Friday, June 20, 2014

Mis Chihuahuas Diva Y Joyita Apoyando A La Seleccion Mexicana

Mis Chihuahuas Diva Y Joyita Apoyando A La Seleccion Mexicana

Mis Chihuahuas Diva Y Joyita Apoyando A La Seleccion Mexicana

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 08:52 AM PDT

Mis Chihuahuas Diva y Joyita Apoyando a la Seleccion Mexicana para el Partido en el World Cup de Brazil para el proximo juego de Mexico y Croacia gracias Larena iReport for CNN

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Summer Moon Skies 2013

Posted: 20 Jun 2014 02:47 AM PDT

The summer moon lit sky can be as beautiful as the sunset and sunrise.
These images were made from the Summer Solstice June 21 2013 each month until September 18 2013 to include Summer Solstice, Super Moon, Blue Moon and Early Harvest Moon among others.


Photography Janie Lambert

June 21 2013 Summer Solstice

June 21 2013 Summer Solstice
June 23 2013 Super Moon
June 23 2013 Super Moon
July 22 2013 Moon through Cloudy July Sky
Aug 14 2013 Early Evening Moon
Aug 14 2013 Early Evening Moon
Aug 20 2013 Blue Moon
Aug 20 2013 Blue Moon
Sept 18 2013 Early Harvest Moon
Photography Janie Lambert

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High Speed Pass

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:03 PM PDT

A meteor made a high speed pass while I was star gazing in the mountains of Southern California.

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Treacherous Tranquility

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 07:01 PM PDT

Taken on a beautiful Saturday morning. It is amazing how we are able to visualize calmness even in the roughest of environments. I hope that you enjoy.

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Chicago summer night

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 01:16 PM PDT

Photo by Instagram user @dsowaphoto.

Red, White, & Blue. #merica #mychicagopix #igerschicago #chicago #cnnireport #fog #fireworks #trib2014 #storm #skyviewers #skyline #chitoday #flippinchi #summer

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Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:58 AM PDT

London, 10min before the Uruguay-England game.

Fans are going to watch the game in a pub in south-west London wearing the English flag

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Storm on the Plains of Nebraska

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:48 AM PDT

I was traveling a small county road in Nebraska when I came over a hill and saw this massive mean looking cloud. I had to pull off the road until it passed but was able to get a few shots off.

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Summer Sunset in Thailand

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 03:48 AM PDT

The sun sets over the tranquil waters of the Andaman Sea off the coast of Phuket, Thailand.

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Sunrise over Juno Beach Pier

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 02:59 AM PDT

The Juno Beach Pier in Florida is a great location for a sunrise photo op. Copyrighted by Robert Ondrovic Photography

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Apoyando a la Selección de España

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Desde Venezuela apoyando a la Selección de España en el mundial 2014

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Raising a special needs child

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:51 AM PDT

We are the Ramos family. I am Ricky Sr. and Monique is my wife. Our children include Ricky Jr., the oldest, and our daughter, Juliana, who's a wonderful blessing in our lives! Our Julie is 10 years old and has been given a myriad of diagnoses from birth, such as muscle weakness through-out her body, left side diaphragm paralysis and premature lung size. She currently has a tracheotomy to help her breathe, a G-tube for bolus feedings and she sleeps with a Bi-pap at night. These diagnoses are what the medical profession uses to categorize her abilities, but her beautiful attitude towards life and her demanding need for equality have given us, as a family, the ability to look at life with great humbleness! Juliana has reminded us the simplest things in life are taken for granted, such as going from no speech at birth to now reading over 100 words a minute, to being on a machine 24 hours a day for breathing, to now running the half mile in her PE class. From needing assistance to sit up, to performing ballerina and hip-hop moves without help. These are only some of the abilities she now has and, believe me, there are more! But Juliana has been an example of patience, that combined with our faith in God has proven successful time and time again during our journey. Even when the frustration levels hit the all-time peaks, God still provided for us. Our daughter is now going to the 5th grade, loves dancing, slowly eats small portions of pureed foods, and is in the process of working to have her trache removed. All of these are progression! We believe Juliana will live a prosperous life, because, like her, we will not focus on "physical attributes"- those do not complete a person. We will focus on the HEART of a daughter who wants to express her gifting to the fullest. This is what God has "diagnosed" her with! We are so excited to watch Julie grow up, because with every progression there is a new outlook in our lives as well! Thank You God for our blessing!

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End of a stormy day

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The presence of a rainbow signals the end of a summer storm along the Jersey shore. Copyrighted by Robert Ondrovic Photography

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We're not in Kansas anymore Toto......

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 11:17 AM PDT

Summer storm approaches the New Jersey shore near Wildwood Crest. Copyrighted by Robert Ondrovic Photography

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How my son with special needs has changed my view of the world.

