Sunday, January 26, 2020

Magical Technology - Week of Jan. 20th

"The time is always right to do what is right." ~Martin Luther King Jr. "Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty." ~Doris Day
Jane's grandma was born in 1906 and lived to be 99 years old.  She passed before Cam entered this world and we often talk about how much fun the two of them would've had.  When Jane first showed her grandmother a digital camera and how it worked she declared it seemed "like magic" to her.  As our technology continues to advance, we are grateful for its ability to make one seem right around the corner instead of over a thousand miles away.

On Monday, Cam and Chris said goodbye to Jane.  She was flying to Salt Lake City, Utah for her work and not returning until very late Friday evening.  Since there was no school due to MLK Jr. Day, Ms. Ann arrived to spend the afternoon with her buddy.  They kept themselves busy with homework and a scientific crystal growing kit that Ann had given Cam for Christmas.

Jane and her son connected every day via face-time to talk about the day and what had happened.  It definitely gives that feeling of not being so far away from each other.

Back in Grand Rapids, Chris fulfilled his 'best dad ever' role.  One evening, he created a "homemade Moe's dinner" - a favorite take out place of Cam's.  He even wrapped it in foil to make it appear authentic.
The boys worked on a frame for one of our Ansel Adams pictures and a few other home projects, including laundry and dishes.
Jane was very impressed and declared Cam's dad 'best husband ever' too!  And apparently, our son was a pretty good kid during the week as well.

Our weekend agenda included relaxation and the most important part...plenty of hugs that were missed during the week!

 Camology Quotes:
A favorite breakfast of Cam's is a homemade biscuit egg and bacon sandwich.  Always being the kind kid he is, Cam was willing to share. 
"Do you want a biscuit, Mom?"
No thank you, Cam.
"Oh, you're not a biscuit kind of girl?"

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Matinee Movie - Week of Jan. 13th

In my view, the only way to see a film remains the way the filmmaker intended: inside a large movie theater with great sound and pristine picture. ~Ridley Scott

Drew Carey once joked, "Welcome to Michigan...where the weather is made up and the seasons don't matter."  The forecast is always a household discussion in our family.  Cam now requests to see the nightly meteorologist updates.  It often leads to a short discussion about geography and where things are located in the U.S.

At Cam's PT session this week, Mr. Patrick tried out a therapy system called "New Gait."

It uses harnesses and bands to assist with walking and correction.  It was pretty cool to see our son accept the challenge and try it out.
Patrick always indicates that perseverance is one of Cam's best qualities.

On Friday, Ms. Amanda arrived to hang out with her buddy.  They grabbed dinner from Chick-Fil-A and watched a movie.
Meanwhile, Chris and Jane headed over to Planet Fitness for a workout.  They texted Amanda and Cam who sent a picture of their own in response to who was having more fun!

We had a gift card for the movie theater that was given to our son last April.  Even though it was gathering dust, there was no expiration.  Cam chose the movie "Dolittle" about the man who can talk to animals.  We had purchased the tickets ahead of time using the gift.  When the forecast looked ominous for Saturday, we decided we would wait and see.  After Chris spent almost two hours plowing our driveway, the city plows finally came down our road allowing the van to make its way to the movies.  The generous gift card also paid for tasty popcorn we all shared.
Dolittle received a thumbs up from all three of us and we determined it was tough to pick a favorite animal from the flick.

We know we can always see a movie in the comfort of our home but there is still something about seeing a show on the big screen that makes it a unique experience.

Camology Quotes:
When Cam gets off the bus in the afternoon, he will typically ask, "how was your day?"
After responding, we always ask him the same question.  His most recent awesome response: 
"It was great!"
"No...actually, it was fan-tabulous!"

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Case of the Missing Package - Week of Jan. 6th

"Now comes the mystery." ~Henry Ward Beecher
"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." ~Arthur Conan Doyle
Thornapple River- quite high!
There are some days we honestly wonder if things would ever be accomplished without Cam...

