Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Big Brother

Updated:  Hopefully the video will work now. Sorry. It seems I'm still learning. Aren't we all?

Second graders at the elementary school where the boys attend were busy this past week hosting "Memoir Parties". A Memoir Party is where you invite the person you wrote your memoir about to come and listen to you read it. Keaton's class hosted their party on Friday. Connor and I attended the event and I was able to capture it on video. (Once again it is a little blurry but I'm not complaining. It's what you hear on this video that makes it so special!!)

My Big Brother
By: Keaton

My brother is very special to me. His name is Connor. He is my friend and my big brother.

Connor is very helpful to me and other kids. Connor will show me how to do things when I ask. He always helps me tie my shoes.

Connor is funny and makes me laugh. Connor is vey nice. Sometimes Connor is bossy to me, but he is just watching out for me, and trying to keep me safe.

Connor and I like to play catch, jump on the trampoline, wrestle, and play video games. Our favorite thing to do is wrestle.

I am lucky that Connor is my brother.

We are lucky to have both boys in our lives. They are both special and unique individuals. We love them more than words can ever describe.

On the Mound

This is Connor's first year in kid pitch. Wow!! It really is different from coach pitch. We are quickly learning that without a good pitcher our team won't be very successful this season. Connor has shown interest in wanting to learn to pitch and was given the opportunity Thursday to demonstrate his skills. He pitched his alloted amount of pitches for the day before turning it over to the next guy. He still has some work to do but overall we were proud of his performance. I'd like to say that he didn't walk anyone but I can't. There were one or two that slipped into the mix. At this point the coach says that he is the #3 pitcher. The #1 and #2 pitchers are both 10 year olds. We'll see out the season turns out and how his technique improves.

It's a little blurry, but keep in mind I took it with my digital camera while looking through the fence. (Not with a video camera. It won't work for some reason.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

National CHILD Conference~One Busy Weekend

Last fall as school started back or maybe even before that I posted about starting something new at school. I wrote about the ladies I would be working with and how things would be different in my classroom as we embarked on a journey into Project CHILD. (Visit this website for more information.) Well, this past weekend we all boarded this plane and headed off to the National CHILD Conference held in Tampa, Florida. (This was the first time in more than 15 years that I had been on an airplane. I guess I was a little nervous.)

Here we are getting settled into our seats.

We arrived on Thrusday night, settled checked into our rooms and headed right back out for dinner. We enjoyed a great meal at Bahama Breeze. (Wishing I could have some more of the yumnmy seafood and rice dish I ordered. It was an awesome dish.) We made it back to the hotel just in time to call it a night.

The festivities started Friday morning with a bus tour to a local charter school to visit some CHILD classrooms. Florida is home to several charter schools and many of them are making their homes in buildings built for offices. It was interesting to tour and made us feel as though we are really on the right path. It makes a person thankful for the materials and the classroom they have. The above picture was taken in the charter school's cafeteria just prior to beginning the tour around the school grounds. Friday afternoon, we returned to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon session of make-and-takes. I came home with some neat writing activities for both primary and intermeidate.

After our sessions, we decided to head out and do a little shopping. We ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. YUMMY!! This piece of sinful delight, Snickers Cheesecake, was my dessert of choice for the evening. YUM! YUM! YUM! We shopped for a while and headed back to the hotel to prepare a display board for the next day's activities.

On Saturday, we attended various sessions and an awards luncheon. We were pleasantly surprised during the luncheon when we were recogonized as a Star Cluster. We had no idea we had even been nominated. How awesome is that!!
Although we were in Tampa, Florida and didn't even make it to the beach, we still had a terrific trip. Now if I could find the time to get caught up on my sleep, I'd be in great shape. Maybe this weekend I can squeeze in a nap or two.
Until Next Time....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Little League Opening Night

This is Connor's first year in Little League (not his first year playing ball). The league hosts "Opening Ceremonies" at one of the parks and introduces all the players from the minor league and the major league.
We showed up. As each team was introduced, they came onto the field and the manager announced each player's name. Rob introduced his players and coaches. We watched and listened as the other teams were introduced. Here is a shot of the team. (Minus one player. It is Spring Break. We couldn't expect everyone to be able to make it.)

