Monday, June 30, 2008

Last T-Ball Game

A trophy AND a cupcake!

The 2 Joes.

High five-ing the opponents "good game, good game."

Running the bases.

Up at bat.

Up at bat.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"A Little More"

Jennifer at Pinwheels has posted another essay on Parent Dish about parenting 5-year-old Avery. Click HERE to read it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Week with Tutu & Papou

Tutu & Papou were with us for Emma's birthday this past week. The kids had so much fun with them. We went to the MSU Children's Garden, Holland Beach, the library, Lake Lansing, two malls, the movies, Marble School playground, the MSU dairy store, and lots more.

Tutu & Papou reading to Spanky.

A boy & his trike.

Having fun with the bead craft project Aunt Jen sent.

She rides!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Loved & Cherished She Thrives!

Beverly Beckham's latest essay on her grand daughter Lucy who is about to turn five. To read the essay published in the Boston Globe click HERE.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Emma learned how to ride a bike today in 1/2 an hour. Will we have to buy her a new car for her birthday when it is time to learn to drive? She named the bike "Julianna."

"I Do Not Like IEPs!"

I do not like these IEPs
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise!
We test, we check,
We plan, we meet,
But nothing ever seems complete.

"Special Needs Mama" writes this month about the dreaded IEP. Click here to read.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Holland Beach, Holland, MI

We drove to Holland Beach today. When we left E. Lansing it was sunny and warm but by the time we arrived (1 1/2 hrs. later) it was freezing! We ate lunch took a couple of photos and came home. By the end of the day it was warm again.

Emma's 8th Bday Party

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Tutu & Papou are visiting this week for Emma's 8th birthday.

MSU Children's Choir Concert.

Emma is 4th from the right

MSU Children's Choir Camp Concert

Emma attended the MSU Children's Choir Camp directed and conducted by Mrs. Mary Alice Stollak. After a week of camp (8AM-12 PM) the campers gave a concert on Friday morning. They sang "Some Folks Do," "I Will Give You the Key," The Mending Song," "Jubilate Deo," "Butterflies and Moths," and "I've Got Shoes." Emma had a lot of fun singing this past week and is looking forward to participating in the Prep choir again next fall.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sparrow Superstars

Team photo (Joe on far right w/o team jersey or team hat)

Joe & Chris at first base

If You're Looking for a Reason to Vote for Obama

If you are looking for another good reason to vote for Obama, consider his position on individuals with disabilities. View his video or read his statements here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Eric "Ricstar" Winter Music Therapy Camp

Joe sitting on Megan's lap waiting for his turn to perform in the concert.

Joe helps spread the parachute at music camp.
While Tim, Beth & Paul were with us Joe attended the 6th annual Eric "Ricstar" Winter Music Therapy Camp at the MSU Community School (where Emma sings in the choir). The kids meet in small groups for 3 days and are matched with a buddy. Joe was a buddy with Megan who is the sister of Katie--a kid on Joe's T-ball team and in Joe's sport skills swim class at MSU. On the last day they perform in a concert. People come from all over the midwest and Canada to attend this camp. For more information on the camp click here.


Tim, Beth & Paul visited us this week. The cousins had lots of fun together. Here are a few photos from their visit

Joe, Paul & Emma

At the MSU Dairy Store

Emma & Paul in the MSU Children's Garden

Chris, Tim, Emma & Paul in the MSU Children's Garden

Joe & Paul playing with trains.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I.E.P. Take #2

Many of you know that we had a marathon IEP for Joe last month that didn't go as well as we had hoped. At the end of the IEP we decided to send Joe to a Young 5s program next year as an intermediary step to kindergarten. The more we thought about it the more dissatisfied we were with that option. We investigated other options talked to some friends, teachers, and principals, and we have found a new classroom for Joe. Chris and I visited last Wednesday, Emma & Joe played on the playground on Sunday, and this morning, Chris, Joe, & I spent a couple of hours in the classroom, in music, and Joe went to recess. So.....after lots of deliberation......we are reopening Joe's IEP so that he can attend Red Cedar Elementary School
as a kindergartener next fall! With the support of the principal, the general ed. kindergarten teacher and Mrs Olance, the basic classroom teacher we will create a hybrid program for Joe
that allows flexibility for him to move between classrooms as needed. The basic classroom has children from k-6 who range in abilities and, therefore, in time spent in the general education classroom. Joe will still have ST, OT, PT, & adapt. phys. ed. in this program. We especially like Red Cedar because it is a small school (the kindergarten class we visited had 15 students), it is the international school (ESL kids have their own challenges), it is also the hearing impaired school (again non-typical student population) and the principal is deeply committed to inclusion. This seems like the best learning environment for Joe. Joe was happy and joined right in with the class. As a bonus, when we went to music with Joe's class the music teacher read Anna Celenza's book, The Farewell Symphony, to the class!!!! I almost cried; it felt like Joe had another level of support having Anna there with him. If you haven't read any of Anna's awesome series of children's books on composers click HERE.

Emma & Joe

Joe playing the bongos with his pal Roderick

"Mom, she's reading Anna's book!"

The basic class at Red Cedar Elementary (Joe's feet don't touch the floor)

Look at how happy he is to be there.

Joe helped with the calendar while visiting the class

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


My niece Heather is graduating from High School this week. Here is a photo of her with her parents, Peter & Katheryn, before the prom.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sparrow Superstars

Joe joined the Sparrow Hospital Pediatric Rehab. T-ball team and they had their first game tonight. Joe is probably the youngest kid on the team. They are playing with the Parks and Recreation league during June & July. Here's Joe up at bat.


first base

second base

third base

Joe ran past home and the catcher got tired and needed to sit. Chris's foot is seen on the right edge running after Joe who has now left the field.

Joe's teammates on the field

Tourist in your own town

Emma ran the Michigan Mile with the 7-year-old group on Saturday morning. The race was at the Lug Nuts baseball stadium and we saw lots of friends and had a good 1-mile run. Joe was signed up for the 50-yard dash but he was sick Friday night and needed to sleep in (so did Chris who was up with him from 1-4 PM!)
In the afternoon we participated in "Be a Tourist in Your own Town." We rode the CATA bus around Lansing and had our passports stamped at the local attractions that we visited. Joe & Emma thought riding the bus was the best part of the day. This is Joe sitting on a huge truck that was part of "Construction University" a kids event set up around the construction site in downtown Lansing. We wished cousin Evan was with us. He would have LOVED this site.

Emma at Impression 5 Children's Science Museum, Lansing, MI