Saturday, July 26, 2008

Joe & Tim

Joe met his pal Tim at the school playground yesterday for an hour of climbing and running around. It's great to have a friend in the neighborhood.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dinner & Dancing

Now that I am home we have resumed our tradition of dancing after dinner.

Birthday party

While I was away Joe went to his friend Rylie's birthday party. He had a fun time with his friends from the Orange Room in Spartan Child Development Center. One of my big anxieties is that Joe has had fewer party invitations than Emma. I was so happy that he was invited and that he had fun with the other kids.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mid Career Summer Camp

Here are the people that I hung out with last week at the mid-career seminar. I still can't believe I am mid-career.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Joe & Chris

I am away this week at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana for a mid-career (yes, I am mid-career, when did that happen?) teaching seminar for Religious Studies professors at the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning. Chris is managing the kids on his own this week. From this photo that was sent this morning, it looks like Joe is being a big help to Chris with research in his office.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Up North

Tomorrow morning we are taking our first trip up north in Michigan. Although we have lived here for 10 years we have never vacationed further north than Holland, MI. Tomorrow we are going to The Homestead in Glen Arbor, MI. While we are there we are going to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes and Joe is going to pick up his America the Beautiful National Parks Lifetime Access Pass.

I found a notice of this book on Michelle's blog: Elliot's Expeditions. Read more about it HERE.

Sight words

I found and downloaded literacy materials from the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County. It is part of their Learning Program geared specifically to kids with DS. Joe started working with the materials this week. It is an easy system based on matching pictures and then matching words. First I began by having Joe match the pictures of food (apple, ice cream, watermelon, hot dog, etc) and after he got the hang of the game, we began to match words. Joe surprised me by reading "apple" off of the first card before we had begun. I think that he has seen it so many times on flashcards that he has memorized it as a "sight word." I also picked up new flash cards (2 boxes of identical cards) in the $1 bins at Target and I am supplementing the materials that I downloaded. I am not sure for how long he will put up with this "game" but for now he seems to enjoy it.

The word and picture charts taped to a poster board.

Joe matching food pictures.

Tasty Twist

We have lots of great ice cream places in E. Lansing, but the kids love Tasty Twist the best.

The bobsie twins.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

MSU Sports Skills

David Opsommer, son of Mary & Bob Opsommer, is featured in The State News today. David was in Joe's swimming session with the MSU Sports Skills Program this year. He also saw Joe's speech therapist Kim Boyd for many years. Over the past year Mary has given me a lot of good advice and receives a gold star for listening to me rant for an entire swim session after Joe's spring I.E.P. Around that same time, we had a conversation about birthday parties and my sadness that no one from Joe's preschool attended or even RSVP-ed his 4th birthday party. (This year we didn't invite the kids in his class, and as it turned out, one kid ended up attending--whatever). Listening to her talk on the video I am reminded how important it is to have peers (parents & our kids) and how glad I am to know this family. Click HERE to view the video.

What Do You Think?

I have been thinking about this painting on and off for ohhh...hmmm...about 5 years. Someone pointed it out to me a few months after Joe was born. Recently I saw it again on another blog "Cause of Our Joy" and I am back to pondering it. It was painted by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1606) and Italian artist who was also a father to a ton of children. Some people have speculated that the depiction of Jesus is drawn from one of his sons. A recent article "At Home with Down Syndrome" reviewing books about DS (including Jennifer's "Road Map to Holland) begins the review with a brief discussion of the painting. There is a lot of debate about whether or not Jesus is--or is not--enhanced by an extra chromosome. Does it matter? What do you think?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I can't believe it but this big kid looks like he is ready to begin kindergarten in the fall. I think that Joe grew an inch in the last week.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's Good to Be Joe

I took this photo last night at the T-ball game. This is exactly how I picture Joe in my mind these days. Happy, healthy, looking right at the world, with a naughty dimple in his left cheek.