Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freedom Waters at the Stone Crab Festival

Come one - Come All!  Freedom Waters at the Stone Crab Festival - This Weekend!!! Oct. 28-30, Friday -Sunday - all day -  Tin City 

Incredible Raffle Items - Private Yacht Cruises, Fishing Package, Hotel Stays, Restaurants Galore and More!

Kids Activities - Bounce House, Face painting, Fun!

Live Music from Pinchers Stage!

For more information about the event, link to -

Rain or Shine - We will be there! Hope you will too! 

Thank you!

Debby and all the Freedom Waters Foundation Friends

Debra Frenkel, LCSW
Executive Director/Founder

Freedom Waters Foundation 
895 10th Street South, Suite 302-D
Naples, Florida 34102 - Main office

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cinnamon's Spicy Life Awards Riley's Smile the Liebster Blog!

The Liebster Blog Award!

Thank you so much Cinnamon, I am honored to be in your company!
You always bring me a smile, even when you share life's challenges.
You have my full admiration.

Dear Reader, please hop on back to Cinnamon's Spicy Life and check her out... you'll be glad you did.

I love awards!  The funny thing is that I'm not writing or even blogging really.  I'm just trying to wrap my head around our life.  Hopefully, I help someone else get special needs along the way.

On with business...
in Cinnamon's words the Liebster Award works like this:

"... awards are wonderful.  It shows that someone else thinks that your writing is worth a crap, and that they want someone else to check you out too.  The ONLY downside of these awards, is that you must pass it along.  In this case, to 5 other bloggers.  They should have less than 200 followers.  This award is designed to help boost their readership by encouraging others to follow them.  BUT, that is the hard part.  Finding new bloggers to help.  Most of the ones that I follow and think are really great bloggers, already have huge followings….because they are so awesome."

Here’s the rules for this award.

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

You may not have noticed... but I have a theme... special needs.  As I mentioned earlier today, it rattles around my head.  I would like to pass on the award to some of the special needs blogs which I suspect to be under 200 followers (though it can be hard to tell for sure).

Today's Liebster Blog Awards from Riley's Smile

 Flight Platform Living

About the Small Stuff

I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Free As Trees

Life with a Severely Disabled Child

and since Cinnamon awarded only two I am stealing hers and adding

Special Happens

Thank you to each one of you for
being part of my blogging experience!

I Notice

This is one of those morning's when the special needs aspect of my life rattle around my head just a little louder.  May I remind you Dear Far and Between Reader, this is a special needs blog where my intention is to share that the special needs life does not take us down the average path and my vantage point sometimes takes me in odd and frustrating directions.  

Today, I am simply focused on the little behaviors that I interpret as revealing a person as dismissive of those around them or caring.  Now, I must remind myself to not be so black and white or even judgmental because I certainly resent being judged.  So, perhaps I'll just leave this as a bit of a rant.  If we are all lucky, I'll remember this in my own reactions... but don't hold your breath.  As Riley's mother, I get to be Crazy Woman or the term I read recently may be more appropriate, "Dragon Mom."

The day beyond our own walls begins with the arrival of Riley's bus (bus 27127 is quite reliable and calm recently).  It is my neighbors who show incredible disrespect during Riley's pick up and drop off in front of our home.  On many occasions neighbors have passed by the bus while lights are flashing and Riley is loading.  Last May, I fired off an email to my community not even thinking about who the latest lawbreaker may be: I simply knew I was angry and offended.

"Subject: school bus
... it is illegal to drive past a school bus loading a child... yes I see them and will definitely remember their lack of respect and consideration in this matter.  Thank you."


"I know you are speaking of me as I passed the bus this morning. The red lights flash the entire time the door is open. Your child is being loaded from the house side. There is never anyone on the street side. Are you suggesting everyone sit and wait the entire time the loading process is going on? I will make sure I never leave the community by going past your house again so as to not upset you."

I shared my frustration with another friend and neighbor who seemed to empathize.  This week, same neighbor drives right around the bus with flashing lights.  ?. Shall I take this as my opinion and the law are not as important as your needs Dear Neighbor?  I saw you.  Now what should I do?  Pretend that I did not?

