Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Benik Vest for Trunk Support

I thought I would share something we use with Caleb to help him sit up straight. He has a tendency to sit back on his tail bone and we needed something that would offer him a little bit of support but not too much.

This is a Benik vest. It is made of neoprene and is completely soft and flexible. It has multiple velcro strips on the back to allow you to adjust the amount of support or even make one side tighter than the other if your child tends to lean to one side. It has a zipper up the front and 2 velcro strips that can go between the legs to keep the vest in place.

Caleb has had this vest for a few months now and we use it in the mornings while we do school. It really has helped him to sit up straight. I like the vest because it does just enough to offer a little bit of feedback and support but it doesn't do too much making it so Caleb doesn't have to work at all. It helps...but doesn't help too much.

I thought this little bit of information might be useful to some of my readers :).

Friday, January 29, 2016

CCI Service Dog Update...really good news!

We started the process of applying for a Skilled Companion Dog through Canine Companions for Independence a year ago. We went through the multi-step application process and found out over the summer that Caleb was indeed approved for a dog. At that point Caleb's name went on a waiting list and we started waiting. The typical wait time is about 2 years but we knew it would be less for us since CCI just built a new training facility in Texas.

Yesterday I got a very unexpected call from CCI letting me know of a very unique opportunity. They have a dog that they believe is perfect for Caleb and is ready to be placed immediately. Yay! The situation is unique because we get to bypass the usual intensive 2 week training that is scheduled for May. Caleb and I get to do our training in 3-4 days because we will have one-on-one training with the team. We will begin our fast-track training on February 22nd. This time next month we will officially have new member in our family. I don't know much about the dog except it is a female black lab. We are so excited to meet her. 

This kid was pretty excited when I told him. Fist pump for excitement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

State Capital visit and B-ball tournament

Caleb had a wheelchair basketball tournament in San Antonio this past weekend and we made a quick stop in Austin to see the State Capitol Building on the way.

This tree was really cool. The branches have grown toward the ground.

Benjamin running off some of that energy. 

The Rotunda inside the building. The boys loved this. It is a sight to see. I remember visiting the capital when I was a little girl and looking up and being amazed.

We also got to see the House and Senate chambers.

Visiting the Capitol Building was a fun pit-stop on our way to San Antonio.

 Best part of staying in hotels....the yummy cinnamon rolls!

The team.

The tournament was at Morgan's Wonderland (an amusement park designed for those with special needs). Unfortunately the park wasn't open but the kids were able to enjoy the playground in between games. 

He is looking so grown up lately. I swear he has grown about 3 inches and he just looks more mature.

Caleb's team did a fantastic job. They played 3 games and won all of them. 1st place baby!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

ADVENTures Days 19-25

Day 19: Granny and Paw-Paw's Christmas

Granny and Paw-Paw host a Christmas celebration every year at their house. There is always plenty of food, fun, presents, and cousins. The boys love it and pretty much spend the entire day outside.

Such a poser.

The kid table.

He got a couple of Lego kits.

Day 21: Benjamin's 7th Birthday!

Benjamin officially turned 7. He got to pick our activity for the day and he chose to hang out at home and play with his new Lego kits. He also had a couple of friends come over for a playdate.

Day 22: Watch a Christmas movie

The boys and I chilled out and watched Elf. They loved it.

Day 23: Go see Christmas lights

Grandpa Joel took us to the Gaylord so we could see the Christmas decorations there. 

Day 24: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Day 25: Christmas Day!

Surprisingly, I have very few pictures from Christmas Day. We spent the morning at our house letting the boys open their gifts from mom and dad. After lunch we headed to Gammy and Grandpa Al's for more presents.

Benjamin was in heaven over this HUGE Ninjago kit. The thing had almost 1300 pieces and an instruction book as thick as my Bible. We spent hours on it and still had to finish it up the next day. He loves it.

Caleb got an authentic Houston Rockets jersey. 

Later that night Grandpa Joel and MeMe came over with even more presents for the boys! My house looks like a toy store exploded in it. 

So that about wraps up our ADVENTures for 2015. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Lego Ninjago Birthday Party!

My baby turned 7 years old today. SEVEN! Sigh. We had a small party at the house yesterday with a couple of his friends. The theme: Lego Ninjago. There are a ton of ideas for a  Lego Ninjago themed party and I borrowed from several sources and came up with my own ideas as well. I love this kind of thing and I had a blast planning and preparing.

I made each child a headband with their name on it. I printed out the names using a font in PicMonkey and laid white ribbon over the name. I used a small paint brush and black paint to copy the name onto the headband. It was a bit tedious but they came out really cute and they were a big hit at the party. I tried tracing the name with permanent marker but that bled too much, I found that paint looked cleaner and neater.
You know I'm the queen of cardboard so I had to make something out of my favorite material! Using a Lego Ninjago minifigure as my inspiration I sketched out a design on a large sheet of cardboard. 

I am so proud of how this turned out ya'll! I cut out holes so we could use the cardboard cutout as part of a ninja star throwing game at the party. You'll see how that worked out in a minute.

I bought cheap black gift bags and added the circles to make them look like Lego bricks. The goodie bags contained some chop sticks, origami paper with instructions on making a ninja star, a Ninjago coloring book I put together, and some Lego brick crayons I made using a Lego brick mold.

To make the crayons, you just put pieces of crayons (without the paper) into the mold. Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until the crayons are fully melted. Then put into the fridge to firm up. They are really cute when they are done.

I used small takeout boxes filled with fortune cookies as another take-home treat. I got the printable from this site.

When the kids arrived they had to figure out their Ninja name using the code above. They got a kick out of that!

I went simple with the cake and cupcakes.

Benjamin had the idea of using Ninja sword toothpicks.

The dining room was transformed into a dojo for the party. I went to Dollar Tree and bought several black and green tablecloths for $1 each. I used the black to cover the walls. I covered the chairs with tablecloths as well. 

I made the sign in PicMonkey. Easy-Breezy.

This is my favorite and I wish I could take credit for the idea...but I can't. I saw it on Pinterest and thought it was adorable. It's just Rice Krispie treats that I cut into rectangles, put a Swedish Fish on top and wrapped fruit leather (or a fruit roll-up) around it. I made the food labels using PicMonkey and added Ninjago stickers.

Kai Kabobs was Benjamin's idea. We took the Ninja swords and added fruit to them.

For Cole Cookies, I just dipped fortune cookies into melted chocolate.

Ninja fuel = Drinks.

I got the juice box and water bottle labels here

I ordered these paper lanterns from Wal-Mart for $2 each. I printed the ninja eyes (from the site above) and taped them onto the lanterns.

I cut out a bunch of ninja star shapes and taped them all over the wall.

The boys ninjas are ready for the party. See how cute the headbands came out! Each kid also received a black belt (just black ribbon I bought at a craft store). Benjamin wanted to be this Ninjago guy:

You know that awesome Ninjago cutout I made....see him just cast aside on the ground? The boys found Benjamin's Nerf guns and spent most of the time in the backyard shooting each other. No one threw ninja stars at my Ninja. I have to laugh because I think I could have just passed out Nerf guns and bullets to all the kids, skipped everything else I did, and they would have been just as happy. Lesson learned. I may like to craft and plan, but boys just want to run and play. They don't care about all the bells and whistles. Oh well. Benjamin had a blast and that is what matters.


You can check out Benjamin's wild entrance into the world by clicking here. He was forced into the world 8 weeks early and has been causing trouble ever since. I love this kid.

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