Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm a Big Fan of...! Griff the Corgi, Cool Shoes & Sex & the City!! June 2008

Here's my June 2008 gush:

I'M A BIG FAN OF...! my grandoggy Griff- the fluffy Corgi, cool shoes, and Sex and the City! So with the eve of the big movie just a day away, here's a photo by my talented photog daughter that honors all three!

It's exhausting trying on Jenna's high heels, huh Griff?

Wearing heels would make you look taller little man, but it would be tough for you to herd critters in them...
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Minute Vacations- June 2008

Judy's Minute Vacation for June 2008
Ponds at Frederick Meijer Gardens
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Don't you just love summer's endless adventures?!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Judy Winter's FAV Quote of the Month- June 2008

"What we need is more people
who believe in the impossible."
-Theodore Roethke
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

The White House Project/Michigan Go Run!

Many people have little clue as to how politicized many of the decisions affecting children with special needs are. Decisions on funding and policy in our communities are often made at the highest levels and filter down into our backyards, impacting our ability to easily navigate systems and help our children realize their full potential.

Without the proper understanding and education about this process, it can be tough for anyone to advocate effectively for lasting, needed change for this deserving population.

That's why I am thrilled to have have been accepted into this weekend's intensive Michigan, Go Run! Political Leadership Training Program. Part of the White House Project, this exciting effort is committed to helping women realize their important, valuable roles in the political arena, giving them the training, tools and support needed to realize their lofty dreams of public service. This weekend's event promises to help me better prepare myself to reach my big goals of impacting policy change on special needs at a high level nationwide and beyond. Running for office? Still undecided.

I have been fortunate to use my skills and passion to accomplish some important work on special needs these past two decades. It's work of which I am proud. I now want and need to learn more to take my advocacy to a new level. Eventually, I hope to become a childcare ambassador who travels internationally to document as a writer/photographer/advocate the stories of children worldwide facing the tremendous, often untold challenges of special needs. I want to realize big change worldwide and bring more attention to the cause on a larger stage, using my journalistic chops and my heart for the subject at hand to drive home important points and impact long-overdue change.

This weekend promises to be the start of an exciting and challenging new journey for me. I believe women hold the power to change the world. Their voices are needed now more than ever before in our history, especially as they impact our nations' most vulnerable citizens, its children. For me, that equation must include special needs awareness.

To find out more about the White House Project, visit:

Wish me luck! I'll share more soon.
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

DID YOU KNOW? Kitties are Good for Your Heart!

DID YOU KNOW that hugging your furry feline does more than just cover all your fav black clothing in fur? It's also great for your heart!

According to an article in the June issue of SHAPE magazine, it's true! The issue cites a University of Minnesota study that proclaims that owning a cat can reduce your risk of dying from heart attack by up to 40 percent!!!! MEOW!!!

I love cats, always have (and now I love my granddoggies, too!). For the first time in my life, after losing two long-time furry buddies to old age/disease in one year, I'm some how existing without a cat in my life (soon to be rectified), except for my buddy Pirate, the neighborhood cat who regularly stops by for purrs and petting. I've never understood why people are so afraid of black cats. My experiences with them have been nothing but delightful.

Above is a photo of Pirate and our last furry family pet, Chloe, an adorable, sweet ragdoll we rescued from the shelter as a pet for my for my daughter when she was very young. Chloe the cover girl added so much to our lives and we all miss her. The house is strangely quiet without her dignified presence and beautiful face, so I am especially grateful for Pirate's spirited, daily visits (and I don't have to clean a litter box!).

To improve your health, take a daily walk, and cuddle away! But please refrain from dressing up your cats. It may look cute, but I'm pretty sure the resulting stress is not good for their hearts. They are purr-fect just the way they are!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Cast a Vote for Special Olympics!

Here's a easy way to advocate and help support the great efforts of Special Olympics. This request comes from my friend Kirsten Suto Seckler, Director Global Marketing & Awareness at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C. Please take a moment and vote! Some days it's pretty darn easy to make a difference!! Thanks, all!

You know I love Special Olympics.....
From Kirsten:

The Red Sox are in the process of voting for Kid Captains - great kids who are doing good. The winning kid gets to visit Fenway Park in Boston later this year, and will have the opportunity to provide input on the charitable endeavors the Red Sox will support through their kids program.

William W. wants the Red Sox to focus on Special Olympics and the lessons kids learn from acceptance and inclusion. William's sister Annie is 15, has Down syndrome and is a Special Olympics athlete.

Please take a moment to vote for William W. in 4 easy steps...
1) Visit:
2) Click Vote now
3) Click the box next to William W. (last on the list)
4) Fill in your information.
One of our new goals is to reach out to as many kids as possible and what better way than through the Red Sox. Voting ends on June 22.

Thanks! Kirsten
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dancing and dis-Ability

I'm back! So get ready for a series of new posts/photos in the next couple of days as I share some highlights/photos of my recent travels, other key news and more upcoming adventures. I'm still sorting it all out and how best to share, but I want to get back on track today by sharing this beautiful video on dance and Ability on 'You Tube' sent to me by my good buddy, Jeanie.

So much for the dis in disability... Enjoy!
...and BRAVO!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Happy Mom's Day 2008!

I am about to hit the road and will be spending Mother's Day in NYC. But I couldn't leave without giving an early shout out to all those terrific moms who lovingly take on this challenging and rewarding role each day. The work you do is so incredibly important and valuable; the world would fall apart without you. Too often, this amazing role goes unappreciated and unrecognized and it is at times even harshly judged. I personally think that many mothers of kids with special needs should be nominated for sainthood!

Sunday is your day, moms! Enjoy it, and don't you dare spend it cleaning the house or making PB&J sandwiches!!!

Here's my short, sweet, early Mother's Day Greeting to you all.

Moms are true VIPs! No one has greater impact on a child than you do. Thank you for all you do each day to nuture future generations and world leaders. Like the tulip above, you make the world more beautiful, one child at a time.

Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations