Friday, July 22, 2011

Ryan's Birthday Part Two The Concert

For those of you not from around here, American English is an excellent Beatles tribute band.  They just happened to be playing in Deerfield for free on Ryan's birthday!  There were a bunch of people from church there and we enjoyed cupcakes, cheesecake, good music, and cute kids!!!

Ryan saving some seats!

Me and Baby Charlie....I love this kid!

Charlie right before he spit up on me.   I considered it my "Welcome to Motherhood someday" induction.  I didn't mind at all, a little spit up never hurt anyone. 

The beautiful view from the concert!

Ryan's reaction when the band called his name so they could sing the Beatles Birthday song to him!! 
(I wrote it on a napkin so they wouldn't forget ;)"

All sweaty after a fun, long day!

Ryan with John!

Ryan's Birthday Part One Wake up/ Lowes

Ryan had a birthday yesterday
Ladies and Gentleman....THIS is what 33 looks like!

This is Ryan's birthday gift from me.  Its a copy of a painting he's wanted for a long time.  Those who know me know that I am terrible when it comes to keeping gifts a secret.  My sister used to sit on me and drop her spit down until it almost touched my face and did so until I told her what my parents were getting her for Christmas.  I've been a pushover ever since.  I can keep important secrets, but gifts, well, I just can't help it.  I purchased Ryan's birthday gift back in May when his mother was in town.  When it was delivered, Ryan was at work, but we had to get it inside, opened to make sure it was the right one and up the stairs under a bed.  The funny thing was, we had gotten manicures and pedicures that day.  It must have been quite a sight watching us do all of this with wet nails! 

By some miracle, I was able to keep Ryan's gift a secret from him until July 21 at 7:15 AM.  By then I couldn't take it anymore so I got right up and gave it to him bright and early!

The only almost-slip-up took place one morning at the breakfast table.  Ryan leaned in close, kissed me, and lovingly asked what I was going to get him for his birthday.....I almost wet my pants.  But somehow I kept it in. 

My parents' gift to Ryan was shelving for our garage so we could get everything organized enough to fit our cars in the garage.  So first thing after breakfast, Ryan wanted to go to Lowes. 

This is me sitting on my only contribution to this shopping trip.....birdseed.  I am a firm believer that on one's birthday is it THEIR day and whatever they say goes.  Ryan wanted to go to Lowes, so I went along too. 

This is Ryan working on his math skills as he figures out how much shelving we need for the garage. 

P.S. it was pretty hot that day so we hit up Jamba Juice after this.  I had a gift card. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Camp Part 6.....Saying Goodbye

All good things must come to an end....and camp is no different.  Although I had the time of my life being back last week, I was thrilled to come home to my wonderful husband, real food, and my normal daily routine.  Having said that, I'll always miss the excitement of camp!

The Twins left first....but I didn't cry.....

We gave each other big honkin' kisses.  Though they were careful to ask first to make sure Ryan would be ok with it.  Such Gentlemen!

These guys were in my very first cabin my very first week of camp, the day after I had graduated High School.  I learned how shower, lift, and feed on these guys.  I could have never done it without them!  These are my brothers. 

Trevor left next.  I've never been so proud of him as I was this past week!  He is working so hard.  He has taught me so much, but the biggest lesson I've learned from him is that with enough hard work, one can do ANYTHING, no matter the circumstances.  We headed over to the tree house for a picture and then he was on his way. 

Every summer when Steven's mom drops him off, I practically beg her to wait as long as she can on Friday to pick him up.  Steven was the last camper from our cabin to leave.  He is a true gift to this world, as are the others.  But Steven has such a special spirit about him that anyone who's spent time with him can attest to.  He lights up a room with his smile. 

This is the last sign I saw as I left camp. 

The old camp sign used to read, "Wonderland Camp, a Special Place for Special People"  It really is true.

I've learned so much from camp over the years.  Not only about caring for people with special needs, but about people, patience, integrity, compassion, unconditional love, and I've also learned a lot about the Lord. 

