Thursday, July 31, 2008

~The Gift of Giving!!!~

The H.O.U.S.E. (Habilitative Opportunities Utilizing Social Experiences) staff was elated to have Liz Savage join us for the day. We believe strongly in the services that we provide to special needs children and it is always exciting to share that passion with a new face. Liz was amazing. She immediately jumped in and got involved with the project of the day, “Homemade Ice Cream.” I believe at one point she even wore the “Homemade Ice Cream,” she took it like a pro. Liz made connections with the children immediately and they loved having the extra attention. She also had the opportunity to learn about assistive animal therapy. At H.O.U.S.E we work with two assistive dogs named Lopez and Bentley. Liz was able to meet Lopez and watch the amazing connection that the children have with him. We hope that we were able to be a positive influence on Liz’s career choice. She is always welcome at H.O.U.S.E. and we are grateful for the wonderful experience.
Kara and H.O.U.S.E Staff

Thank You Kara and everone at H.O.U.S.E! You are all amazing!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

~School Social # 2~

Put together and polished!

If Elizabeth isn't school/work ready, then there is no such thing as chocolate!
  • Resume DONE
  • Job Change DONE
  • Volunteer Work DONE
  • ASU ready DONE
  • Business Savvy...just test her, she will knock your socks off from attire to consistency!! DONE!!

Tonight we got together and went over the final necessities in the preparation for Elizabeth to be school/work ready. Starting Monday August 4th, Elizabeth will be volunteering at a local elementary school once a month apprenticing/assisting Ms. Allyson Berkley, and also the special Education teachers on campus.

Her resume was updated then edited and is ready to go! Job change to her career is in process, and she has all the skills and tools necessary to pave her way into success!

Way to go Liz, we are so excited about your future!!

How great is this Email!!

It's really amazing when people reach out of their hearts! Thank you for caring!

Imagine how amazing it was to find this email in the inbox!! We have since followed up with the Brown's and they are making arrangements to assist us in the final repairs for Elizabeth's truck! THANK YOU from the Summer 2008 Big Give Gals!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

~Fundraiser Social # 1~

Makin it Happen!!

We had a two in one last night! That's kinda like a double play! Bah dump bum bum!! :)
Anyhow...we had our brief meeting of planning for the second part of the school social, the things that we think should be in place by next week etc...
Directly after Liz joined up for the first part of the fundraiser social...we had a little pizza...thanks again Christina D. for ordering it up and having it ready at the right price!
MASSIVE planning for the fundraiser! We will be doing this with Liz for the Florence Crittenton Center at the Coldstone Creamery in Kierland...with a celebrity scooper! We are all very excited! We are also going to give our time to the homeless community the morning of.
Last night was such a "business" meeting! It was way cool! Lots to come, and lots to get done!
An insert from my follow up email below:
"Liz shared some trivia and knowledge about Flo Crit with the gals and why she is fond of the center, and then we all organized details and put a plan of action together for promoting, marketing, inviting, and fundraising responsibilities that will need to be done. It was a very productive social!!

Outside of the "business" part of us getting together....Liz shared her experience at ASU with Mari on Monday and her experience yesterday with Kara at House in Scottsdale where she shadowed and assisted special needs children. As it turns out she is very likely to have a job opportunity there. NICE!!

Next weeks buzz is that Liz will be headed back to Q Dental for the 1st of her 3 major appointments, and we will also be meeting for the 2nd part of the school social! Good news, as of today Liz officially has insurance again!

Also, for those that missed the meeting I was able to share a letter from a total stranger that I had received last Thursday who wants to help finish Liz's truck repairs! She found our blog on the Internet! So cool!!!! It'll be posted to the blog!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

~ASU!! Here she comes!~


Yesterday, Elizabeth and I had a 3:00pm appointment with a transfer recruiter at the College of Education at ASU.

We met at 2:30pm in the visitor parking lot by Chili’s and walked to the College of Education building. Her smile stretched from ear to ear and her eyes lit up as she took in her surroundings and imagined herself walking the campus as a student. I confirmed for her that attending a university is such an adventurous and exciting time in life. As we waited in the office for Katie, the recruiter, to arrive, we talked about different opportunities that are available to students in particular studying abroad. She was very intrigued by that and wanted more information.

The recruiter confirmed that Elizabeth is on the right track to transfer to ASU. She explained to us that ASU and the Maricopa Community Colleges have an alliance that all transfer students who receive their Associates Degree in Elementary Education and have a minimum 2.5 GPA will automatically transfer with all their credits into education program. We also learned that Elizabeth could receive a bachelor degree in elementary education and a bachelor degree in special education by only taking 6 additional credits. The recruiter said the two degrees would make her extremely marketable for a wide variety of jobs. Elizabeth decided that she definitely wants to graduate with both majors and is ready for the challenge.