While I was busy ruminating on the lack of respect toward my child, I drove up to Riley's school to collect him for physical therapy.  Being the quiet lunch hour I parked at the front circle, threw open the jeep hatch and arranged the ramp before bringing Riley out to the car.  When I returned to the vehicle, mowers were going all around and it was quite loud.  My focus turned to Riley's happy greeting, removing him from the wheelchair and settling him comfortably in his car seat.  When I brought my head back out from the car I turned to discover the wheelchair no longer beside me. 

What?!  Oh!  There stood Jamie (I'm certain I've mentioned his kindness previously), the gentleman in charge of Rayma's facilities.  He had just dismantled the chair as he had seen me do before, slid the heavy chair into the back of the jeep, folded up the ramp and was closing it all up nice and neat.

How do I react to this?  This is an amazingly kind and sweet gesture.  How many times have I loaded that chair in my own driveway, hugely pregnant and had every male neighbor - and at the time one lived in every house two to the right, two to the left, four across the way - and the only man to ever to rush to my aid (sometimes straight out of the shower and barely dressed was my own husband).  There are some other random individuals to have helped over time and I remember them.  I will always remember them. 
Yes, it's a big deal to me.  Thank you Jamie!  You are pretty wonderful.

We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NEC's Spooktacular

Sunday found us at Naples Equestrian Challenge for the Fall Spooktacular.  The staff and volunteers did an amazing job creating a fun event for their riders and families.

To see the horses in their outfits take a peak at the Facebook page for Naples Equestrian Challenge.  They even managed a shot of Ted the Scuba Diver before he decided he was too embarrassed by his costume to greet the kids.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Costumes?

So much excitement around here.  Halloween approaches.  We do our best to have Riley participate in all the fun.  Below are links for Special Needs costume ideas.  Hope you find something helpful.  Feel free to share your own ideas or costume links in the comment section.  Stacie

Halloween Costume Guide for Special Needs:  "I wanted to share some Halloween costume ideas for kids with sensory and mobility issues. Includes costumes that can be worn with sweat shirts and sweat pants, cut out costumes, costumes requiring no masks or make up and costumes incorporating wheelchairs. Also includes links for learning how to trick or treat"
Autism and Halloween 
Making Halloween Fun for Special Needs
Make Halloween Enjoyable 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Maggie World: Luxuries

Maggie World: Luxuries: There are so many worries when one is a parent. So many. All of us want the best for our children and all of us worry and fret over roadbloc...

A Long & Rainy Weekend

The boys had a long weekend.  We filled our time very well.  They even got to make an Arbonne sales call with me, my customer was so sweet to let me bring them along.

The house begins to look like Halloween with Ronan's homemade decorations.  When he was just old enough to hold a crayon, we would create homemade crafts and art to decorate for each holiday.  I am not creative so I usually turn to the internet for inspiration.  I was out for a little while and returned home to find John and the boys immersed in Halloween decorating activities.  Now, Ronan begins the process without prompting and creations I would never have imagined adorn our home.  Below is the first of the planned flying bat, ghost and jack-o-lantern.

Window stickies compliments of Miss Donna.

Lots of therapy for Riley to Dr. Steve Stohler's new chiropractic office location.  We are so fortunate to have Dr. Steve give his time and expertise to keeping Riley healthy.  One day soon I will share our introduction to Dr. Steve.  Then on to horseback riding at Naples Equestrian Challenge.  For the 3rd session in a row Riley performed beautifully, working hard without even being asked to push up and sit up, smiling all the while.  He does appear to perform better on the cooler, rainy days.  No pictures again... I was busy being Riley's sidewalker.

My mother has returned from up North.  We are all glad to have her back.  Ronan brought back another tradition the moment she returned... games.  We may all be a little gamed out after quite a bit of Monopoly Junior and Rummicub which he expects to play again this evening, I suspect the day will be full enough.  I'm glad he enjoys that time together:-)

Today he has Physical Therapy and later a school conference.