On the eve of December 16th, Chris mailed a package out to his mom, living in Arizona.  Jane and her son loaded in the contents for Grandma Sue's Christmas box containing homemade banana bread, GR popcorn, tons of pictures, fudge, coffee mug and Cam's artwork that we'd been saving.  Chris added in a monetary gift card prior to closing it up and sending it via USPS.  Due to the abundance of items, Chris took a picture of the tracking information as well as a pic of the activation detail for the gift card.
Cam kept requesting us to check the tracking info and on December 27th, we noticed a new addition to the detailed itinerary.  It appeared the package traveled from Grand Rapids to Denver to Arizona and then back to Denver with an indication of "dead mail." 
Cam was persistent, insisting we call.  When we finally did this week, after a lengthy 15 minute wait, we actually chatted with a live person who told us to open a claim online.  We promptly did so but that didn't solve our monetary gift card issue. 
Concerned that someone may 'acquire' it, Cam thought maybe we could call that company too.  After some online research and Cam's insistence, Chris went back to point of purchase and took a picture of the gift card with the phone number to call.  They issued a 'stop payment' on the card.  So although we may never know what happened to our package, because of Cam it is closer to being found and we are on our way to recovering funds from the monetary gift card.

The weekend brought a winter weather warning for ice accumulation and across the country all different kinds of conditions and alerts were shown.  Cam checked out the weather channel to see all of the craziness.  We kept busy with indoor projects most of the day.  Stella was obviously hard at work as well.
In the afternoon, Jane and her son, along with Stella watched the newer version of ''The Lion King' movie.  Our cars didn't move until Sunday.

Our traditional Sunday dinner with the Raisch fam featured breakfast for dinner and tasty cinnamon bites.  It's always such fun to gather together and catch up.
5 yrs ago- Cam & Emma
As we closed out the week, we realized how thankful we are for Cam's tenacity to help us find answers and test out our own detective skills.

Camology Quotes:
Cam's very first friend, Emma, had her wisdom teeth pulled this week so Jane & Cam wanted to bring her one of her favorites- a smoothie to help with recovery.  They went through the drive-thru and waited for someone to bring out their order.  The smoothie guy finally brought it out to our van and said "Enjoy your smoothie!" 
"Thank you!" said Jane.
Cam quickly added: "We are not drinking it!"  

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Decade! - Week of Dec. 30th

”Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.” ~T.S. Eliot

We received a gift at Christmas that will keep on giving for quite some time.  Auntie Karen gave us a "gratitude journal" to record as a family those things we are grateful for.  It is not a daily must-do task, but rather a reminder that there are little things we should be mindful of.

On Monday, we welcomed cousin David back for his final night in Michigan.  Cam was excited to show off his walking skills!  These two shared quite a few laughs and their love of music. 

Tuesday morning, David had an early flight and rental car return.  Michigan gave us roughly 4 new inches of snow overnight.  Much to everyone's surprise, our cousin was able to accidentally lock the car doors while the rental was running.  Around 5am we were all awake and Jane drove David to the airport.  David called triple A to have the car unlocked.  When Jane returned the locksmith successfully finished his task in less than 2 minutes and then we were all off to the airport in separate vehicles to return the rental vehicle.  As Cam noted, "now you can get your coffee early, Mom, and I can have a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks!"  After a crazy early start to the day, Cam can always find the positive outlook.
Since it was New Year's Eve, we had decided to take Cam and Ms. Ann out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  After a delicious meal, Ann and Cam hung out at home while Chris and Jane went to play a card game with friends.  We were super thankful to ring in the new year knowing Cam was with one of his favorite people.  Although he didn't stay up until midnight, his parents actually made it through the countdown.

On New Year's Day, we had a sweet visit with Auntie Jo and Will to celebrate the late holiday with gift exchanges.  It was literally sweetened by their yummy offering of an edible arrangement fruit plate and chocolate covered berries, apples and bananas!  We had a great time hanging out, catching up and sharing a meal together.

Thursday was a Ms. Amanda day for Cam filled with game playing and baking, one of their favorite shared activities.

The week ended on a high note with a trip over to Brody be's Cafe.  Jane and her son met up with Cam's buddy Liam and his brother and mom.  These two have been pals since preschool and it's pretty cool that their chairs can fit in through the zippered doorway of the outside dome at the cafe.

As we say hello to 2020, it's pretty incredible to think all that has been accomplished and created in the last 10 years...
from the Halloween Heroes project to Brody be's Cafe! 

We cannot wait to see what the next decade brings for us all 😃
Cam's teacher brought in her new puppy
to school- looks like he wanted to test out
his driving skills on Cam's chair!

Camology Quotes:
We were discussing New Year's resolutions with Cam over the weekend.  We were questioned about what types of resolutions we had created and why you made them.  Chris jokingly told his son he was making a resolution to limit his number of hugs per month, to which his clever boy replied: 
"Check your attitude, mister!  
That is not allowed.