Sunday, March 27, 2016

Springing into Easter - Week of Mar. 21st

Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life. ~Janine di Giovanni

Cam always seems renewed at his swimming lessons with Ms. Laura.  No matter how long the day has been, he is completely relaxed and works so hard for her.  He enjoys this time very much and although we won't be able to sign up again until late May, as parents, we're so thankful for the knowledge transfer we've gained to continue to work with Cam on his water skills.

Eating outside on a warmer spring evening gave us that sense of new life- taking in the outdoor greenery and smelling delicious grilled hot dogs, enjoying homemade potato salad and juicy watermelon!

Friday evening, we were graciously invited to a home-cooked meal at the residence of Kelsey and Brian.  Kelsey has been a special part of our lives since she cared for Cam and this couple brings the promise of hope for future generations.  They have worked diligently (with Brian's extensive skillset) to remodel and add their personal touches to their abode.
We look forward to seeing them more in the future, especially since Kelsey is such a great cook!  It's easy to see that these two know how to show Cam a good and goofy time.

Adult Easter Basket-
Delicious Fruit!
Easter Sunday brought a full day of activities- we started out at church with Emma's family where Cam couldn't get enough of the music and live band playing and as a family, we enjoyed the fellowship.
Back at home, we boiled eggs and awaited the arrival of Oma and Opa.  Cam's grandma barely made it through the doorway before being asked by her grandson when they were coloring eggs!
The grandparents not only brought some chocolate goodies for Cam, but also a healthy choice for Chris & Jane- thank goodness!

Cam's dad expertly hid twenty plastic eggs filled with chocolate for his son to find outside.  The sunny weather was such a big bonus on a day that originally included a forecast for cloudy, rainy weather.

Our smoked ham dinner with mashed potatoes, vegetables and "just-made" deviled eggs tasted delicious.  Cam may have had more than one or two chocolates (or three or four) over the course of the day.  A visit with Auntie Jo rounded out our awesome festivities.

Our wish is that you enjoyed your own celebration and our hope is that you feel renewed and full of new life.

Cam-ology Quotes:

After a particularly long day, Chris and Jane were giving each other a hug in the hallway as Cam turned around in his chair and looked at us and exclaimed... 

"You two look like a married couple!" 

Easter morning, Chris helped Cam get dressed and when he came out to the kitchen, this conversation ensued... 
Jane: "My goodness, Cam, you look so handsome!"
Cam:  "I know I do - thank you!" 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Kiss of the Irish - Week of Mar. 14th

"May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness comes through your door." ~Irish Blessing

Electronic calendars keep Chris and Jane on task, but Cam's mind is it's own very efficient scheduler as he is constantly reminding us of new routines and places we're supposed to be.  For the past few weeks, it's been swimming lessons on Monday evenings, "working" at Grand Valley on Wednesday nights and a special school activity on Fridays.

Thankfully, Chris was able to take some time off of work Friday morning to bring the Cam-Mobile to meet his son and Ms. Cris (Meadow Brook helper & picture taker!) for a field trip.  Goodwillie Environmental School in Ada was the destination to participate in a tour and nature hike.  Cam learned about the different trees and wooded area, petted a live chicken, and checked out the wood carving location.
Perhaps the most notable stop on the tour for Cam, though, was seeing his best buddy, Emma, at her school!
Check out this video about this unique learning environment in our community for 5th and 6th graders.  Goodwillie Environmental School Video

Over the weekend, we were thankful for some family pool time at the Y where Cam showed off his kicking skills.

On Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a visit from Michelle and her granddaughter, Ada!  The two kids colored together and checked out some play dough.  Ada had no hesitation exploring Cam's powerchair and even sat on Cam's lap for a hug.  So much fun to meet this cutie who we've only previously seen on phone video!

Schedules can be tough sometimes.  Keeping up with comings and goings can wear a guy out.  On one such occasion this week, Cam had simply had enough.  After being upset and apologizing to his parents, on his own accord, he looked up and asked if we had seen his "golden tickets" from school.  The golden tickets are given for good behavior and signed by a teacher or helper in the classroom.

A reminder to us all that even when we're not at our very best, the very best still exists in each of us and sometimes, we even have a "ticket" to prove it!

Cam-ology Quotes:

At GVSU this week, Dr. Lisa surprised Cam with a kiss!  Jane explained that she had to wash it off or it would stay there...

"What would my teachers say at school?" 
"Well, they may wonder where the lipstick on your forehead came from."
"What would Mr. Shaw say?"  (aka school principal)
"Well, he might think you have a girlfriend!"
"Do I have a girlfriend?  How do I know?"