When I wonder where my time goes and how I accomplish not nearly as much as intended, I can look back and remember how these moments ate up my time.  I do need to get life on track.  But, all this care for Riley is invaluable to our future.  The healthier Riley is... the healthier our family is... it's worth every moment.  Admittedly though, I am quite challenged to put it all in perspective and time budgeted.

So, how do you all balance the needs of your special child with health care and educational needs which dominate the family life?

It is ADHD Awareness Week.  Here is a link to the current CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) newsletter with helpful articles.

We are all special.. by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"I talk to God..."

My contribution is a memory from October 2008:

Where did my toddler disappear to?  Searching the house, I entered the bathroom to find Ronan laboring away seated on the small red potty.  

Seeing me, he explained that he was in there “talking to God.”  Quite seriously he went on, “I talk to God when I’m on the toilet.”    

This unexpected response left me wondering all day long how he had decided to spend his time on the toilet praying...  Each evening we recited simple prayers together and John and I each encouraged a relationship with God; however, I did not recall recommending this practice.  

Entering the bathroom, the tones of confidentiality indicated a spirituality beyond the child's prayer I had selected for Ronan each evening from The Golden Treasury of Prayers for Boys and Girls.

Mystified by this behavior, I mentioned it to my husband, John, later in the evening.  Confession time for John: Weeks earlier Ronan kept knocking on the bathroom door and asking "Daddy, what are you doing in there?"  After repeated this demand each time Daddy was found alone in the bathroom, John changed his original explanation to “talking to God.”   

Ronan has taken this as his example of how to spend his bathroom time.

We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

Friday, October 14, 2011

Buck Corner October 2011 Newsletter

Buck Corner
October 2011

Happy Fall Everyone!  Here in Paradise, windows thrown wide open, we are once again immersed in school activities, fundraisers, horseback riding and preparing for the holidays.

As you can see above, Riley maintains his celebrity status (read about “his interview” on NBC television in Rileys-Smile and the newspaper). 

The Shark Tooth Guy is launching a new line (photo above/see below for more details).  New fossils?  Is he still alive? 

Don’t let YOUR SKIN BE THE SCARIEST thing this Halloween Season... Arbonne Skin Care and Nutritionals.  Is offering new promotions and products (coupon in this newsletter!).

We sincerely thank you all for taking a moment to share our endeavors and the positive encouragement we have received.  Questions and inquiries are welcome and we look forward to hearing from you.
Plant you now, dig you later,
Stacie & John

DID THE SHARK TOOTH GUY GET EATEN!!!!???  No, John has been working 6 days a week (real life job) and had a major ear infection that has kept him out of the water.  But, he has used that time to create some ideas/new lines that will be presented in November.  Small hint:

Website/Blog devoted to Shark and Fossil education (geared towards kids and “adults who are kids at heart”).

A new line of fossils that make for interesting displays for the serious collectors all the way down to someone who wants to own to prehistoric pencil holder!

Activities/links that you can participate in to learn more about fossils and have fun discovering (ages 4-100)
Stay tuned (be patient (but not 6 Million Years!)
Fossil Kits &   Healthy Treats:
Grandkid Favorites

Fossil kits are still available ($20-$60 including shipping). 

Interested in giving out shark teeth for Halloween instead of candy?  200 teeth/fossils (and cards explaining the fossils inside) : $35  (limited supplies).

Having a Halloween Party?          Chocolate is a must.
Chocolate Cheesecake….. $25
(Special Spooky Halloween Design)
Delivery included:
Naples/Bonita/FM residents

Tailgate Special for the man and woman: Chocolate chili (a robust sausage chili with hints of cinnamon and Mexican Chocolate).
Going to a Halloween Party or Holiday Event? Call and discuss how we can cater an easy but gourmet dish for you to bring ($19-$65)


Does your body feel like you are wearing a costume?  Does your skin look worse than a Mummy?....
Introducing Arbonne Essentials!
Just What Every Body Needs
Announcing the
Arbonne Essentials launch, nutritional solutions that are individually targeted to meet your body's needs. Formulated with active botanicals, the Arbonne Essentials line is comprised of 22 products, which support a range of areas including digestion, immunity boost, increased energy and weight management. 

