Friday, February 27, 2015

Welcome Home Mom! - Week of Feb. 16th

On Monday, Cam had the day off for mid-winter break and Kelsey was here to do schoolwork with Cam, play some games and exercise.  One of our favorites is Yahtzee!  This is a family tradition as Jane was a regular player with her Grandpa Orton.
Cam was excited to roll a Yahtzee on this play and proceeded to proclaim it quite a few times!

Jane was off to Dallas, Texas this week for work.  It was a long time for her to be gone... early Tuesday morning departure with a return flight late Friday afternoon.  She wasn't sad to leave the frigid temps behind, but being away from her boys wasn't easy.
However, as boys tend to do, they kept pretty busy.  Chris and Cam, his supervising assistant, worked on a software project called "raspberry pie" while Jane was out of town.  Essentially, it's a video/camera interface that you enable by coding the software.  Shown here is the video being projected on the tv.

Also, while Cam's mom was away, the Forest Hills Focus newsletter showed up in everyone's mailbox.  The lead story was Meadow Brook’s Project Unify:  Not All Superheroes Wear Capes.  A grant was approved and provided to Meadow Brook's social worker, Ms. Ginny, The grant supports four main areas: a unified sport, a school-wide campaign for diversity/acceptance for all, inclusive community service projects, and a Youth Activation Committee. Meadow Brook has the youngest population of students participating in Project Unify in Michigan. There are 70 students participating in Project Unify and LINKS at Meadow Brook this year.  Click on this link to access the full article: Focus Newsletter

On Friday afternoon, Jane arrived home to lots of surprises, thanks to Ms. Taylor, her friend Paige, and Cam.  A delicious cake, balloons and signs decorated the entry and kitchen.  Of course, the best thing to come home to is Cam's super, snuggly hugs!  Jane greatly appreciated her welcoming committee after a long week of work away from home.


Over the weekend, Cam ventured to Emma's house to check out the backyard ice rink.  A favorite ice rink sport is broomball.  Cam is trying out his "brooming" skills in the frigid weather.

It's such a simple quote, but one that's so true.
As Dorothy says "There's no place like home!"



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's 2015 - Week of Feb. 9th

Valentine's flowers from the boys!
The simplest, unexpected spoken word can do wonders for a mundane task.  Jane does the laundry each week, normally in the evening.  Cam will help sort the laundry and will also tell his mom if any clothes fall onto the floor between the washer and the dryer.  On one such evening, after the business of a full work day, Jane walked by the living room with a basket of clean clothes.  Cam said, "Mom, thank you!"  Somewhat surprised, Jane turned and asked "For doing the laundry?" to which Cameron replied "Yes, Mom!"  It is in a thoughtful moment like this that makes doing chores a much more pleasant experience.

"Love Coupons" Craft
Cam's Valentine's party was on Thursday at school and Jane had volunteered to do a craft with the kids and bring in a treat.  The love coupons were created by Cam's mom on the computer at home and then the kids had to write in what the coupon was for.  Some of the more creative ones included "not fighting with my brother/sister" and "movie night with my family" and "breakfast in bed for my mom and dad."  Cam and Jane made heart-shaped finger jello for a treat.  Ms. Erin's is one of Cam's favorite helpers, as shown here.  The students decorated handmade "mailboxes" for all of their Valentine's and each one was busting with treats and cards!
Oma and Opa came to stay with us for a couple of nights due to mid-winter break for Cam on Friday.

Grandma worked on reading with Cam most of the morning.

They baked muffins, played games with Opa, and enjoyed lots of quality time together.  Chris & Jane even had a night of free Cam-sitting and went out to dinner with good friends.  

And Cam certainly was in excellent company himself!  Thanks Oma & Opa for the best Valentine's gift ever- the gift of yourselves!!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Game Night! - Week of Feb. 2nd

Kelsey, Cam & Emma
When you have kids, you realize that one of the greatest gifts someone can give you is... the gift of their time.

Kelsey offered to practice swimming with Cam at the Y.  He's been enjoying his lessons quite a bit and couldn't wait to spend an entire morning with his buddy and pro lifeguard.  Not only did they play and work in the warm water, they also had brunch at McDonald's afterwards.
Quite the double treat for Cam and his parents!
Melissa, Cam & Kayla

Cameron's part time job with Grand Valley started again.  This semester, he is working with Melissa and Kayla.  Ball exercises were the highlight of the PT time with the graduate students.

Friday night kicked off our first annual Game Night with our extended family, Katherine & Paul, Ann, Molly and Gordy.
An official game night isn't complete without lots of silliness!


Katherine and Molly turned into the "Singing Sisters Supreme" as they serenaded Cam in the kitchen and had him act as a backup singer and play the piano.


After a delicious array of taco-inspired dishes and sides, we settled in for a game of Headbands and then Twister!  Hollywood Game Night was  a total hit as well.

The camera timer makes for some hilarious pictures as it automatically snaps ten photos, one after the other, while everyone attempts to get into a different pose.

We can't wait for the next game night in March when we celebrate Katherine & Ann's birthdays!

On Saturday, Emma spent the day with Cam creating their unique Valentine's to pass out in class next week.  We were so busy working on our crafts, that picture-taking was neglected.  But here's a little preview of the finished product...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Unexpected Ice & the SuperBowl - Week of Jan. 26th

video
We usually pay attention to the weather forecast since it can change so often in Michigan.  This week, however, we seemed to miss the fact that our area was due for some heavy-duty ice overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.
So, bright and early Thursday, Cam woke up, ate breakfast, and was finishing getting ready when his parents finally checked their technology outlets to find, much to their surprise, that school was cancelled for the day!
Of course, the first thing Chris and Cam decided to do...go outside and test out just how icy it actually was!

Winter didn't subside much over the weekend.  On SuperBowl Sunday, we invited our Windcrest neighbors to hang out and watch the game.  By the time the football game kicked off, it had already snowed close to 6 inches and wouldn't stop until over 4 more inches fell.
Fortunately, our neighbors were all within walking distance!
We had a most delicious dining experience eating tasty chicken wings, cheese dip, make-your-own-salad, fruit, and homemade granola.
We were all hoping the healthy stuff cancelled out the "not so healthy" items.

The football game was exciting and watching the kids play their own games and interact with each other was just as entertaining.

The snow didn't subside all day long, even well into the evening.  Which is why seeing the sunshine "after the storm" certainly makes one smile.