it means to have nothing and yet have everything.  She taught us always to be grateful for what God has provided.

 As a small family, she was at every concert, every recital, every game, and every vacation.  I don’t remember a single important life event where she was not present.  Even when Mat and I lived in California, she made several trips out to see us and visit (and reorganize my spice cabinet).  She showed us the importance of being present.  That hearing about it afterwards was never as good as being there during.  That has always stuck with me.  She was never too busy.  It was never too big of a burden to be with her family.

There are so many little things I loved about her.  That her favorite food was candy.  That her favorite feature was her hair.  That she screamed the loudest of everyone in the family at the West Virginia football games.  That even though she had many beautiful table cloths, the only one we ever saw was an ugly yellow and white checkered one from the 1970s because it "washes well".  That each spring she helped make 1500 ravioli for the church and the money she made from the sale was her casino money.  That she kept a glass jar of Pizzelles and Biscotti on her attic stairs and she pretended not to notice when you snuck one.  That she always threatened us with a paddle with the wooden spoon when we misbehaved, yet never once used it.  (although we found out one day that she carried it in her purse on our outings).  We could go on forever and never scratch the surface of who she really was.  

As a deeply religious woman, we always knew that if she prayed, the prayer would be heard.   Want to sell your house?  Have Gram bury St. Joseph in your front yard and you will be all set.  Of course – if you can’t remember where he is buried…..that is on you.  Last year, we were really worried about having bad weather for one of my daughter’s fundraisers.   But the day was beautiful.  When talking to Gram about it she said “well of course, honey, I put the statue of Mother Mary in the window this morning”.  She had a direct line to God.  And now that she is up there with him, I know we are in good hands.

I am going to miss her every minute of every day.  I will spend my life trying to be half the person that she was and know that I won’t ever come close.  Grazie a lei, io farò il conteggio di tutti i giorni  :  Because of her, I will make every day count.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

One for a Million - new month - new fun!

November has started, so our contest for One for a Million continues.  This month we have two different prizes that you can earn!

We have changed up the point scale and hopefully we will get even MORE people involved this month.

Help us out!

This month's prizes build from last month.  Each month there will be a different inspriational word wall hanging, so in the end you can display them all together.

This month - Thankful:

Or - you can chose this month's key chain which is the state of New York.  We actually have two RDH12 kids in NY state.

So join us!  Check it out at: