Sunday, March 25, 2018

Crazy Socks - Week of Mar. 19th

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~ Charles Dickens 

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” ~ Maya Angelou

It just so happens that a brick mailbox takes some time to reconstruct.  Thank goodness Cam has been granted the role of safety supervisor and helper for his dad.  Jane is most relieved knowing that her son is on the job.
In the midst of the mailbox project, the boys also replaced the ceiling fan in the sunroom!

1 Green & 1 Black w/Grey toes
belong to Cam
At school, Wednesday, March 21st marked World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).  World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.
The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
 Down Syndrome International (DSi) encourages people all over the world to choose their own activities and events on WDSD to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
At Cam's school, it was Crazy Sock Day in honor of WDSD.  One of Cam's best buddies, Brody, has Down's Syndrome and Cam was excited to show his support.

With a week of rebuilding, there was also renewal.  On Wednesday evening at Cam's Grand Valley job, we were excited to see Kelcie from last year's program!  She is now working at Mary Free Bed in Holland and was so excited to see her buddy, Cam.
Then, on Sunday evening, Cam's former nanny and lifelong friend (and extended family member), Ms. Michelle, appeared for a visit from Florida!!   Our ten-year-old screamed and squealed with delight when she popped in.
She brought some sweet treats for Cam as well as a new game of strategy with colored sticks and marbles.
The visit was too short, but we all seemed to pick right up where we left off.

Truly, no matter how long between visits, the best friendships stand the test of time.

Camology Quotes:
Telemarketers seem to call our home daily.  When the phone rings, Cam will often ask, "Is it a telemarketer?"  One evening, while the phone was ringing, Chris went over to look at the caller id...

"Who is calling, Dad?"
The Veterans Place.
*long pause*
"Why are they calling for Stella?"
What do you mean, Cam?
"The vet is calling for our cat?"

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Curious Cam - Week of Mar. 12th

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~Carl Sagan

At school, Cam has expressed a continued interest in science.  His teachers have always noted his curiosity.  When he arrived home this week with an Action Kit from DTE Energy, there was a certainty that the contents of the kit would be explored and dissected that very evening.
Think! Energy with DTE Energy helps fourth through sixth grade students understand the impacts of energy from development of natural resources to efficient use. The 45 to 60-minute presentation conducted by professional educators from the National Energy Foundation gives teachers and students the understanding necessary to be an energy expert at home and at school. Each participant also receives a Take Action Kit with easy-to-install items that have a huge impact on energy use at home. Games, experiments and interactive content fit every learning style and empower students to be community leaders in energy efficiency. DTE Explore website
The materials contained within the box included: 2 LED lightbulbs, an energy-saving showerhead, shower timer (Jane probably won't be using that one), LED nightlight, bathroom aerator, kitchen aerator, and a flow test bag.  Cam and his dad successfully replaced a showerhead and installed both of the aerators, along with the lightbulbs and nightlight.  The test flow bag was used as well to ensure the proper flow of water.  Like the Energy program, some projects are spontaneous and unplanned.  For example, when Cam's morning bus driver accidentally backed into our brick mailbox one morning this week, the boys suddenly had another project on their list.  This one, however, would require research and time.  Chris and his son investigated "pushing" the bricks back into place, but after some test pulls, determined this would not be a fix.  Additional analysis by the father and son team would go into the following week.
L to R Sisters:
Sarah, Megan, Anna, Emma

Saturday afternoon, the Weatherford family had tickets to see the Peter Pan musical production performed by the Forest Hills Central High School.  We all couldn't wait to see Megan Raisch perform as an Indian and mermaid while sister Sarah was an important part of the backstage crew for the play.  The performance was so good and it was thrilling to see characters flying around the stage.  During the intermission, we were surprised and happy to see Cam's buddy, Brody, with his family! 

After the show, Megan and Sarah spotted us and came over to chat.  Cam seemed a bit starstruck seeing Meg in her costume.

The sunshine continued warming us up on Sunday afternoon when Emma appeared to construct her famous "chalk city" in our driveway.  The creation included all kinds of crazy arrows for Cam to maneuver through and around as he enjoyed walking outdoors again.

Emma's tireless efforts and inventive pictures remind us that our world is ever-changing and ready to add people and places into our lives at each turn and direction we take.

Camology Quotes:
The Peter Pan musical was such a neat production.  Seeing the flying certainly immerses one in the experience.  Shortly after the play began, Wendy, John and Michael are all sleeping.  Peter Pan appears and Wendy is talking and singing with Peter.  Cam was quite puzzled...

