Sunday, April 27, 2014

Play Ball! - Week of Apr. 21st

 There are people who watch things happen and people who make things happen...
The story about the West Michigan Miracle League embodies people who make things happen...

It provides a place for kids with all types of abilities to play baseball together (WMML website ) on a field with a surface suitable for walkers, crutches, powerchairs, etc.  The league accepts children age 5 and over and this is the first year the WMML has hosted a spring season.
Opening Day landed on Saturday, Apr. 26 and although the day held a brisk wind, the sun shone brightly on the field.  Cam was eager to get into his orange Astro uniform complete with his name emblazoned on the back.  For a kid who has never liked to wear a hat, Chris and Jane were pleasantly surprised when Cam not only wanted to wear his Astros cap, but kept it on for the entire game!  Each player swings a bat until they get a hit, so everyone gets a chance to make it around the bases.  Chris hung out with his son on the field, while Jane snapped pics and talked to friends who had kids on other teams.  What a fun first game and we look forward to the others!

That same afternoon, Jane and Cam headed over to an open house for one our GVSU students, Ashley.  Ashley has known Cam for two years and just received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy.  It's quite a humbling feeling to arrive at a celebration where everyone seems to "know" Cam before they've even met him.  Ashley's mom had some of Cameron's fav snacks on the ready.  We're excited for Ashley to start the next chapter of her life and we feel fortunate that she'll always be a part of ours.
Cam & Liam- these two 
always make each other smile

The weekend activities continued on Sunday with a birthday party for Cam's good buddy, Liam.  Although these two friends don't get to see each other that often, it's always a great time when they get together.  Liam's family and friends met at a park with a playground and although the weather started out shaky, it was a beautiful late afternoon.  It's a tough call who enjoys playing together more...the kids or the parents.

Chris & Matt showing 
the kids how it's done
Although our two families have only known each other for 4 years, it seems more like a lifetime as we've shared in celebrations as well as life's ups and downs.

At the heart of it all, this is what speaks to both of our families: "Children with disabilities aren't given to strong people, they're given to ordinary, everyday people. Raising a child with different abilities doesn't take a special family, it makes a family special."


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! - Week of Apr. 14th

“There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.” ~Linda Grayson

Our Easter celebration weekend began with a trip over to the ball field where Cam will be playing baseball in another week!

The Easter bunny was there to greet all of the kids and volunteers helped with crafts and finding chocolate eggs.

Cooler winds pushed most families out earlier than expected, but there was still time for a little face painting.  This professional artist used to work at Universal Studios in Florida- we certainly felt fortunate to be in the midst of such a pro.  Cam opted for a baseball to be painted on his cheek.

Back at home that afternoon, Cameron couldn't wait to help with the yard work.  Chris and Cam put together a new wheelbarrow and thankfully someone volunteered to test its strength and durability...

Easter Sunday began with a church service with our favorite neighbors and longtime friends, the Raisch fam.  It was such a beautiful morning and Cam loved sitting next to his buddy, Emma.

Oma and Opa arrived at their grandson's home just in time for an Easter egg hunt.  Chris expertly hid plastic eggs (and real ones) filled with goodies all over the yard.  The five finders quickly gathered up all of their treats.

This was the first holiday dinner celebration that Jane opted for a non-traditional menu.  Eating grilled steak and seafood seemed fitting for outdoor dining.  Most of the real colored eggs were quickly turned into a tasty appetizer.  Mashed potatoes, broccoli and biscuits complemented the meat and fresh fish.

Oma and Opa brought a pair of gorgeous daffodils and tulips, which were promptly planted next to the mailbox.

At the end of day, we were filled with good food, the love of family and friends, and the renewal of life.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Early Easter Egg Hunt - Week of Apr. 7th

Nicer weather seems to bring out the smiles and silliness in everyone....

Spring break continued through this week and once again, we were so happy to have Oma stay with us for a couple of days to play school with Cam!
As a special treat, we had a surprise meeting set up with Ashley & Peter, two awesome grad students that have worked with Cam over the past two years at Grand Valley.  Of course, on a warm sunny afternoon, what better place to meet up than Spoonlickers where you create your own sundae with a frozen yogurt base and then pile on all sorts of goodies.  A sweet treat all the way around!

To continue the chocolate brigade, Auntie Jo and Will arrived Saturday morning so the boys could embark on an early Easter egg hunt.   While the eggs were being hidden outside, the two anxious buddies watched a little Curious George together.

The eggs were hidden in some pretty precarious places- in trees, perched on top of outside lights, nesting inside car tires, under bushes, in the yard.  Truly, no stone was left unturned!

Auntie Jo found incredibly cute chocolate bunnies for Will and Cam- a soccer bunny for Will whose soccer skills will be in full force on Tuesdays and a baseball bunny for Cam in honor of him playing on the WMML league for the Astros starting next Saturday!!

The families shared a picnic lunch outside and the boys played tag and hide and seek for over an hour.  We couldn't have asked for better timing as the rain held off until the afternoon when egg hunting and boy playtime had almost come to an end.

Although, the boys apparently thought they may have further adventures if they left the area in a getaway vehicle...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Break Begins - Week of Mar. 31st

Thursday marked the beginning of spring break!  Although our family didn't have plans to travel anywhere, there was plenty of activity at home.
Cam's Grandma arrived to help keep the kindergartner busy with some homework over break by playing school.  Oma's school day included working with letters, numbers, flash cards, memory games and comprehension story questions.  And some of you reading this know that Oma used to be a teacher herself!

As an added spring break surprise. Oma gave her grandson a calendar to utilize and update on a daily basis.  Every morning, Cam has to choose the month, day, and today's weather on the magnet board.

Even with spring break school in session, there's plenty of time for some clowning around.  Cameron thoroughly enjoys making people laugh.  As a part of his nightly routine, he's taken to "hiding" from Mom, with Dad's help. He tries to be very quiet when his mom comes in to find him...and he did a great job while he was tucked away in his laundry basket!

It was such fun to have Jane's mom stay with us for two nights, which of course means that one lucky boy is treated to three story readers each evening Oma is around, and maybe, just maybe a few extra hugs and kisses as well.