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Why Not

I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.

Pizza at Skyline Catering

While at my daughter’s softball practice, Ernie Wunsch, the owner of Skyline Catering right here in Cudahy and a softball coach, was talking about a new pizza they were making. It was a Buffalo Chicken and Gorgonzola pizza. 

We decided to try his homemade pizzas on Friday night. We had the Buffalo Chicken and the Meat Lovers pizzas. Both pizzas get a huge thumbs up. In my opinion, I would say that these pizzas would be some of the best in Cudahy, if not the area. The ingredients were fresh and could tell that time was put into making each pizza. The pizzas are made in Skyline's kitchen and frozen on site. 

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Eliminating the R Word

I don’t know how many of you realized it, but in the last couple of weeks, The Knights of Columbus have been out for the annual Tootsie Roll Drive for people with Intellectual Disabilities. If you have seen them, I hope you noticed that the Knight’s have removed the word “retarded” (the R word) from their vests. When I told the man thank you for removing the word, he said you’re welcome, but there was still work to do. For those of us who have a child or friend with a developmental disability, this is a huge step in eliminating the R word.

Ending the R word has now become a major focus of many groups. Whenever I hear somebody use the R word, I think to myself that this individual needs to either learn what the word truly means or they need to learn to expand their vocabulary. Here is link to one group: http://therword.org/.  Google "eliminate the R word" and see how many choices you have.

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Future Dreams

Somebody mentioned to me that it was pretty neat that I would teach my son to drive even though he will probably never get his license.  I then had a conversation with the person and explained that I have hopes for Tyler. The same hopes as I have for my other 2 kids.  Tyler needs an education to get a job. Tyler needs life skills to move out on his own.  He is entitlted to his independence.

We believe in looking at people for thier ability and not their disability. What they can do as opposed to whay they cannot do. Every person has strengths and weaknesses. This is how it should be in everyday life.  We need to believe in each other to accomplish our goals.

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Memories of Mom for Mother's Day

I only had my mom around for about 25 years. I get a lot of questions from my kids as to what my mom was like. As I have gotten older, I have realized how much my mom truly meant to me. Spencer is the one who asks the most questions about the end and while it is hard sometimes to explain cancer to an 8 year old. I almost feel as if I grew closer to my mom in the last few months of her life then I actually did the last 6 or 7 years. Probably because there was more quality time spent together, just the two of us.

My dad did remarry and Sue is great. She really takes interest in what is going on in our lives. My kids truly love her as a grandmother. 

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Mother's Day Greetings from her Kids

(ALL TYPED BY EACH ONE THEMSELVES)

I LOVE MUMMA

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Baseball Season CSFLBA

Tonight starts the beginning of the Cudahy St Francis Little Baseball Association season.  Games begin at 5:30 at both Ladish and Pulaski Parks. Both boys and girls action will be available at each park.

Please come out and supoort are area youth. They have all worked hard this preseason and they are anxious to begin real games.

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Last Grade School IEP

This week, we begin to get ready for our final grade school, IEP (Individualized Education Program). My wife and I feel that this is probably going to be our most important one to date. The reason being is that Tyler will transition to the middle school after the next school year. Last spring, we made a number of adjustments to Tyler’s IEP Goals because he had made significant progress towards meeting those goals. The goals were agreed upon by his parents and the staff within the school district. 

For a brief history in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) please refer to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individuals_with_Disabilities_Education_Act. As you see, these are Federal Laws that we are dealing with and as such, are taken very seriously by both the family and the school.

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Schools

Back on April 29, I wrote about American Students and how they are falling behind their peers from other parts of the world.

This morning on my drive into work, I heard on the radio that MPS is looking for 700 “volunteers’” to be laid off for next year. While I understand budget concerns, declining enrollment, taxes and everything else that goes into the decision making process, there has got to be a better answer then just closing schools and increasing class sizes. At what cost does this affect the students? II know that not every kid wants to go to school, but we must provide the best product possible for those who do.

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Growing Up

Last night, I am making dinner and my daughter sits down to start her homework. We are having the usual chit chat about her day, when suddenly she blurts out that she did not like the class they had on personal health issues. Namely, it was “the talk”.

As a father, I am somewhat prepared for these issues to come up, but last night was not one of them. My wife was out so it was just me listening and offering my 2 cents in a dad way.  During the course of the conversation, the subject turns to feminine hygiene products. I must admit, I do not have a lot of experience with these. Thankfully my wife walked in during the choice of pads Q & A.

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Taking Responsibility

Martin Luther King Jr once said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

As a parent, I work very hard in teaching my children to accept responsibility for their actions. These are the same values taught to me growing up. I will not let allow my kids to blame somebody else for their own mistakes, especially if I know that they did the action.

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Travelers

I recently received a call from a guy I used to travel with quite often on business. About 8 years ago I took a corporate job that required some travel. In the 3 years or so with the company, I traveled about 32 weeks a year, home on weekends. I was always home for the important things like kids concerts. I decided that I wanted to watch my kids grow up and gave up the travel.

As we were catching up, the conversation turned to the airlines charging for checked baggage. Being in the transportation industry, we both could not understand why they would encourage passengers to carry on their luggage.Unless I had an overnight trip, I always checked my bag.  The more bags being carried on flights, the longer the waits to get through security.  Speaking from the business traveler stand point, not something we enjoyed.

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Fast Pitch Tournament

This weekend, the Cudahy St Francis Little Baseball Association will be hosting teams from Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan for the following tournament.

 Cudahy - St. Francis Little Baseball Association and National Softball Association (NSA)

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Advocacy and Employment

I just spent the last couple of days in Madison for meetings of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. The discussed 2 major topics: the State Plan which is required by the Federal Government and Employment opportunities.

This will be my first State Plan. While I will be participating in the entire process, one of the special areas that I will be working on is the Advocacy portion. One of the reasons that this position is of special interest to me is because I am advocating for my son Tyler.

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Advocacy and Employment in Cudahy

Advocacy and employment are not just issues for people in the disability community.

In order for the City of Cudahy to grow, we all must be advocates of the City. It is true that all of the elected officials must advocate for bringing businesses to Cudahy. But is also our responsibility to advocate for Cudahy. Sure, Mayor Day and Lara Fritts are out looking to bring businesses to Cudahy and talking about all the benefits the City has to offer. But if the rest of the residents do nothing but point out the negative things about Cudahy, then why would a business want to relocate or start anew in Cudahy?

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Summer Vacation

Today I start my summer vacation for the first time in over 25 years.  It is an unplanned vacation, but we will have to make the best of it.

My vacation will consist of many projects that there is just not enough hours in the day to get down because of other priorities. Namely decluttering the house. 

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Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend brings back memories of our family vacation last summer.  We spent a week in Washington DC.  While there are so many great things to see in Washington,  I think that 2 are very relevant for this weewkend.

First, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the changing of the Guard.  For those who have seen this moving event, you know what I am talking about.  For those who have never experienced this event, here is a link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp17RtUCJkw&feature=fvw.  I don't think anything else needs to be said.

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