Shop for Pure, Safe, & Beneficial skincare, nutrition, weight loss, aromatherapy, and color products.

A Halloween Treat for Mom or Dad!
What is your costume? Scared of those lines and wrinkles?   Arbonne has a treat for you!
This coupon entitles you to a 15% discount on any Arbonne order placed prior to Halloween!
Certified Vegan Makeup  (cow approved)

Arbonne Holiday

Fight Brain Aging & Stay Mentally Sharp
It’s never too late or too soon to start thinking about protecting your brain as you age. After age 40, we may notice our minds start to slip on occasion (don’t tell me if I’m the only one). It’s common to notice subtle or gradual changes in memory, perception, thinking, problem solving, and judgment. Fortunately, leading experts no longer believe this decline is an inevitable part of life. Your brain is hard-wired to change.

Freedom Waters Foundation
We have geared up for our first big event of the season, The Stonecrab Festival 
 Oct. 28—30, 2011!  
We are prominent at Tin City WE NEED YOU THERE!
The Shark Tooth Guy on Facebook

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Riley Met A Goal!

"Riley met a goal!" Miss Emily announced when we arrived for Physical Therapy at All Children's Monday afternoon.  Now this is a statement that I am rather unfamiliar with hearing. 

Every movement Riley makes takes incredible effort.  In the past year, John and I have marveled at his new skill: Riley at the age of eight learned to lift his left arm up to his face and with the back of his wrist rub his own eyes.  Now, depending on your experiences this is either the one of the saddest skills you have ever heard or you are at this moment incredibly jealous that my child can now rub his own eyes when they itch.  What is life like if you cannot do this for yourself.

If you can relate to this being an amazing milestone, you understand the difficulty of meeting therapy goals in order to qualify to keep therapy.  Our goal will not keep us in therapy.  But our goal does show that Riley is working and working hard to improve his abilities.

Are you ready?  Here it is.  While maintaining a weight bearing position on his elbows, Riley held is head up without help for 10 seconds.  10 Seconds!  It's a beautiful moment to see my child improve and become stronger.

Next, we get to maintain this ability.  So much work to do.

To do all he does, Riley is Superman.

We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

Today's Inspirational Post is at kidz - I Know Different.  Please check it out.

Please visit my fellow blogger at It's Just Life for Comments for A Cause for October
  • For every comment on any post during October I will donate 50 cents to UNICEF!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Got Respite... Go Fly A Kite

We are so blessed to have respite now.. through the Partners In Care program we are able to request about 150 hours a year.  I had lined it up awhile back hoping John and I could dive together this past Saturday.  Diving, however, is out for John at the moment due to his ear infection.  So, Riley happily settled with Nurse Debbie, John, Ronan and I headed to a secluded beach off Lover's Key with our kite.

It never escapes us that we can never take family outings as other families do.  Riley is always left behind or the outings must revolve around Riley's needs.  But, we have a son who needs these adventures and off we went.  Discovering he was required to wade through a lagoon to arrive on the beach upset Ronan at first, but by the end of the day he was the first one charging in ignoring all the crabs and jumping fish.

We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Holiday Open House in Bonita Springs Tomorrow

We've got the coolest gifts around.
Get ahead of the Holidays this year so you can actually enjoy them.

Time has come to start thinking about holiday shopping.  Several local business women are coming together for an Open House to showcase our businesses and help you prepare for the holidays.  I will be joined by my friends from Creative Memories, Mary Kay, 31 and Pampered Chef.  Please join us and bring a friend!

Time: Sunday October 9, 10:30 - 2:00 pm

Location: Homewood Suites, 8901 Highland Wood Blvd., Bonita Springs, FL
North of W. Terry St. along US 41 (Tamiami Tr.) on the east side.

