Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sweet! I'm 16! - Week of Aug. 14th

16 years= 192 months, 5844 days, 140.256 hours, 8,415,360 minutes, 504,921,600 seconds of being awesome.

This was the last week before the start of the new school year.  Cameron was patient with his parents while they attended to their jobs.  
However, Thursday was the BIG day...  August 17th was Cam's 16th birthday!
We asked him to request a special breakfast so his day started with a Starbuck's bacon, egg and gouda sandwich.  Chris and Jane finished up work a little early for their son to open his birthday presents.  Cam's dad found him the coolest drink cup for the back of his powerchair with the longest flexible straw.  Cam's mom reserved a pontoon boat for the family for Labor Day weekend and gave him an accessible lifejacket to use on the future trip. 

We were scheduled to meet Oma and Opa in Muskegon for dinner at Cam's chosen birthday restaurant, Red Lobster.  Cameron is a huge fan of their delicious cheddar biscuits and we all love fish.  Cam's grandparents gave him a new personalized backpack and Maruska shirts.  After ordering and finishing our meals, a manager came over and shared a big surprise.  Jane's work buddy, Ms. Cyndi in New Jersey called ahead and pre-paid for our entire meal!  She had asked Jane earlier that day where they were going, etc. and we were all completely blown away.  Cam and his mom were especially touched.  Ms. Cyndi made certain that they even put a candle on Cameron's birthday brownie overload dessert- we were excited there were five spoons since we all had multiple bites.

Friday evening, we headed up north for a double birthday celebration for cousin James and Cameron.  A scrumptious meal of smoked fish, chicken and pork accompanied by lots of sides was the perfect meal! Dessert included a tasting contest between a homemade chocolate peanut butter pie created by Coco and the Costco chocolate peanut butter pie.  We all agreed Coco's crust and toppings were best and the Costco filling was delicious.  Afterward, we were all pretty stuffed so a dance party was in order!  We said goodbye to James and Ally since they were leaving the next morning. It was a later night and by the time Cam made it into bed, it was almost 11pm.

Saturday afternoon, we decided to do it all over again.  Oma and Opa arrived later in the day to stay for dinner too.  We spent most of our time on the lower deck, now accessible via the coolest ramp, visiting with family and chatting with everyone.
The new table that Max and Jeffrey built fit everyone, which was pretty incredible.
We watched the sun fade as we left that night to make our way back home.

Sunday was just as beautiful and we decided it would be a great beach day!  Once again, we loaded up the van to make our trek.  We were all very happy we chose to be lake side.  The water was refreshing, the sand very warm and it was the perfect way to close out our week.  We had to say goodbye to Katie, Tyler, Avery and Olivia since they would be heading back east while Cam was in school the next week.  Jane told her son how difficult it always was to say goodbye to our cousins. We left before dinner since Cameron (and his parents) would be waking up a little after 5:30 the next morning.

One of our favorite memories from the week was watching the younger cousins run to help Cam.  The van ramp is very unique to them.  They all wanted to assist with every aspect of buckling Cameron into the vehicle and making certain he was absolutely safe!
These family members are so sweet with their older cousin and do not have any fear concerning his mobility.  
In some ways, they teach those who are much older about inclusion and acceptance. 😉

Camology Quotes:

Jane and son made a Costco run this week and happened on quite a few samples.  Cam tried a new beef stick and liked it so much, he requested they purchase it.  Next up were sea salt caramels and freshly baked brownies.  This was his response to the "sampler" people:

"No thank you.  We have that at home."

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