Sunday, September 29, 2013

Leaving on a Jet Plane... Week of Sept. 23rd

Before heading out to North Carolina, it was time to fill the bird feeders...for the deer?

Our family hadn't been on a plane together in almost 4 years.  We talked to Cameron about the trip, but we weren't sure how he'd react to the actual experience.  After multiple flight delays on Friday, Cam handled the plane rides easily.  One of his favorite moments was watching all of the outside activity at the Atlanta airport terminal, luggage being loaded and unloaded and the carts driving around from plane to plane. Our destination was Asheville, N.C. and we arrived almost 5 hours later than expected. But true to Cam's nature, he took it in stride.
The weekend was centered around a wedding for Lauren and Ben.  Jane's best childhood friend, Leslie, is Lauren's big sister.  Little did we know the couple had a surprise for all of us attending. Not only did they zip-line into the ceremony, but the local news did a story that (much to their surprise) went national! Click on the link here to see the news video:
Lauren & Ben's wedding makes the news!
Jill, Casey, and a happy Cam!
Since Jane & Chris needed to attend multiple evening activities while in Asheville, Leslie had connected with a local teacher and her daughter who offered to "Cam-sit" for the nightly events. Our family has been blessed with unexpected connections-people who come into our lives and leave a lifelong impression.  Jill and her daughter Casey are exceptional people and we cannot thank them enough for the love and care they provided in the evenings with Cameron. We know our paths will cross again since they've made us promise to keep in contact when we plan a return visit.
Allison & Cam

Time spent with the Scannell family is always a gift to us.

Chris, Jane, Allie, Cam, Erin, Leslie, Dan
This was our first visit to their beautiful home and much to do and explore and not enough hours in the day. We did manage some quality hang-out time in the backyard and took in a few scenic tours.
Thanks to the Scannell fam and Lauren & Ben for a very memorable time!
It was a whirlwind weekend to remind us that love is found in unexpected places and new experiences don't require apprehension.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Art Prize 2013! - Week of Sept.16th

This guy is hoping to catch a whopper!
Cameron was already 2 years old when ArtPrize was introduced in 2009.  And today, this event is one of the things that has put Cam's hometown on the map.

ArtPrize® is an open, independently organized international art competition with a $200,000 top prize decided entirely by public vote. For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan display
Cam's Dad is soooo strong!
art from around the world, popping up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public. (

Over the weekend, the Weatherford family picked up cousins Coco and Libby and ventured downtown to check out the amazing displays. The voting is actually quite difficult because there are so many different mediums used- it's tough to compare.  One of Cam's favorites was the "Giant Quakers" set up in front of the public museum.  The colorful sails blowing elegantly in the breeze on Grand River looked larger than life.

A person who's always been a very large part of our lives is Julie, Cam's very first physical therapist.
Julie's known Cam since he was 2 months old. She was in our home nearly every week until Cam was 2 years old.  At Wellerwood school, Julie continued to challenge him and watch him grow in more ways than one.
She's been with us every step of the way.  Julie has used Cameron's photos and videos in many presentations locally and around the world.  As she likes to say- "Cam's gone international!"
This week we had to say "see you later" to our good friend as she and her husband embark on a move to California.  There are many "Julie-isms" we've learned over the years...
You have to work for didn't cross mid-line...sack of potatoes or dead deer...You have to do it yourself...Give me a hug (that's one reserved for Cam).  It has been an honor, Julie, and we look forward to seeing you when our paths cross again, as we know they will.  For every challenge you've given both Cam and his parents, we thank you, for everything.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cam & Katie - Week of Sept. 9th

“If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” ~ Winnie the Pooh

When Cameron had his tonsils and adenoids removed in June due to multiple ear infections, we weren't aware that he'd be asked to do a second sleep study in September.  The doctor recommended a re-test of the study to ensure his sleep was sound and relatively uninterrupted.

Cam wasn't nervous about going to hospital or even having the 20 + wires attached to his body. The sleep technician kindly bandaged up Curious George similar to Cam.  Unfortunately, a nose cannula attached right before sleep is what challenges someone to actually sleep.  Our boy is a trooper and did try valiantly to rest, which he did a little bit.

Before the study took place Saturday night, Cameron was able to spend some time with good buddy, Will, to celebrate Jane's godson's 5th birthday!