Katie advised Elizabeth to apply to ASU at the very beginning of her last semester (August/September of fall 2009) at Mesa Community College in order to meet all the necessary deadlines to attend spring semester 2010. Katie then informed us of a program offered through the college of education for students to earn their student teaching hours in Costa Rica . We saw pictures of the students who were in Costa Rica this summer.

Elizabeth asked Katie if she knew anything about teaching opportunities at American army bases throughout the world and coincidentally Katie taught at a base in Germany while her husband was stationed there. Katie shared her experiences teaching on the base and Elizabeth was so fascinated.

Our appointed lasted 45 minutes and went by so fast. It was very informative and exciting for Elizabeth and she felt comfortable that she moving in the right direction to some day soon be a student at ASU!!! Being on campus made me miss those good old days!

Written by Marisa Stockwood

Thursday, July 17, 2008



It just keeps getting better!!

An insert from my follow up email below:



As I mentioned at the meeting...just to reinforce our efforts of using reusable grocery bags, I have attached the link below that some of the gals forwarded me regarding plastic bags!

Please take the time to read.


Are we on it, or are we on it!?!?! My mind has been blown and our goal has been accomplished if we ended it all here! But that would be too easy, or should I say to hard!!

Last night we shared personal experiences of how we see the difference we are making and the impact it has created. We also planned the outline for next weeks fundraiser social # 1. As the blog mentioned this last weeks school social # 1 and Elizabeth's 1st dentist appointment were huge successes! Also, Marisa and Liz will be doing the ASU tour this coming Monday at 4pm! Like I said, are we on it, or are we on it!

We already decided that the fundraiser social # 1 will be next Wednesday evening from 7pm-8:30pm at Aviano Clubhouse! The meeting will be shortened from 6:30pm-7pm, so please be on time, and committed to starting right away!!! Also, please reply to me here if you are going to be able to participate. I will picking up pizzas for dinner 50% off, thank you Christina DeCarlo, that will make it dirt cheap and we will less guilty about being heffers! You can shout out pizza requests in the reply you send me...

Next week will be great!

The 1hr computer commitment and no TV for one night kinda slipped by and we didn't do so well at that one : ( This weeks personal challenge, and we are on it (right ladies ? ) is to cut out an article or picture this week of someone it reminds you of and share it with that person and let them know why! This should be neat!

Have a great week girlies, I will send the reminder Monday!


A little sappy, but at the end of the meeting, I literally had to take a moment and connect eyes with every girl in the room and tell them that I was so fortunate to call them friends, and to say I knew them and to have them as friends was such a blessing! I had to let them know that I truly admired each of them in one way or another and that it is so powerful that we have each other in one another's lives! Everyone agreed, so it's not just me! : ) If anyone in the world could have that, then they have a ton in all that is positive, powerful and true!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

~Say CHEESE!!!~


Today Elizabeth and I meet at Dr.Santosh Saini and it was WONDERFUL :)

It was so much fun and Elizabeth was so happy and excited.
The appointment lasted about an hour and half and the doctor did a full consultation on her.

I have never seen anything like it.
First she got X -Rays of all her teeth, and then she had a tooth by tooth consultation.
The doctor used this really amazing camera that allow Elizabeth and I to watch what she was doing on the screen.

The doctor took molds of her teeth so that she could come up with an action plan on how to get her teeth to a perfect smile.

It was so much fun.

The doctor has asked her to come back for a cleaning and she is going to re-fill a few old cavities.

She also wants to seal the other teeth that are still very healthy.
The doctor was very happy with how healthy Elizabeth's teeth and gums looked.

All in all today was so much fun, the doctor and her staff where so friendly and very nice to chat with.
The doctor sent her home with a goodie bag full of fun things.

A few whitening trays, a new tooth brush other dental goodies!!!

It was truly fun and Elizabeth was smiling all the way home!

Written by Alissa Oakes

Monday, July 14, 2008

~School Social # 1~

Sunday Let's Get Stuff Done Day!!

Elizabeth went to church with Jordan and then met up with Britony and Marisa at Paradise Bakery for lunch! It was a great way to start off the day that became very productive!! Six of us met up with Elizabeth at the Aviano clubhouse to discuss her future school and career goals.

Elizabeth is currently attending community college and has completed 33 credit hours. She needs 44 more credits to receive her associates degree and will then transfer to ASU.

She wants to graduate with a degree in Special Education, then work for a couple of years and then return to school for a masters in Social Work to get into counseling.

Elizabeth is very clear on what she wants to do and based on her life experiences she knows she can make an impact on children.

