Visiting Elmhurst Elementary

This last weekend I had the pleasure to reconnect with some High School classmates of mine at a mutual friends wedding. It was like a reunion! Anyway, I was honored to be asked by one of my friend's sons if I would like to come to his school's Open House. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to accept his invitation and surprise him by attending his Open House as Mrs. Washington. I am pictured above with my friends Wendy and George Chittenden and their adorable little boy Morgan (a.k.a. "Mo"). Thank you Mo for inviting me!

When Mo met me at his school, he gave me the hugest hug and a gift - the most awesome fudge in the world which was made by his very talented Mother Wendy! (Check out her fudge website!) He became my best friend from then on - I love you too Mo!

As we were waiting for the Open House Assembly to start I had the opportunity to greet guests as they entered the doors and of course take some snapshots. I am pictured above with Ashton -a new Kindergartner!

Pictured above with Ashley

Thanking a three time wounded veteran for his service and sacrifice in serving our country! God bless our soldiers. As a military wife of 18 years, it truly hits home.

Thanks to Elmhurst's Elementary Principal Shaun Carey, I had the opportunity to share with families my platform "Embracing the Special Needs Child" as well as promoting the importance of Music Education. I explained to the parents and children my role as an advocate for special needs children in making sure they too have a successful education experience in their schools. I also encouraged the children to take advantage of learning to play a musical instrument during their school years, as it has been proven that those students who are enrolled in music education perform better academically as well. Thanks Mo for being my assistant!

Pictured above with Lucy

Mo and his brother Zechariah (a.k.a Zech) showing me his desk

Thank you to Mo's teacher Tambi Nasinec for allowing me to join in on the fun and for choosing a profession that makes such an impact in our World - God Bless Our Teachers!

The Chittenden Family! Thank you so much for letting me be your guest this evening. I had such a memorable time with your children! George and Wendy - you are wonderful parents! God Bless You!

Congratulations Brian and Tammy!

The Chris Elliot Fund Annual Auction did not take place on Saturday after all - it has been postponed. This allowed me to be able to attend a wedding of two friends of mine Brian and Tammy. I have known Brian since Kindergarten and Tammy since Junior High. Above I am pictured (2nd from left) with guests of the party that all attended Junior and High School together. The bride and groom are in front showing off their cowboy boots! It was great to see everyone again - what a reunion!

Runway to Freedom Fashion Show

The Runway to Freedom Fashion Show was held in Seattle this last Thursday and raised funds for New Beginnings - a nonprofit organization that provides emergency services for victims of domestic violence. My nephew Justin Bartle is one of the designers featured in the fashion show.
Nancy Slater, President of the Board of Directors of New Beginnings, addresses the audience.

A new couture gown designed by my nephew Justin Bartle.

Justin's Couture Gown Collection on the Runway!

One of Justin's models - Matthew. Justin designs Men's Wear as well. Matthew really does a great job on the runway!

From left to right: My sister Karen, Justin, myself and Matthew. As you can see, I am wearing the very gown I won the Mrs. Washington title in - this gown too was made by Justin. I wore it to help advertise his work and even got to model it on Runway as well! So much fun!

Justin, Portia Monique Smith (fantastic singer!), myself and Danny - another fashion designer enthusiast!

Yeah! My raffle ticket was drawn and I won this adorable purse made out of recycled candy wrappers. It came all the way from Costa Rica - donated by Mary above! Thanks Mary!

The waiters serving the fashion show guests - they were such gentlemen!

Kenny Earns Tenderfoot and Second Class Rank!

Kenny is receiving his Space Exploration and Art Merit Badge

Not only did Kenny earn his Tenderfoot Rank, but he also earned his Second Class Rank this last week. As you can see, I left my Boy Scout Uniform at home - on this night I just wanted to enjoy being Kenny's parent. Daddy was out of town with work so Cody and I got to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment. We are so proud of Kenny. Parents, it is so important to keep your children involved in his or her community especially if they have special need challenges. It will give them the self esteem and confidence that they can still make a contribution to society just like everyone else - they have value and worth!

Welcome Home Party

My sister Karen made a Mrs. Washington cake for my Welcome Home Party! She has always been so thoughtful and giving.
Mrs. Olympia - Irene Shade was able to come celebrate with us. So happy to see her and catch up!
I am so thankful I didn't win my first time, or second time, or third time in my attempt to win the Mrs. Washington title. Over the past four years I have made so many wonderful friends in the process! I guess for me - 4th time is the charm :)!