Will gave Cam a space shuttle gift bag containing lots of goodies, including a glow stick which the boys both had to have on to compare.  After sharing a tasty lunch, they relaxed for awhile viewing Curious George and gladly eating some m&m's.  It was fun to hang out since Cameron was slated for his sleep study that evening instead of a birthday party celebration with Will.

Now that Cam is in school full-time (bus pick up @ 8:10am, drop off at 4:20pm), he just has after-school care with Katie.  Katie has known Cameron since he was little and has been a great family friend.

She will head off to PT graduate school in the next year or two, so we are fortunate and grateful to have her with us! As an added bonus, Cam is pretty happy too!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kindergarten! - Week of Sept. 2nd

"By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer." ~Helen Hunt Jackson

With each season, comes change...and this week Cameron was due for quite a few!
On Tuesday, our six-year-old embarked on his first day of Kindergarten at his new school, Meadow Brook Elementary.
He was excited about meeting new friends, teachers, and bringing his new lunch tote to school in his backpack!  Cam picked out everything for lunch the night before so he'd be all ready.  He is one punctual guy.  Truth be told, he didn't want to sit for any pictures, but Auntie Roe was quick with the camera.  When the school bus arrived home late in the afternoon, there was a crew of people to greet Cameron!  His bus driver, Ms. Althea, said you'd think he was a celebrity!  In Cam's backpack, there was a bag of items with the following note from Cam's teacher attached that was so special, it had to be shared for all to see.

Items in this bag represent different thoughts as we begin a new school year:
Starburst- Your child is a star in my class.
Smarties- We are going to learn so much in school together this year.
Pencil Eraser- Everyone makes mistakes.  That's how we learn.
Snickers- Your child will have fun and laugh a lot.
Rubberband- Let's be flexible and respect each other's opinions.
Cotton Ball- This classroom is full of kind words and warm feelings.
Nestle Treasure- Your child is a treasure.  I value our time together.
Sticker- Let's stick together and work as a team.
Snowflake- Respect and admire the students and their differences.
Feather- I am tickled to be working with you and your child!

Cameron's visits from buddy, Emma, will not be as frequent due to school starting, but it's moments like these that remind us how blessed we are to have such great neighbors and friends!

Cam even had some time with some other school buddies, the GVSU graduate students working with him on their project. Pictured here are Ashley and Peter with Cameron, who wanted to show off his yellow hat from school!

The first day of school also marked Katherine's last official day with us, although as we've said so many times, it's not goodbye, only see you later!!
Katherine, You came into our lives and little did we know, That you couldn't be more perfect and we'd come to love you so... Thanks cannot convey what you've given to our Cam, You'll be his "Ah-Dah" always and a forever member of our fam!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Weekend 2013 - Week of Aug. 26th

Definition of a Beach Bum: someone who spends most of their time enjoying themselves on the beach.
That's exactly what we did for a couple of days this weekend!  In fact, we may consider ourselves professionals.

And the weekend couldn't come soon enough...Jane had to travel to Omaha to attend work meetings for two days this week and Chris was still trying to get his pulled back muscles back on track!

On Friday, the Weatherford crew traveled to Maple Beach in Holland for dinner and playtime with the Jellema cousins and although the time together was much too short, it is always memorable to see our family!

It seems that when summer is trying to say farewell, it decides to kick into high gear...Lake Michigan was perfect for swimming and the sunshine and clear skies beckoned everyone in the water. Cameron had fun using a new boat float complete with a horn for helping to warn people he was cruising in the lake.  It seemed that leaning back and getting his hair wet was one of the best features.

Cam had a great time on the beach building sand castles and creating sand drips with Oma.
Opa made it to the shore to take a swim too.
The family enjoyed a walk along the water with the CamMobile and it seemed you couldn't pass people without seeing a smile.
Dinner was served on the porch with a perfect view to watch the boats the go by while dining together.

Even though Sunday started out a bit cloudy, the sun quickly forced its way into the day as we continued beach activities with a replay of the day before.

As we close out summer, we are reminded how thankful we are for our time with Oma and Opa and extended
family.  The slice of serenity on Lake Michigan is a gift we are able to receive over and over again.

The beach will beckon us once again next season and until that time, wouldn't it be nice if we all had a little hibernation time?