Saturday, December 28, 2013

Portland Trip Pics

For Christmas, we took a family trip, via Amtrak train, to Portland.  We stayed a week, and had an absolute blast. :)

Age-Appropriate Skills

I read recently that a video of a four-year-old blind kid went viral on social media. Okay, first of all, don't get me started on "inspiration porn" where people pass around pictures of cute little disabled kids in order to get a little feel-good rush. Makes me a little crazy. That's actually not what I'm writing about today, though. In this video, what do you suppose this cute little blind boy is doing? He's STEPPING OFF A CURB. For the first time. Really. That's it. I'm not even kidding.

That's not inspirational, people; that's sad! Stepping off a curb is a skill that eighteen-month old kids can master, not four-year-olds.

When people talk about blind kids having age-appropriate skills, this is what they are talking about. Let's quit oohing and aahing over this kid stepping off the curb. Let's give him the freedom to run, to jump, to skateboard, to climb. The only thing holding him back is his parents holding hand too much, and society expecting him to crawl rather than fly.

What should a four/five year old blind kid BE doing?

How about hiking!

Using an escalator.

Walking downtown, leading the pack (which means knowing the route).

Crossing the street and taking a turn pushing the "walk" button.

Jumping on the trampoline.

Sledding. By herself.

Exploring new playground equipment.

Now, I don't post these to brag on Abi. (Well, I am a mom. Of course I am bragging on Abi!) These activities aren't inspirational; they're normal!  I post them to try to blow a few low expectations out of the water. I'd love to see every blind kid running around, using the tools that he or she needs and getting the exercise and experiences that their sighted friends get. It's not at all in the realm of impossible. It's more in the realm of necessary.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Crafting

As a treat for our last day of school before the break, I got out a bunch of craft materials, paints, glue and Christmas music. 

Yesterday, Curly also made a Christmas cake from scratch. For a first attempt, it was pretty tasty, although she wants to try to make it fluffier next time. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Preschool Deliciousness

Bean's Christmas program was tonight. He sang with his trademark enthusiasm and joy. Afterward, we told him what a great job he did, and I've never seen him so wound up. He was too excited even to eat his cookie. Hubby remarked, "He's high on life."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Decorating and Carols

We decorated with a little tree since we are planning to be out of town for Christmas. We also got a tiny tree to take with us!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Designing Bunnies

I think our bunny would like to be an interior decorator!

(Typical kid chaos in background)

Curly Leads

Curly got to lead warm ups in Karate. 

Additional amusement: Abi in the left corner. More enthusiasm than anything else. :)




Sunday, December 8, 2013


This year, following Hubby's increased interest in liturgical worship, we've done more with Advent than in the past. Curly made a little Advent calendar; Hubby has led a new/old song at church called Creator of the Stars of Night; he reads to the kids from an Advent devotional for kids; and we have family Advent candles for the first time. They aren't the traditional purple and pink, as the store was out of those colors. Apparently we aren't alone in lighting Advent candles. 

(I showed Abi the configuration of the candles, let her touch each one, and explained how they were lit in sequence. She informed me that they looked like a family, standing in a cluster like that.)

Anti Cabin Fever

Out of the house, movie projector, a DVD the kids haven't seen before, lots of snacks... A fun and frugal Sunday evening. :)

Like Father, Like Son

Little Mister has zoomed through his math lessons this fall, so instead of moving him ahead to fourth grade math (he is only a first grader, after all) we decided to try some supplemental computer coding for a while. Hubby found an open-source game building program that uses the Legend of Zelda as it's base. It has a visualizer, so he can immediately see the relationship between the code he writes and the way it will appear on the screen. Of course, he loves it! He spent most of the day yesterday on it, and joyfully chattered to us about the choices he made for his imaginary world. 

Special time with Daddy doesn't hurt either. :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Indoor Camping

Daddy had to work late tonight. So, we made a long, cold evening fun by going camping in the house. We built a fire in the fireplace and roasted chicken on the fire. Of course, we ate our camping food in the mess kits from the hiking stuff! Hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows finished the meal, and then, once it was good and dark, we turned on flashlights and read stories. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Preschool Thanksgiving Feast

At last, it was Bean's turn to host the family at the Thanksgiving Feast. As we sang "Turkey in the Straw," I reflected that this was my fourth Feast. Love it.