Today we went to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. We rode the train and the tram, we braved the rain, we rode the carousel, then we walked through the African zoo and saw giraffes, zebras, monkeys and lots of other animals and took a ranger readiness test while walking along the trail!. We hadn't been to that zoo in years it definitely was worth the hour drive.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
We ordered a pair of glasses from Specs.4.us and after a couple of tries, we found the perfect size and shape for Joe's face. We picked them up today and he has reluctantly put them on for a few minutes at a time. We will send them to school in his backpack on Tuesday and hope that he wears them when he looks at the board.
The weather is beautiful and we have been going to the pool every afternoon. Joe has given up his life jacket and is swimming semi-independently in the pool. He is really improving! Emma brought her friend Jana to the pool today and they worked on jumping off the platforms and diving boards at the same time.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Joe's school had its International Festival of Cultures. The children at Red Cedar school represent 50 countries, 13 states and 47 languages. The kids sang in 12 different languages. There was a jump rope show and a fan dance. Joe's principal Mrs. Emerson is retiring this year after 9 years at Red Cedar. She loves the song "What a Wonderful World." If you look closely you can see that a few notes from the song are painted on the mural of the wall in the outdoor amphitheatre. The children ended the performance by singing the song. We were so proud of Joe and how well he sang in the show. Joe is in the blue T-shirt on the left. This is what inclusion looks like.
Joe has been working hard on drawing in school and at home. It is very challenging for him to hold the pencil or marker firm enough and with enough control to create pictures (this is also a challenge for him with writing). He is easily frustrated and does not generally like to practice drawing for longer than a few minutes. He was very proud when he came home yesterday because he had a booklet in his backpack that was a story about what animals like to do. On the last page, it asks, what do YOU do? Joe drew a picture of himself swimming. He kept saying, "look mama, Joe is swimming! I like to swim!" Then he asked me to take a picture and put it on the computer. Here it is.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Today was the annual garden day at Marble school. This will be my last year volunteering because Emma will move to another school for 5th grade. Today I worked on the petunia beds. The kids made a giant "M" for Marble in one bed and in the other bed they arranged the petunias in the shape of 3 peace signs.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
We ended our weekend of soccer, horseback riding, and the arts festival with our first dip in the MSU outdoor pool. I can't believe it is warm enough to swim outdoors. We were really excited to get in and happy to see some friends at the pool. Emma reports that she was a little scared for her first jump off the 5 meter platform but by the time we left it was like we never had a long winter break from the outdoor pool. Joe loves, loves, loves swimming.
This afternoon Emma and I walked to the arts festival downtown. We wandered around, checked out the art and listened to some great music. Emma found some clothes that she liked (see photos) and I found lots of breakable things that I didn't purchase. Joe and Chris drove to a parking lot and took the shuttle bus downtown. That was a big deal. All 4 of us took the bus back to the lot. My kids just love riding on the local CATA buses. It was in the mid-80s today, perfect arts festival weather.
We are hoping to sell our home this summer and buy a house that can better accommodate our family. Finally the weather has warmed up and the flowers have begun to bloom. When I went out to get the paper this morning I saw a couple of bunnies eating at the "All You Can Eat Buffet" also known as my garden. They are so cute, I don't mind if they eat all the flowers. This bunny is just nibbling at the lawn.
Emma's German pen pal Jana is in town this weekend. Jana is our neighbor's niece who lives in Germany. The girls met four years ago and since then they have exchanged letters through the mail. Jana is here for a couple of days and the girls are having fun catching up. Here they are in our yard playing soccer after their initial reunion.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For Joe's birthday, Daniel, Molly and Charlie gave Joe a "playdate" gift. On Saturday they picked him up and brought him to Jumping Jax for a morning of jumping fun. After that, they went out to lunch. This is the first time that Joe has gone on a playdate without me or Chris tagging along. It was very exciting to see him take this next step toward independence!
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Emma invited a new friend from her soccer team for a sleepover last weekend. It was a fun evening for the girls but also wonderful for the whole family because Emma's new friend easily included Joe in their activities. Emma's friends like Joe but they are not always so eager to allow him to participate in their games.