After all the teams were introduced,  they held a special recognition for one of the players. This is the part that touched our hearts. The league recognized one of the major league players, a 10 year old boy, for his efforts in helping raise Autism Awareness. Dr. Marty Bowman from the Kelly Autism Program was there to speak and thank the child for his efforts. The chairperson for the Austim Run/Walk event also spoke on the child's behalf. This 10 year old is working to raise $30,000 for Autism Awareness. Last night his basketball coach gave him a check for over $500. Their team set goals and worked to acheive them. The parents donated the money based on the goals accomplished. The Southern Little League participants and their families were challenged to support this child and his cause, one that is very close to my heart. (Here is a shot of this awesome 10 year old.)

On the ride back into town from the ballfield, Rob and I began talking about what we could. As parents of a child with Autsim we are always providing awareness as we interact and meet others. We brainstromed a few ideas and as we work out the details, we'll let you know what they are.

His parents must be proud. I don't even know the kid, and I'm sure proud of him.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Keaton's First Swim Meet

Keaton participated in his very first swim meet last Sunday, March 28th. Last summer he practiced with Connor's swim team, but I didn't sign him up to compete. This semester he had the opportunity to join a Special Olypmic Swim Team coached by Parker. (Parker works at the same school I do.)

I had never been to a Special Olympics event with Keaton. We got up early and headed off to Louisville for the event. (We got there way too early!!-but that's another story.) ~ The Louisville fans my niece, Ceceley, was way excited about all the Cardinal stuff at the event and at the McDonalds across the street. She snapped pictures of everything with an L on it. ~
Keaton was registered to participate in the developmental part of the meet. He can swim as well as any fish, but doesn't perform the strokes perfectly. Parker was worried that if she competed him in the regular events, he would be disqualified.

There was an extremely long wait between the beginning of the event and the start of the developmental events. Keaton behaved very well during the wait. The rest of us were losing our patients quickly.  (This is a picture of us trying to hold it together while we wait, and wait, and wait some more.)
At last it was time for Keaton to do his thing.

Keaton finished 2nd in the unassisted swim event. Yeah, Keaton!!

Keaton finished 1st in the kickboard event, but was disqualified because he let go of the board sometime before crossing the finish line. Oh well, he had fun and that is what matters most.

We were all glad that Keaton did well when he swam his events, but we were really excited to be going home after such a long day.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Eggs

Look at this face!! Looks like a face only a mother could love this evening.  Keaton wasn't interested in helping us decorate any eggs for Easter. He was more interested in helping himself to some leftovers from dinner as you can see.  

I hadn't planned on dying or decorating any eggs for Easter this year. Keaton went to an egg hunt last weekend and both boys hunted at the afterschool program at school. We were going to call it good  and go on about things. This afternoon I received a call from my aunt: Easter Dinner at Granny's.  The boys had so much fun last year, how could we resist? I grabbed some candy and got the plastic eggs out of the closet. Mary boiled some eggs and we headed to the backyard to enjoy the rest of the beautiful day while we stuffed and dyed our eggs.

After this weekend, Connor should be an egg dying "eggspert".  Last night he visited with a friend and dyed eggs at their house. He had an awesome time at his friend's house.
Our audience for the festivities....a Bakugan army. They were very attentive and well behaved.
The first eggs are placed in the dye. The waiting begins. The longer we wait the brighter the egg color.
Almost done......
and now for the finished eggs. I know remember why we don't always dye eggs. They can be messy. They never turn out as pretty as the examples on the box. & The boys lose their interest after we get started. Oh well, we now have real, hard boiled, dyed Easter eggs to take to Granny's along with all the plastic, candy filled eggs we have.  
We bought the cameo kit. They didn't really turn out all that camoflaged if you ask me, but they'll still pass for dyed Easter eggs.