We talked to her about the importance of building her resume over the next few years and getting a job and doing community service in the education field.

All of us brainstormed together possible job and community service opportunities. Ally invited Elizabeth to volunteer in her classroom as often as she would like and Jami offered to take a look at Elizabeth's resume. Elizabeth is definitely taking them up on their offers.

Elizabeth told us of a friend she ran into that shared with her a job opportunity that fit perfectly what she is looking for and would allow her to quit her In N Out job.

Marisa offered to attend an advisory appointment with Elizabeth at ASU and to go to the "Transfer Thursdays" event for all students that desire to transfer into AUS.

Elizabeth is extremely excited to attend about both events and to get a tour of ASU.

Written by Marisa Stockwood

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We've come so far!

Everyone is involved!!

There is so much happening and its all happening at once! It is really amazing to see how far we have come as a group and in working together as a team and how fast we are getting things accomplished! We have made some amazing connections and friendships coming together and working so passionately about something we really believe in! We are truly passionate about changing Liz's life and adding to her world! We tell Liz all the time that she is a blessing to us, and she just giggles. She tells us that she is blessed by us, but we are really also blessed by her!

An insert from my follow up email below:

Hi Gals!

Last nights meeting was super productive!!

Liz's first dentist appt is this coming Tuesday the 15th, Alissa will be taking her! Thanks Alissa. As it turned out Dede is a rock star in getting stuff done in the system, and Liz's insurance should be up and running in seconds1 Thanks Dede!

We spent most of last nights meeting making the outline for this Sundays School Social...brainstormed and knocked around was great we are ready to rock and roll! We are also going to plan to have a send off crew for Liz when she leaves for Denver August 8th and a welcome home crew when she returns August 10th. So that is in the making. The travel plans for that have been finalized & I will be emailing the itinerary to Liz's Grandparents and bother by the end of this week!

We also shared some personal experiences we have had with Liz and it is heart warming to hear the positive impact we are making in her world!

This weeks personal goal is to limit your computer use to one hour a night and turn off the TV for an entire evening and do something else!

We are Rollin!
This is great, we have an amazing group!

Also, if you are able to come out this Friday night to Devils Martini South and help us support our girl Gabi Kepes support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Arizona we would love to see you there! It is their annual Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction, Happy Hour is at 6pm, and the Auction starts at 7pm! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 2nd 2008

So much happened in one DAY!

Yes, I love recapping the meetings on this blog, but today I am recapping yesterday all together!!

The story goes...I was able to contact Elizabeth's older sister Elisha, who emailed Elizabeth's oldest brother Michael, and gave him my number! He called me twice in one day until he was able to reach me and the rest is history!!

An insert from my follow up email below:

"Also, we were able to get a hold of her brother Michael in Castle Rock Colorado! Liz is definitely on her way to visit now...He is so excited to meet his sister, it is his dream as well....turns out he just had a baby and Liz is an aunt, and her grandparents whom she has never met either will be the ones picking her up from the airport...Oh, and this will be her first time on a plane! AMAZING!!! This is so amazing! August 8-10 will be the weekend and we will all be headed to the airport to see her off and to pick her up! What a amazing moment to share this news with her...super emotional and so beautiful! She just can't believe it! She cried so much from joy, and so did we, and so did everyone we told!"

We had these awesome plans to have Jami Clark share this give with Liz at Coldstone Creamery, but because of a small series of events, plans had to change and me and Michelle Johnson had to do a B line to meet up with Elizabeth and share the news with her before she read her brother's Michael's message to her on myspace : )! I can not put this experience in words that will do the justice, but what a powerful moment to be able to share this news with her! Beautifully POWERFUL!

Needless to say the meeting last night rocked....we were able to talk about all that has unfolded and continue on the plans of making all this very special....

Social # 1 of the 2 school socials has been planned and will be held at the Aviano Clubhouse from 1pm to 2:30pm July 13th after Liz heads to church with Jordan! Will will be having lunch at the Paradise Bakery in Desert Ridge from 11:30am to 12:30pm before....

It was sooo cool last night to see how all of the ladies are on point with their communication with Liz, about Liz, surrounding Liz, and planning for Liz....this group is in Sync!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

~Part One of Car Day~

Diagnose it and what to repair!

We headed to Aram's yesterday and they were so helpful in assisting Liz with her truck! She really loves her truck, she bought it cash for herself, and she was so happy that Aram's was able to take a look, let us know what was wrong and assist how they were able. It was a huge treat, because we were able to spend time while waiting...Breakfast down the street at Alexi's Diner, then to Marisa's house for some R and R, and then to Britony's house to visit with her and the tots.

Yay! What a day! I am so happy that we had that time together, and that we are on our way to a safe and useful truck!