Sunday, February 21, 2021

Husky Twins - Week of Feb. 15th

"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold." ~Aristotle

Secretly, we think Cam was hoping that if he had to stay home from school due to inclement weather, virtual learning would be in order.  The district sent out communication indicating that a "snow day" would still be considered a day off of school.
Early Tuesday morning, Cam woke up a little before 5a asking if he still had school.  His mom assured him he did.  Everyone fell back asleep.  At 5:15a, a text was received indicating school was canceled due to the snowy conditions.  Our son was able to sleep until almost 7am and Chris and Jane worked to rearrange some work meetings to be able to adjust.  After enjoying an entire 5 days of in-person learning last week, the weather thwarted that option this week.

Back at school, though, it was a stellar week.  Cam and his principal, Dr. Simpson, discovered they happened to be wearing the exact same shirt on Wednesday!  They were both representing their district, Forest Hills Northern with the Husky emblem.  Luckily, someone snapped a picture and Cam's teacher was excited to send it along.  
Typically, the kids play an online quiz game called "Kahoot" driven by teacher questions about something they are studying.  Each student independently chooses their answers.  It is one of Cam's favorite activities.

At home, we marvel at the trust our cat, Stella, has in regards to Cam driving his power chair around the house.  Every evening, the same scene plays out.  Our son announces he is going to get ready for bed.   Stella is perched near the stairs, watching all of the action.  Cam starts his trek down the hallway and our feline doesn't move an inch.  Somehow, each of them has built this trusting bond without even realizing.

Without any skiing on the agenda for the weekend, it was time to catch up on home projects and tackle Cam's homework.  His assignment: create a "life skills" video showing an activity you complete on your own.  After much deliberation and a multitude of ideas, he settled on taking out the garbage.  This is actually no easy feat.  After the large garbage container is attached to the back of Cam's chair, he has to carefully drive down our incredibly long driveway.  He took his task very seriously and completed his video in one take!

Camology Quotes:

In Cam's room, there is a moon situated on the wall.  It has a remote control and lights up.  Ever since he was younger, Cam has given a "moon countdown" right before lights out at bedtime.  One night, his usual countdown of "5,4,3,2,1 go out" was replaced with "89312 go out".  Jane questioned why he used different numbers?
"I have software called Countdown Codes for Moon Time."

Sunday, February 14, 2021

5 Days a Week - Week of Feb. 8th

"If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic - being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago." ~Elon Musk 

"I have always had this view about the modern education system: we pay attention to brain development, but the development of warm heartedness we take for granted." ~Dalai Lama

We calculated that this was the very first week Cam was in person at school for five consecutive days since last March.  He has been far more fortunate than many of his peers across the country.  Each day, our 13-year-old eagerly boards the bus for school.  He is learning the art of elapsed time and will typically talk about how much time it is until dinner, nighttime routine, and the next school day.

This week, Cam's grandparents were with us for five nights due to scheduled appointments in Grand Rapids.  We had a good time planning dinners and relaxing in the evenings.  Oma and Cam continued filling in his quarter book and it seems no matter what they are doing, laughter typically follows.

On Saturday morning, as they were packing up to leave, we were fortunate to see a few deer making their way through the snowy backyard.  It seems no matter how often we see the wildlife, we never tire of the scenery.  

The colder temperatures stayed with us all week and Sunday was Cam's final adaptive ski lesson.  Jane had promised her son she would ski with them.  As we were getting ready to leave for the slopes, the temperature settled in at 12 degrees.  

Since Cam had followed through on his commitment, his mom definitely felt compelled to do the same.  We were all armed with hand warmers and bundled up.   Cameron kept assuring his mother there was nothing to be nervous about.  After the second run down the snowy hill, Jane was in complete agreement and Cam said it was an awesome day for skiing.  

As we all chatted near the chairlift, a woman approached our skier and asked if he was Lorelei.  He promptly said "no" and a group near us quickly called her over.  Since Cam was so bundled up, you couldn't even see his face with his mask on.  After the woman left, we all had a hearty laugh.  Scott, who rides up the chairlift with Cam, told us at the top of the hill that our son couldn't stop cracking up and talking about the mix-up.

On the drive home, a detour was made to surprise Jane with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and pick up delicious warm Starbucks drinks for all.  

February 14th is very memorable for the Weatherfords.  It is the day Chris and Jane met, the day Chris proposed and the date of their honeymoon.

Jane declared it was one of the best Valentine's Day ever!  Family skiing, beautiful roses and a day full of laughter ranks pretty high up there.

Camology Quotes:

Cam is a fan of giving and receiving hugs.  He especially likes a group hug with his parents.  For Valentines, he gave his mom an extra big squeeze and told her:
"I am giving you affection."

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Artic Blast - Week of Feb. 1st

 “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” ~William Arthur Ward

Tuesday morning, Cam was back in business and beyond excited to be returning to school!  As he headed out the door, Jane told him he hadn't stopped smiling.  He said "I am grinning from ear to ear!"
He never exhibited any symptoms during quarantine.  We were all beyond thankful for his good health.
It was a rare dose of sunshine that arrived in the afternoon as a super smiley Cam debarked from the bus and headed up the driveway.  He was full of news from the day's activities.

On Thursday, PT and swimming appointments were on the agenda for our son, eager to return to his routine.  PT is up first with stretching, standing and walking.  Immediately following physical therapy is swimming therapy.  
Currently, we are at the same location for both sessions which is very convenient.  Ms. Mandy is Cam's pool instructor.  Even though the pool is smaller than average, it has plenty of space for the continued stretching, floating and kicking and is set at a pleasant 95 degrees.  There is also a hydraulic lift which Cam thinks is so cool.  As a bonus for Jane, Ms. Mandy was able to answer every question her student had about the lift and how it worked.

By the time, Jane and her son left the PT appointment at 5pm, it was snowing like crazy!  The first real snowstorm had arrived and it did not disappoint.  A text message arrived before Cam went to bed indicating that school was already canceled for Friday!  We couldn't believe it.  By morning, though, as the white stuff continued to fall and the temperature was in the single digits, we were relieved that no one had to brave the incredibly cold and blowing conditions.

On Sunday, the high temp forecasted was 12 degrees.  We gave Cam the option of skipping skiing due to the incredibly chilly conditions.  Chris and Jane were pleasantly surprised when their son opted to keep the scheduled time.  As we headed out to Cannonsburg, we weren't certain how long Cam would be able to withstand the cold.  Jane silently guessed 30 minutes.  Once again, the parents were mistaken as Cam went up and down the hill multiple times for an hour.  He declared it was his best ski lesson yet!  We explained to Cam on our drive home that we did not think he would want to hit the slopes because of the cold.  He told us "it was awesome!"  We told him that being able to follow through on a commitment is pretty awesome too.  As an extra bonus, the hills weren't quite as crowded, perhaps due to Superbowl Sunday, but more than likely due to the extreme frosty surroundings.

Camology Quotes:
Cam was able to sleep until 7am during quarantine so when Tuesday arrived, it was back to a 6am wake up.  Cam called out to us at 5:55am.  When we asked him if he was ready to get up, he responded with a typical teenager comeback:
"Technically, I am not awake until my alarm clock goes off!"