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 10:09 AM PDT

My son Wyatt and his twin brother Evan were born 11 years ago. I had no idea how much my world was about to change. The boys were delivered at 27 weeks gestation. They were being effected by Twin to Twin Transfusion. We were told Wyatt had suffered a significant brain injury before delivery. Over the years Wyatt has been diagnosed with Severe Microcephaly, Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, and Cortical Vision Impairment. He is nonverbal, uses a wheelchair, and needs a feeding tube for the majority of his nutrition.

We knew very early on that Wyatt understood everything going on around him. We tried to involve him in everything with his older sister and twin brother. He was very frustrated the majority of time because of his inability to express his wants and needs. Wyatt has been involved in many therapies starting his first year of life. This includes Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and HIPPO (horseback riding ) Therapy. When Wyatt was 5 years old he was introduced to assistive technology. This started with switches to learn cause and effect. Wyatt started sharing recorded messages and controlling a computer program. We then worked with Wyatt to learn to express yes and no with eye and head movements. He was empowered and his behavior issues from frustrations were becoming less. He then received his first communication device. The communication process he uses is called auditory scanning. It involves a head switch and a personal speaker. His device scans the options in his personal speaker and he uses the head switch to make his selections. It took a lot of encouragement and creativity with programming for Wyatt to be motivated to talk with the device. It is certainly not an easy process for him to tell you what he has to say. We found having funny phrases and opportunities for him to make people laugh are the best motivators.

Wyatt is now 11 years old and can tell you almost anything with his device. He will occasionally use word prediction and say something that just shocks us. A few months ago he was waking at night and crying until I went into his room. I was pushing him into his room one night and he used word prediction to say "Ghosts?" He had seen a scary movie preview on TV right before the waking at night began. We had a discussion about that being a movie and not real. He stopped waking at night and crying. I may never have figured out what was upsetting him without the aide of the communication device. His ability to communicate his knowledge and understanding helps other people see what we have always known. Wyatt is aware of everything. His brain functions to think, learn and feel. It just simply does not work to control his body. If you just look at Wyatt you may not think he can participate in life. With the help of adaptive equipment and assistive technology he can participate in many things other 11 year olds enjoy.

Wyatt participates in a talker group. All the kids communicate with assistive technology. Going to group is his favorite activity. The kids have conversations, do science experiments, plan parties, and even go shopping together. Wyatt has friends and he loves school. It has been an ongoing battle for the public school system to see Wyatt as someone capable of learning. I wish the world would understand how hard parents have to work to have their kids with special needs included in school. It is heartbreaking to see your child placed in a separate room away from the typical students. Wyatt wants to be in the regular classroom. He has recently started the Charlotte's Web strain of medical cannabis. He is much more comfortable and able to concentrate. We have been successful in reducing his other medications and he is doing amazing. Last year he was finally fully included in his regular classroom. The difference in his excitement about school was very evident. It was very clear that it was the place he needed to be. I wish everyone could see what I see in Wyatt.

I was a very shy person before I became Wyatt's mother. I very rarely spoke up or brought attention to myself. I now question doctors, school administrators, and anyone making decisions that will effect Wyatt's quality of life. Now I speak in front of groups of other parents and professionals about the difference we can make in the lives of children with special needs. Being Wyatt's mother has completely changed my view of the world. Being the parent of a child with special needs is difficult. We juggle therapies, unexpected hospitalizations, raising our other children, endless school meetings, and researching ways to improve our child's quality of life. It also brings excitement and joys we would not have experienced had we not been handed this life.