I am offering 15% discount on Arbonne to each who mention this post.  

This site has lots of helpful information

Friday, October 7, 2011

Return to Florida: Donna Lee

I would like to begin with a new years blessing.

It is going to be a Fantastic year, I can feel it!  As was this summer.

As you all know, my brother received my bone marrow, and as of today, his latest biopsy shows 91% of it being his own. Thank you God. The month of September I spent with my 14 month-old grandson, helping him to adjust to daycare and spending as much time as possible bonding with him. He rode his first choo choo train with "safta" (grandma in Hebrew). I was very privileged to have had that time with him.

Presently I am back in Naples, Florida and my first visit, after mom, was to Riley and his family. Riley had a tough summer, involving seizures and coughs, increasing his muscle tone, tightening them, as well as his tendons and ligaments. After not seeing him for 4 months, I noticed how much he has grown, especially taller. He seemed to have enjoyed the massage, because, as I pointed out in a previous blog, he vocalizes and sings to me.

I started out wishing us all a wonderful new year, or Shana Tova (Hebrew), filled with good health, happiness and productivity. This week I will resume my volunteer work at Naple's Equestrian Challenge, become a more active participant in Freedom Waters Foundation organization, continue dancing with my buddies from the Federation For Developmentally Disabled, at Fred's Diner, every Tuesday evening, and of course, visit Riley on a weekly basis. Being part of these activities, gives me the energy of life and fills my soul with true abundance. Thank you God.

Donna Lee
Nameste v'Shalom

New digital Parenting Specialneeds Magazine is out today.

Shared by Debby Frenkel:

FWF Made the News in Naples tonight!  Thank you to Paul Gessler who did a great job on the story at ABC!

Enjoy and please forward and share with all your friends ----

Here's the link to the story

Here's to what we do!  Thank you all who Make it Happen! 


Today's discovery for my international readers: European Disability Forum

Forget Me Not Fridays

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sharing Freedom Through Boating for Special Children

September 29, 2010
“Special needs basically means the Loss of Freedom: Loss of the senses… smell, taste, hearing, feel/touch, sight. Freedom Waters Foundation gives our blind, deaf, and paralyzed child his senses back,” wrote John Buck, Father of Riley Buck, age 8. “The smell and taste of the salt water air; the vibration (hearing) of the motor or gentle rocking of the waves; the touch of the sun and wind in his hair. As for sight, the organization gives us something to look forward to every time we participate. For a moment in time, our son/family, are “normal” and a part of something very special.”

(Photo above, John and son, Riley Buck, Age 8 )

Zach, 7, who is on the most part non-verbal, sometimes has a hard time adjusting to new places or situations and although he has been boating before with FWF, his last trip was on a different boat, from a different marina and he approached with great trepidation and many tears. With a great deal of affection, comfort and support, Zach slowly adjusted to his new surroundings and we left the dock. Soon there after, he wanted and did explore the vessel, helped at the helm, and he was smiling with the joy of his boating experience.

By the time the boat returned to the dock, Zach was so relaxed that he nearly fell asleep.

“Freedom Waters Foundation allows children, whose lives are full of therapy and work to be free. The water allows them to just be a kid for a day, not a kid with special needs or multiple problems. Just a kid, who can set sail and relax in the sun. To see them laugh and feel the wind on their faces is such a wonderful sight. As a mom I take great joy in seeing my son sail on the open sea! His joy brings me joy and for that I am thankful!” stated Rebekah Aldridge, Zach’s Mom. She even wrote a little poem:

Water is so much fun,
then you add a little sun,
A little sail and special friends,
and the fun just never ends!

(Photo Above – Zachary Aldridge, 7 and Volunteer, Donn Schulte)

Today's discovery:

Christmas Cards from About the Small Stuff

Christmas cards featuring disabled children: Janet Harrold of Painting for Hailey

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Discover Arbonne, UK

Regular visitors to Rileys-Smile soon discover that I am an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International.  For me, Arbonne in an opportunity.  As Riley's mom, I started thinking of myself only as "caregiver."  Eventually, I needed to expand my life beyond the caregiver role for financial reasons, as well as my emotional health; Arbonne brings me an opportunity to improve my personal life as well as that of my entire family.  

