Monday, June 5, 2017

Foster Kittens

A former classmate of mine from high school does fostering for abandoned kittens. She posts on Facebook, and I told her if she ever has or kittens than she can handle, give me a call. Well, two weeks ago, she did! 


Seven kittens and their scrawny teenaged mama have taken residence in our living room!

We named them after items on the great British baking show.

The mama we called Mary Berry. The kittens are Baguette, Ciabatta, Croissant, Pudding Swiss roll, Tiramisu and Macaron. 







Solo Walk

Abi's Mobility lesson today was a solo walk. Two blocks and a couple of street crossings. 

I took a video of both times she did it. The first, she got lost because the exit from the park is a diagonal. She problem solved and got re-oriented and came home. We re-worked it and she tried it again. 

As you'll see, there were some very concerned older gentlemen who asked questions, but thankfully the second one when she said she didn't need help respected her and didn't creepy-stalk her all the way home. 

It kind of blows people's minds that a blind nine year old can learn to walk around, I guess. 

First time 


Second time 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Everything Coming Together

Okay, I'm gonna brag today. I had to learn the Nemeth braille code for times (and fractions) this weekend, watch a YouTube video on how to do multi-digit multiplication on an abacus, understand it enough to teach it, find a worksheet at the right level online, print it out, transcribe it into braille and emboss it, and calculate the answer myself... all in order to teach this lesson. 

And I did! And she got it!!! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

First Mud Milkshake

Ducks love mud! Apparently it looks a bit scary at first...

Once somebody gets brave, it doesn't take long for everyone to notice. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017


After Puddles died, we reinforced the dog fence and decided to get some ducklings to replenish our flock. 




Their names are: Lucky, Lucy, Egghead, Fluffhead and Squeaky? Maybe. 

No Snow At the Cabin!





Easter Afternoon

We enjoyed Ethiopian food with friends, then we went to a local park to enjoy the lovely spring weather. 



Lego Challenge


At the little science and technology center near our house, the kids and I participated in a Lego building challenge, and our race car won second place. Best of all, we had a lot of fun. 

Dance mania

Abi's doing Tap and ballet; Bean decided he wanted to join ballet since it was after hip hop and he is there anyway. He didn't think he'd like it, but to his surprise, he does!



This year, in addition to Tap, Abi wanted to try ballet. Since she was little, she has dreamed of learning ballet, and since she is strong, flexible and willing to practice detailed techniques, I figured she would be pretty good at it. 

Her dance teacher was a little hesitant, not ever having had a blind student before. Ballet is a visual medium, and she didn't know how it would work. Luckily, she is open minded and willing to try. So we dove in. 

It was soon apparent that Abi would need both a private lesson and a class in order to keep up. I was right that she is naturally very strong and flexible. It was also apparent that she needed someone with her to translate the teacher's visual directions into tactile ones, or give verbal instruction when the teacher forgot. 

The hard part is just giving her the information she needs to create the forms with her body. Once she gets it right, her muscle memory is good enough she will repeat it correctly. 

Sometimes I move her hands or feet. Sometimes she touches the teacher's feet. Sometimes verbal instructions work. Sometimes we use an artist's mannequin to show her. She is patient and so are we, and she is doing amazingly well. She can make the forms correctly, can skip around the space, either using echoes or following another dancer, and can jump and turn, including spotting with her face pointed the right way. 

Best of all, she absolutely loves it! She loves the concentration and focus that it takes, and she loves the grace and beauty. 



Ducky Sadness

Sadly, a month ago, Puddles the Duck met with her demise when the puppy played too rough with her. I was heartbroken. 


Pictures from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Family involvement:

Matt: Duke Theseus
Me: Asst Director, Set designer/artist, asst costumer, set crew, kid wrangling, makeup crew
Natalie: fairy Cobweb
Seth: props manager
Abi: Sprite
Cody: Changeling Boy