My family - I am truly blessed!

Well, thanks to my sister Patti (in the background hard at work doing dishes), and my parents the party was complete success with plenty of taco shells to spare!

Greeting Fair Goers at the Puyallup Fair

Saturday, Sept. 18 I had the privilege of greeting fair goers at the Puyallup Fair with Miss Washington's American Coed Pre-teen 2010. Thank you Stephanie for doing such a great job representing Washington State!
My boys did such a wonderful job helping me pass out programs. Silly me, I forgot to have them put on their Boy Scout and Cub Scout uniform before heading out to the fair. We were just so excited about having a fun day - which we did!

Pictured above with my son Cody & my sister Valerie and her daughters.

After passing out programs, my sons and I decided to walk down to Taco Bell for lunch after a hard days work! We had the blessing of visiting with a beautiful lady by the name of Helyn Nelson. She is known as Puyallup's Taco Bell Grandma! She shared an inspirational story with my sons about how her grandson, at the age of 5 developed a rare disease which forced doctors to amputate his legs. They did not think he would survive. However, at 35 years of age, he is now playing wheelchair professional basketball. So great for my sons to hear that story as in inspiration for them to overcome their own challenges!

I ran into one of my best friend's daughter - I can't believe Jessica is almost as tall as me now!

At the petting zoo. My sons favorite place to visit at the fair!

I had the pleasure of being asked to take a picture with these beautiful girls. I wrote their names on a piece of paper and wouldn't you know - I lost it. I do remember Madison and Allisa I believe. So if you are reading this girls, please feel free to correct me and update me via email!

I was so excited to run into Allyson, Miss Tacoma's Outstanding Teen 2010. She placed 2nd runner up at the Miss Washington America's Outstanding Teen Pageant this last May. I am still so proud of her! It was so much fun being her coach!

Lakewood's Annual All City Tailgate

Friday, Sept. 17 the City of Lakewood had it's Annual All City Tailgate at Clover Park High School. Pictured above with my son Cody, his Bear buddy Jeremiah and fellow Scout Leaders busy promoting our Annual Popcorn Fundraiser for Lakewood's Cub Scout Pack 53.
Thank you to our Fort Lewis Army Soldiers for being apart of this event and for serving our country making America proud!

Cody visited his school booth promoting Lakeview Hope Academy. He is pictured above with his Principal and former teacher. We are so blessed to have Cody attending Lakeview Hope Academy!

I was so excited to run into a former classmate from my junior high and high school days.
Michelle is now a teacher at Lakewood's Park Lodge Elementary. God bless our teachers!

A Surprise Appearance - Rock Pasta - Lake Tapps!

After my appearance at the Puyallup Fair I decided to drive to Rock Pasta in Lake Tapps and surprise my sister Valerie at work. I am pictured above with my sister and her coworker Corky of 15 years. Valerie was not able to make it to either my pageant, send off party or my welcome home party - so I decided to bring the party to her and surprise her as Mrs. Washington.
Pictured above with one of my sister's long time customers Keith. His daughter will be competing in the upcoming Washington's Miss Teen USA Pageant! Best wishes!

What a wonderful group of customers I met tonight while visiting my sister. They were so gracious and invited me to sit at their table. I was in the very best of company! Thank you for taking care of my meal. God Bless You!

I so enjoyed visiting with everyone!

Puyallup Fair - All American Girl Talent Showcase

On Tuesday, September 14th I made an appearance at the Puyallup Fair in support of the All American Girl Talent Showcase held in the Education Building/Pavilion. Above I am speaking to the audience about the importance of keeping music education in our schools along with promoting my platform "Embracing the Special Needs Child".

All American Girl Talent Showcase - The cutest little cowgirl I ever did see! She had quite the twang to her singing voice!

Crowning of Washington State Royalty

The All American Girl Royalty!

Military Appreciation Day - Whidbey Island Windjammer Park - September 11

After flying into Seatac from Mrs. America, my family drove straight to Whidbey Island to celebrate Military Family Appreciation Day on Saturday, September 11 - never forgetting those who have lost their lives on that fateful day 9 years ago. God bless our military for their sacrifices and service to fight back against terrorism.
Cody playing leap frog!

Kenny testing his football skills!

Thank you to our first responders for your service and sacrifice as well!

Just clowning around!