There are many wonderful choices in the direct marketing world: shoes, vitamins and supplements as Arbonne does, gourmet foods (I do love food), kitchen items, energy bracelets, scrapbooks, soaps, candles, other personal care lines and even items for the bedroom (alright, I thought that would be fun to share with everyone).   Considering all these, I wanted to carry products that would truly be something I felt good using for my entire family.  Just looking at Riley, I knew he needed products for washing, cleaning and even massage that are botanically based and do not carry harmful chemicals - anything used on Riley (not to mention the rest of my family including my particular husband) has to be good for Riley.  The one line to really fill that need is Arbonne.

May I share this opportunity with you?  That I can even ask that here on the internet is amazing.  Here we can work together from my little corner of Florida to reach across the US and now to the United Kingdom and Australia.  I am no mystery; I put it all out there on this blog, you know who I am, how I think and what my challenges are in this life.  I ask that you investigate with an open mind and consider working with me toward a better future for yourself.

Where are you in your life? See where you want to go, focus on who you want to become, dream about the lives you want to touch,  then go make it happen.  This is such an incredible time to be a part of Arbonne!!!   I am choosing right now to move past all my fears and face the challenge before me.  No one else is going to put my kids through college, send my family on a missions trip, bring my husband home from his "JOB" one can give us the time and financial freedom we desire except for us!  We need to accept responsibility and go out and make it happen.  Let's lock arms and be stronger and better together!  I will do everything I can to help each one of you but you need to let me know how I can best help and serve you.  Accept responsibility for your business but know that support, guidance and encouragement are here every step of the way!!!

This is an opportunity of a lifetime!!  The GIFT of Arbonne!!!  Our company is a few years young in the UK.  It will either BE YOU or someone else!  EVERY SINGLE one of You have the OPPORTUNITY to be financially free and to CHANGE LIVES!!

You can be a part of the best company in the world as well as have the ability to leave a legacy for your family as well as many others.

Calendar of current opportunity events in the UK:
Remember to say I sent you!

Believe in me like I believe in you!!!! 
Stacie Wiesenbaugh, ID #18425803
Independent Arbonne Consultant


Arbonne is committed to the development of unparalleled products free of harmful ingredients, using a combination of botanical principles and scientific discovery. Our commitment begins with research and testing to ensure that each of our ingredients meets or exceeds industry standards for purity.

Arbonne personal care and nutrition products are Vegan-certified: Our formulas are never tested on animals and do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.* We firmly believe that consumers have a fundamental right to know every ingredient in our products and we will continue to offer full disclosure through our published materials.

Arbonne personal care products are formulated without:
  • • Animal products or animal by-products
  • • Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  • • Petroleum-based ingredients
    • • Benzene
    • • Mineral Oil
    • • Petrolatum
    • • Phthalates
    • • Toluene
  • • PABA
Arbonne nutrition and weight loss products are formulated without:
  • • Artificial colors
  • • Artificial flavors
  • • Artificial sweeteners
  • • Animal products*
  • • Animal by-products*
  • • Cholesterol
  • • Saturated fats
  • • Trans fats 
As part of our ongoing commitment to ingredient excellence, we have been succesful in

replacing parabens by using other safe and effective preservation systems. We have also put into place an ingredient policy to screen out gluten and ingredients that contain GMO. We will continue to bring to market top-quality products that are carefully reviewed to meet our high standards of purity.

Simply put, network marketing is a distribution system, or form of marketing, which channels goods or services from the manufacturer to the consumer through a "network" of independent distributors or Consultants. It's a wonderfully effective system that cuts out the "middle man" found in most industries.

Direct Selling Association: Arbonne 

 The call is recorded and now available 24/7!!!  AND it's only 27 mins!
Free Conference Play Back
 Playback Number: (641) 715-3413
 Access Code: 755523# (may need to hit # a second time)