For more information about Wonderland Camp, how to donate funds, or supplies, or just about how wonderful it is, please contact me. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Camp part 5 Sleepover/Dance

As you have probably already realized, Kids week offers some awesome activities that don't happen other weeks. Another of those is the sleepover. I only have one picture from the sleep over this year, but I can tell you a little bit about it. On Wednesday, we pack up every campers bedding in garbage bags labeled with their names. They are taken, with mattresses to the dining hall and the floor is lined with mattresses and EVERYONE sleeps on the floor. We watch Disney movies and eventually, by some miracle, everyone falls asleep. It's a blast!!! This year, I woke up quite a few times to find Steven had changed positions each time. Sometimes I'd wake up to his feet in my face; sometimes I'd wake up to him crawling over me to get to another mattress. Someone took a picture of us sometime in the morning where I am sleeping and Steven is sitting up above my pillow just chilling. I'm still trying to get my hands on that picture.

Steven's first sleeping position.....right after falling asleep.

The dance is popular every week.  It takes place the night before camp ends.  This is usually the day that the girls all get their hair done and put on their best outfit.  As for the boys, they usually get shaved, and perhaps some gel in their hair.  I've known some male campers to bring their special cologne for the event!

This is Jay and a staff at the dance. 

Jeff and Steven at the Dance

Me and Steven dancing at the dance.

The music got so loud, that we came outside.  Jay and Jeff.

Steven's hair was done especially for the dance.

Steven playing with Jeff's wrist band. 

Camp Part 4 Hanging out/Petting Zoo

One thing that is especially wonderful about camp is that even though there are a ton of amazing, fun activities, there is also a lot of down time where campers can rest, or just chill. 
Kids week, is also the only week which offers a visit from a local petting zoo.  I won't lie, I was rather disappointed with the petting zoo this year.  No bunnies, no piglets, it was just a lot smaller. 

The swings are always a popular choice, especially kids week.  Camp also has special wheelchair swings!

Steven chillin' with his favorite toy.

This is definitely Trevor's favorite spot. 

This is another camper enjoying meeting a ferret up close and personal.

Steven  meeting a ferret. 

Camp part 3 Pool/splash pad/waterfront

The pool is open during specific times everyday, each week at camp.  During Kids week, the pool is pretty much open from the moment breakfast finishes, to the moment just before everyone goes to bed.  It's just extra popular Kids week.  The Pontoon boat is also a big hit.  Everyone can go on it, it doesn't cause motion sickness, and it is even rigged for safely accommodating wheelchairs!

This photo is proof that Trevor swam this week.  Every other summer I've been at camp, he's opted out of pool time.  Yet another reason I am so very proud of him!

New this year at camp is an awesome addition to the pool area.  This is called the splash pad.  Its a concrete slab with water-park-like attractions.  There are colorful pipes coming out of the ground that spray water in different directions.  It's awesome.  Steven liked it better than the pool because he didn't have to wear a life jacket, and he didn't have to wear ear plugs!

My very own Steven Taco!

Trevor insists that he didn't fall asleep on the boat, but I'm not convinced!

Steven wasn't so happy with me on the boat.  Not only does he hate wearing a life jacket, which as you can see they are required, even I am wearing one, but he also likes to chew on the straps.  I don't let him because not only can you visibly see the years worth of mildew on them, they sit in a dirty old shed all winter and summer and there's just no telling where they've been or who they've been on. 

Camp part 2 4th of July Celebrations!

Camp tried something new for the 4th this summer.  We had a PARADE!!!  It was awesome!  I think camp should have a parade every week!

Steven getting ready to decorate our banner.  (He tends to put his fingers in his mouth, so this required a lot of supervision!)

I was sooo proud of Trev for this.  I couldn't believe he was willing to let us put paint on his hands!


Not only did Steven have an appropriate outfit for the occasion, we decked out his Wheelchair!

Trev being patriotic!

Toby, One of the main 3 people running camp this summer got dressed up for the occasion as Uncle Sam!

Ashley was a firework!

And Alena, on the right, was the statue of Liberty!