"Mom, why don't the boys wake up at all?  Peter is very loud."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rewarding The Effort - Week of Mar. 5th

“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” ~Thomas Jefferson
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” ~Beverly Sills

The white stuff isn't ready to head out completely even though we turned the calendar into March.

At school, Cam has been a part of the Chinese Immersion program.  To that end, he was able to practice using chopsticks for the first time.  His Immersion teacher explained that this is how they train kids in China to use chopsticks too- the sticks are tied together to make it easier.  Cam found success in picking up the soft lightweight puffs of fabric.

Back on the home front, Cam continued his daily walking in the evenings as well as taking on some
extra homework from his teacher.  Our organized boy came up with the idea of "logging" both of these items.  Possibly in part to prove to others he has completed and potentially due to ensuring his sometimes forgetful parents take note.  Either way, after an evening haircut for both father and son, the two handsome guys made their way to pick up a delicious reward- dinner from the close by, newly opened Chick-Fil-A.

Jane spent a portion of the week with 'Auntie' Leslie, her longtime, closest friend from childhood.  Leslie lives in North Carolina now and a special visit to Michigan meant a drive for the girls to the beautiful Lake Michigan.
Cam's parents have explained to him how rare it is to have friends in your life for such a long time.  It is funny to think that Leslie and Jane met in the 4th grade, the same grade Cam is in now.  Most of Cam's classmates have all been together since kindergarten.  He has no idea how fortunate he is!

Over the weekend, Chris spent some time on the slopes at Caberfae Peaks with his buddy, Greg.  Back at home, Cam and his mom made banana bread and delivered some fresh out of the oven to our Windcrest neighbor, Miss Pat, who is moving soon.  She loved seeing Cam and said she was looking forward to the delicious baked goodness.
Among some other Saturday projects, Cam took time to care for our cat, Stella.
If you need any projects completed around your home and have any trouble getting motivated, we highly recommend hiring Cam...don't forget, he already receives a W-2!

Camology Quotes:
We are so fortunate to have been surrounded by such communicative people who interact with Cam.
Ms. Kathy, his teacher, often sends emails about what happened at school.  The one sent this week will surely be an all-time favorite.

I just want you to know how much I appreciate your son. We read a news article today about school breakfast and he had so many good questions that shows that he was doing some higher level thinking about the subject. I will paraphrase some of his questions.
"What do kids who get school breakfast do for breakfast on the weekend or when there is no school? "How do they get food?" 
"What do they do for dinner if they don't have money for food?" 
It gave us a chance for some good discussion about programs that help others. ;-)
I love it when kids go beyond the basic understanding!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Up For The Challenge - Week of Feb. 26th

"Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory." ~George S. Patton 

There comes a point in the day when sometimes, you just don't feel like completing a task.  Whether it's been a long day, sleep wasn't perfect the night before, or you'd rather do something else, at times, you just want to skip the duty in front of you.

Cam may emit some grumblings, but somehow, someway, he perseveres through the endeavor.
Since his gait trainer arrived at home a few weeks ago, he made a promise to walk in it daily.  He hasn't missed a day, even on his busiest ones filled with activities at school, homework at home and swimming lessons, he has completed the walking!
Over the weekend, it was his first trek taking the gait trainer outside.  The sunshine seemed to give Cam an extra burst of energy.  The extra large surface area allowed us to create a challenge for our dedicated son to finish within a certain amount of time.

The weekend projects never seem to run out for us.   We picked up an exercise bike from a nice neighbor, Miss Pat, who is moving soon.  Cam had to test it out.  He's not quite tall enough to reach the pedals though.

On Sunday evening, we enjoyed Miss Emma's company.  The picture on the right from 7 years ago seemed fitting to post again...(especially since Jane forgot to snap some pics!)

After playing cards and sharing dessert, we watched some funny videos on tv.  It's pretty amazing to say you have a friend you've known all of your life and even more amazing when no matter what, they always put a smile on your face.

Camology Quotes:
While Jane was away on business for a couple of days, Cam had a substitute bus driver.  When Jane called from Texas, she asked the boys who the sub driver was.  They told her they didn't ask him his name.  
Jane had told Cam and his dad to let the bus driver know on Tuesday that Cam would not be riding Wednesday morning due to a scheduled appointment.  
Chris realized Tuesday evening they had forgotten.

"Cam, we forgot to tell your driver that you wouldn't be riding the bus tomorrow."
"Dad, I did not forget.  The bus driver is a stranger because I do not know his name.  I was not going to say 'Hey stranger, I am not riding your bus tomorrow.'  That would have been rude!"