Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TexasFest for CCI

We get to do the coolest things ya'll. I'm always humbled by all of the fun things we get to do, things that we would never even know about if it weren't for Spina Bifida. We were invited to represent Canine Companions for Independence at TexasFest, a local gala put on by The Irving Healthcare Foundation. The foundation raises money for CCI and other organizations.



The boys watching an armadillo race....only in Texas ya'll.

Caleb was brave enough to touch the dillo.

Since it was a CCI fundraiser, we had our girl Hallow with us. She got quite a bit of attention.

Pretty girl.


There was a magician that the boys loved. He did several slight of hand tricks that had them mesmerized and somehow he got one of my rings into a sealed envelope. Mind blown on that one.

Isn't she pretty in her collar and flower? I finally have a girl to buy pretty things for.

And finally, a rare family photo. 


Friday, April 22, 2016

1,000th Blog Post!

This is my 1,000 blog post ya'll! Seems like a major milestone to recognize.

The very first blog post was way back in November of 2006.


Caleb was just over 1 year old. I originally started the blog as a way for family and friends to stay up to date on Caleb. I had no idea I would still be blogging almost 10 years later with 1,000 posts under my belt. I had no idea the people this blog would bring into my life. I had no idea my blog and my family would impact others. Who knew?

For fun I looked at my blog stats to see what words or phrases have been searched that lead folks to my blog. Not surprisingly "spina bifida" was the number one search entry. I love that people find my blog while searching under spina bifida. I love that they see Caleb living life with SB. 

A few of my most viewed posts are:

(I reviewed two different TiLite chairs and their features/options)



 (this was a very popular post in October, SB Awareness month)


And my personal favorite....

I've been on the scenic route with Caleb for over 10 years now and I still love the view.

A big thank you to all of you that take the time to read our blog. It has truly become an online scrapbook of our lives, recording the good....and the not so good. I've always tried to be honest and share my heart along with the everyday things. I've shared the loss of 2 pregnancies. I've shared the ups and downs of having a child with Spina Bifida. I've shared my heartbreaks and my rejoicing. I've shared our lives. Thanks for being a part of that. 

1,000 blog posts. I can't believe it. Here's to 1,000 more.


I would love to hear from you folks. What is your favorite blog post? How did you find this blog? How long have you been following our family?


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tapestry of Grace, Year 2, Unit 3

We just wrapped up another TOG unit. This was my favorite unit by far. It covered Colonial Times, so we learned all about the founding of the 13 colonies. We managed to squeeze in a number of activities during our studies.

We learned about the paper art of quilling. Quilling involves spiraling thin strips of paper and then shaping them. Appently this was a popular activity in Colonial Times.

Caleb found it cool but tedious. It requires a good amount of fine motor.

A quill heart.

Benjamin loved quilling and made several shapes. 


We planted seeds in an attempt to grow our own food, just like in CT. Several colonies planted and grew tobacco...we planted cantaloupe seeds. Seemed more appropriate.

Caleb worked on a 13 colonies book throughout the unit. 




For language arts, Caleb had to write a short play with a colonial times theme. 
We chose Legos to act out our play. Clearly Benjamin played a role in this project.

Basically Derick (left) is the leader of a new colony and Dekemunbo (right) is the leader of a local Native American tribe. Derick comes over to make peace and Deke agrees but while they are chatting, a fight breaks out between the two sides...

...and it ends in a blood bath. Only Derick and Deke remain. Clearly this play was written by 2 boys.

Caleb also wrote a fable. It was about a horse and a macaw who go head-to-head in a slam dunk contest. Writing and creating stories is not easy for Caleb so I was tickled at his progress during this unit.


Since cameras weren't invented yet, the colonists relied on silhouettes. The boys thought these were so cool! Obviously they should have been smaller...but oh well.

And of course, we completed another lapbook. Still love the lapbooks.

Benjamin joins in on some of Caleb's activities but also does his own curriculum, My Father's World 1st grade. Benjamin will be a full-time TOGer next year. He's doing well and making progress. Reading is a challenge but he gets better every week so I'm not too worried. 

Only one unit left to finish out this year. I think we will take our time getting through this last unit, take a couple of breaks during, and finish up at the end of June. My plan is to take all of July off and then start back up August 1st. I think I like the year-round approach to homeschooling. It allowed us to take as many breaks as we needed throughout the year. October is always a crazy month so we need time off then. I also like taking all of December off. Plus, we travel throughout the year so it is just nice to spread our school year out instead of trying to follow the public school schedule.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

NWBA Nationals in Kentucky

Last week we made the long (so very long) drive to Louisville, Kentucky for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association tournament.

Hallow is ready to go. Having a dog makes packing for a long trip a challenge. We had to use our roof storage rack so Hallow would have enough room in the back.

The long drive was hard for Hallow even though we stopped often. I think that much time in the car stressed her out quite a bit. At one point she climbed into Caleb's lap.

Lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Arkansas. Hallow is the queen of the "sad face" look. Pitiful.

We split the drive over two days and stayed in Tennessee for one night to rest up. The hotel pool was a great reward for the boys after spending the day in the car.

Pretty girl.

Finally made it to Kentucky. I think I have more pictures of Hallow than anything else.


Surprisingly I have few pictures of actual basketball. The team played 4 games....they lost 4 games. 

Hallow resting during the games. How cute is she in that collar? I finally have a girl to dress up!

The team all crammed into a booth together. They may have lost all of their games, but they still had a good time together.

These long trips are tough on this guy. He is very much a homebody and he hates being away from his Legos. I promised him that I would buy him a new Lego kit while we were in Kentucky. As soon as Caleb's first game was over I took him to Target to pick out a kit. Best purchase ever. He was perfectly content.

He even found a fellow Lego-lover to hang out with. These 2 spent a lot of time together during the tournament.

Dirty hands and a dirty face, all part of wheelchair basketball. 

Hanging out with this fellow SB mom was the highlight of the trip for me (and for Caleb I think too). This is Annie and her daughter Anna. I've "known" Annie online for a few years and we met briefly at Nationals in 2014 but we were able to really hang out this time. Caleb and Anna were fast friends and have already video chatted several times since we've been home.

Being a pretty service dog is exhausting. We had a constant stream of people coming up to us to meet her and love on her. 

Another stop in Tennessee on the way home.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

More Hallow

Our sweet girl is fitting right in with our family ya'll. I had to share some pictures from the last couple of weeks.

This girl loves to sunbathe. Loves it. She loves going outside and just laying in the sun, it cracks me up.

Caleb and Hallow showing off the "lap" command.

Kisses.

Big yawn! I think we have worn her out with all of our walks and nature adventures.


She's so pretty!

Benjamin adores her. I was concerned that he would feel like Hallow is Caleb's dog and not his but it hasn't been that way at all. She has been a nice addition to our family.

She loves to play fetch and often brings the ball to us to let us know when she is ready to play. She is just the right amount of playful balanced with the perfect amount of chill. 


We have fallen into a really nice routine with her already. She is just so easy. 


Hallow joined us on Benjamin's final orthopedic appointment. It is so weird and fun to take a dog into a public building. She did great.


We've only had her a couple of weeks but she truly feels like part of our family. 
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