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Expected & Unexpected Surprises - Week of Mar. 7th

You may have heard the term "expect the unexpected."  Well, that phrase somewhat defined our week.

Cam had the first unexpected surprise in the form of a handwritten letter and picture from his sweet friend, Anna.  "I cannot believe she sent me a letter all the way from Holland!"  Anna's in her freshman year at Hope College and Cam has been full of questions about her school as well as when Anna is coming back home, if she has snow days, the exact route from Holland to Grand Rapids, etc. etc. etc.

Later in the week, Chris arrived at work one morning to discover a very different type of surprise, or rather, shock.  Every server and computer in their multiple offices had been infected with a malicious virus.  For the remainder of the week and weekend, Cam's dad spent every waking hour as well as most hours people are not awake, working with his team to restore everything.

Functioning on very little sleep, Chris still managed to take a bit of time away from work to hang out with his fam and friends.  Friday night, we enjoyed the delicious fish fry at the Sparta Moose Lodge with Ann, Katherine & Paul, Molly & Gordy, Christopher, Cassie & Braeden.  And the next day, Cam and his mom spent the afternoon with the same crew, including the addition of Zach and Casey, for "Game Day Cookout" over at Molly and Gordy's house.  We celebrated Katherine and Ann's birthdays, Cam collected rocks with the guys and had a new surprise experience.  Molly took Cam's hand and placed it on her very pregnant belly so he could feel "baby Ella" kicking!  Games took a backseat to chatting and sharing, and of course, eating.  Chris arrived in the evening in time to grab some grub and jump in a group photo shot.

On Sunday, Jane and Cam traveled to Muskegon to meet Oma and Opa for a tasty lunch and pick up the Cam mobile for an upcoming field trip!  In the afternoon, Cam enjoyed cupcake baking time with Patti and Emma while Jane attended a meeting.  Our families then dined together for dinner while Chris and Steve drove to Ohio so Chris could head to one of his work locations and Steve visited relatives nearby and graciously helped with the drive.

We are most thankful for family and friends we consider family who continuously surprise us with their support and love and help us make it through the unexpected and happily share in the expected...

On a personal note, Cam and Jane both consider Chris a superhero in many ways, but this week he truly went above and beyond being available to his family when he could have been sleeping amidst dealing with an extremely stressful situation.  We love you, we thank you and we're humbled by who you are and what you do

Cam-ology Quotes:

Cam has been asking quite a few pregnancy questions lately due to Molly's impending arrival.  He relayed to Jane the following random information one day after school...

"Mom, after the baby is born and she burps, I will say 'excuse me' because she won't be able to talk yet."

An email from Cam's speech therapist at school, Ms. Kate... 
"I was working with Cam last Friday to gather information for the upcoming parent/teacher conference. I was asking him a variety of questions and he was working very hard. While I was looking at my sheet to determine what to ask next,
Cam eagerly said, "What else do you need to know?"  This brought a smile to my face and I loved his hard-working attitude! :) "

Sunday, March 6, 2016

1st day of March= Snow Day - Week of Feb. 29th

Growing up in Michigan,
one is ready for any type of weather walking out the door.  However, as Michiganders, we also aren't surprised when we have unexpected snowstorms when others are gearing up for spring.

So, for the first day of the new month, we welcomed an unanticipated snow day at home with a school cancellation.  Cam requested to stay in his pajamas all day and since Jane was pretty certain the van wasn't going anywhere, that seemed like a perfectly good idea!  Ms. Amanda was able to arrive a bit early to chill out with Cam and do some homework.

A project outside of school work has involved Chris and his son, always eager to create something together.  For the past couple of weeks, the assignment chosen was to build a homemade arcade.  Two consoles complete with blue buttons on one and red on the other completed the mini game gallery.  The operating system utilized is Raspberry Pi, and not the kind you eat.
The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.  Chris and Cam complete the specific coding needed and then the fun began- actually playing the games!  Jane has challenged the boys to a Galaga playoff next week.
An extra winning bonus was seeing Oma over the weekend!  Even with a little chill in the air, she sure warms our hearts every time she's here.

Also, Cam wants to let everyone know that he is signed up for Spring Baseball with the West Michigan Miracle League.  Opening day game will be on Saturday, Apr. 30th!

Cam-ology Quotes:

Cam's afternoon bus driver, Ms. Christie told Cam Monday afternoon that she thought Tuesday would be a snow day.

"Mom, Ms. Christie was right about a snow day.  She was right on top of it!"