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Hidden reading disability

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 09:58 AM PDT

Our family's journey into the world of reading disabilites started for us before KG. Our son is Ian is a twin. We used to think it was so cute when his twin sister, Megan, would speak for him. Ian would point to the refrigerator and Megan would say, "he wants a yogurt". He was always about 6 months behind her development-wise. But the pediatricians felt that was completely "normal", they were after all twins. Our bookshelves are filled to the brim with children's classics and books that got read to them every night before bedtime. My first inkling that Ian "learned differently" was when I was teaching them their colors. Ian could point to the colors if I asked, "which one is green". But I asked, "what color is this?", he struggled. Same for letters, numbers. He couldn't count 3 items and his movements forward on a board game were never accurate.
Enter KG, the screening test was awful. I left the screening in tears. "It looks like he just isn't ready for KG. I can't have a child in class who is resistant to my instruction." "His sister on the other hand, will fit right in". How can you tell your child that his twin sister will be going to KG, but not him??? Agony, I tell you. I fought back and insisted he would be ready. That he was just incredibly shy and I promised he would not be a behavior problem. Which he never was. Fast forward to the starting day of KG. He was so excited to go to school. That lasted about 3 weeks and then school was no longer fun for him.
About November I started getting emails from his teacher...."He isn't learning his letters, we just don't know what it could be, he just isn't ready to be in school, here's the paperwork to hold him back". I immediately took him to a learning center in town where he made exasperatingly slow progress at learning his letters. This center did not believe in diagnosing children with any disability because then they would be labeled for, okay, but how will I know how to help him if I don't know what this is? They just kept telling me that he needed a small environment to learn in. This learning center cost us $1200/month! He was there for 7 months. At the end of those 7 months my child could identify the alphabet, but still could not read or do basic math problems!
So I decided to homeschool him for 1st grade, mostly because his self-esteem was absolutely squashed beyond recognition. The little boy who was excited to go to school now cried every morning and every evening begging me not to send him to school. He had stomachaches and didn't feel good A LOT!
At my various teacher conferences in KG, the teachers didn't know what could possibly be wrong. "He seems so bright, I'm sure he will grow out of this, but he just can't learning his letters". I can still see the school VP literally shaking her head at me when I refused to hold him back.
1st grade at home was a complete and utter failure. I ended up most nights crying in my closet at the end of the day. He would know things one minute and the next day, it would be completely gone. I spent countless hours researching how to teach children to read. Nothing I came across ever mentioned dyslexia. We made little progress that year, except his self-esteem was back. He was fabulous at science experiments and our nature walks. Math and reading..........still exhausting with miniscule progress.
I made the decision to put him back in school in 2nd grade because I felt like a failure. The teacher emails started earlier this time, probably around September. He was put in RTI and was making no progress at all. The teacher said to me, "I'm wondering if he has dyslexia. He is writing his words backwards". The word NO was ON, TO was OT, etc. I went home and researched dyslexia that night and now I have a "before dyslexia" life and an "after dyslexia" life. He had absolutely every classic dyslexic red flag warning (seeing words backwards not being one of them). I immediately took him to a neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation where he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia (a math disability), and dysgraphia (a writing disability). He had a fabulous teacher that year who spent more time with him that she was allowed to and he did love her but still could not read. The only words he had memorized were CAT, THE. All the warning signs of dyslexia had been there all along but no one was able to see them.
My town had little resources. As a family we have spent close to $35,000 on various tutoring services that have only worked to a minimal degree. Due to the lack of resources in our town and the lack of understanding of dyslexia in our schools, we decided to homeschool him and I got trained in Orton-Gillingham, the method by which dyslexic students learn to read. He is now making astounding progress but it has not been without a huge sacrifice to our family. The emotional rollercoaster we have been on in fighting with the school district to financial distress on us a a family has been tremendous. But I look into my son's eyes today and see a bright, happy, well adjusted child who is learning to read, enjoying audiobooks, and finds the world a fascinating place with lots to learn about. He is no longer afraid of learning.
Having a child who does not learn the way the schools expect children to learn inside a box has been a journey of very low lows and very triumphant highs. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My goal now is to educate the public about what dyslexia is because 20% of the world's population is dyslexic and these children are sitting in schools knowing they can't read like their peers. They get bullied and called lazy by their peers and their parents and teachers. I know no teacher goes to college not wanting to know how to teach their future students. They are simply not learning about dyslexia in college. There is a mountain of research and 20+ years of scientific evidence of what works for students with dyslexia and yet many school districts across this nation tell parents that dyslexia does not exist and they don't recognize it.
It is shocking to me that we know as a nation that literacy is a huge problem and yet no one is addressing the issue of dyslexia. Through this journey we have also learned that my husband is dyslexic. Did you know it is genetic? True! My husband was told he was dumb in school more times than he wants to count. When we figured it out he said to me, "you mean all those people were wrong, I wasn't lazy and stupid?" How tragic is that?
DYSLEXIA IS REAL, parents and children are suffering every day because they are not getting the help they need.
Like many parents our journey has gone from struggling to advocacy. It is empowering to belong to a community of people advocating for worthwhile change in this world and I can't think of a better cause than to help children read. So every day I am grateful for my loving, adorable child who taught me what reading is all about!

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Haunting sunset above the clouds

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 04:14 AM PDT

Beats of gongs and people shouting merrily...
As we hike the exciting trail of Mt. Mantalingjagan, my eyes glowed of excitement. I asked our mountain guide and he whispered that the Tao't Bato tribe is doing a rare ritual for the fermentation of honey... My curiosity was aroused and asked what is that ritual all about - he told me that for one week, the tribesmen sing and dance as they wait for the fermentation of honey into wine... I eagerly asked him if I can take footage of that merry-making... He forbids me... "If you want to climb safely,never disturbed them', he whispered to me with conviction... I was so eager and obsessed hearing their happy beats and cheerful laugh as we ascend... As we climb, the unusual noises haunts me...

A day after, we are blessed with good weather...

We are one of the first ten groups of mountaineers to ascend the treacherous and wildest trail of Mt. Mantalinjagan in Palawan last March 2014...

It is a rare opportunity for mountaineers to witness the extraordinary sunset above the clouds at the summit of once forbidden mountain... The mountain is home of the Tao't Bato that lives on the caves and Tao't Daram that lives on the tree tops...

An enchanting climb of nature, culture and folklore belief...

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Posted: 18 Jun 2014 04:13 AM PDT


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Upstate NY Storm Damage

Posted: 17 Jun 2014 06:45 PM PDT

A tree in my front yard fell down as a result of the storm passing through upstate NY.

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