Friday, August 24, 2012

I Dreamed.........

The Republican National Convention has been on my mind a bit the past week.
It is being held here in Tampa.
If I could vote, I would probably vote Republican.
(No hate comments, you will be deleted without any hesitation......I like Mitt)
But, that isn't why it has been on my mind.
Every morning and every afternoon I have to drive past downtown Tampa to get to Sam's school.  I can go 2 different ways.  Next week, one of those ways will be closed because of the Republican National Convention.
It is my favorite way.
It is my quickest way.
It is the way with the least amount of traffic.
I know that I am not the only one in this predicament.
So, next week I have to go another way.
The way I usually come home, but I hate to go that way.
Several people have suggested that I stay in a hotel on the beach for that week and not worry about traffic at all.
But, now there is the possibility of a hurricane coming our way.
I do not want to be stuck at the beach if that happens!
So, instead, I will drive through this.....
I think because all this has been on my mind.
Last night I had a dream.......
I dreamed that this Sunday Mitt Romney and his family were sitting behind us at church.
Samuel liked the look of his family and climbed over the pew and onto Mitt Romney's lap.  He then proceeded to insist that Mitt Romney play Jelly Cars on the IPad.
Governor Romney was very good, you could tell he has grandsons!
Dreams, we all have them.
I started to think about the other kind of dreams.
The dreams we have of our future - or our present.
When we were little we would dream of what we wanted to be when we grew up.
Who we would marry.
Where we would live.
Dreams for our life.
When we grow older.....
I mean older, middle aged older, and even older than that.
Do we still have dreams?
I mean more that goals.
For myself, I don't know......
and that makes me sad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good-byes & New Beginnings.......

Well, it is extremely obvious that I need to do some serious catching up on my blog!
But, before I even begin to attempt that grandiose feat........
here is what has been happening the past 2 weeks or so.
For the past 2 years Samuel has been attending Sydney's School.
He has grown in leaps and bounds.
The therapists and teachers there have worked with him, have loved him and taught him.
They have given Jim and I the skills and tools we need to help Sam, and us!!!!
Words will never be able to express how we feel about the changes for Sam over the past 2 years.
Here is a post I did at the beginning of school last year
First Day of Kindergarten
The 4th of August was Sam's last day at Sydney's School.
I cried.
I just realized that I never posted about how and why we ended up at Sydney's school.  I will, but not today.
I put together a little video, I think that will show why Sydney's School will always have a place in our hearts.

Yesterday, 20th August, Samuel started a new chapter in his life. 
Yesterday was his first day at Morning Star School!
His 1st grade teacher is Mrs. Castaneda.
He had a wonderful day. 
 I didn't get a photo yesterday, but I did this morning.  I am glad that I waited, be sure and take a close look at Sam's big smile!!!
I was hoping that it would be a bit more noticeable, but Sam is missing a upper, front tooth!

We are looking forward to a great year for Samuel!!!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hi Benny!!!!

I didn't have an imaginary friend when I was growing up.  I may have one or two now........just not when I was a child.
I'm just kidding about having one or two now....
You know I'm kidding......right????  Right?????
I did like to dress-up.  I liked to dress-up as Batman.

My children have all had great imaginations.  Joshua and Jessica have not had any imaginary friends, at least that I know about.
When Jessica was little, she would come out of her room dressed as a Princess, Sheriff or maybe a Cowboy.  She would announce that, "Today, I am Sheriff Jessie!"  That is what she had to be called all day, and that is how she dressed all day.

Sam has always had a pretty good imagination.  That isn't always the case with children who have Autism.  But, Sam has a playful sense of humor and a good imagination.  After all, we have trains passing through our living room on a regular basis!
There are many discussions on whether they are fast or slow, going left or right.
We often cannot pass from one room to the other because we have to wait for the train signal to go up.  We have caused a whole mob of people to stop in their tracks at Busch Gardens while we wait for the signals to go up.........Sam's imaginary ones, not the ones actually going over tracks............
As a side note.
We have grown to love the sound of the trains as they speed past Jim's new office.
Because they bring such joy to our little boy.

Yesterday, we were at the office getting ready to go swimming.
Sam came running into the reception area.
Throwing his arms open wide, he declared, "This is my friend Benny!"
There wasn't anyone there.
"Where did you meet Benny?" I asked.
"I don't know," was the reply.
After asking a few questions, I found out that Benny is seven-years-old, his birthday is September 25th and he has brown hair like Sam.  Benny couldn't go swimming because he had to go to the hospital. 
After we had been swimming about 30 minutes, Samuel announced that Benny was back from the hospital and was now jumping into the pool.
Much laughing and splashing ensued.......

How long will Benny be with us??
I don't know.
I felt like I needed to put a picture of Benny in my post, so, I googled
The results were a little frightening, so there will not be any photos of Benny here.
Go on, google it, it dare ya!!!!  I triple dog dare ya!!!!!

Sally-Ann & Benny

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sad news to share.........

Just read some sad news.
Sad in our house anyway.
Three of the Wiggles are retiring!!!

Sam does not watch very much television, but, a few years ago, he would watch the Wiggles.
We even went to a Wiggles concert!!!

Sam's favorite song was "Fruit Salad."
He still sings it.......

So, I have included "Fruit Salad" for your listening pleasure.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Escalators by the Temple McDonald's.........Cheap Entertainment

Sooooo, when we went to Utah for Joshua's graduation, Samuel started a new fixation.
I mentioned "the escalators" in one of my previous posts, but didn't elaborate all that much.
There is a new mall in downtown Salt Lake City, a fantastic mall to be exact. 

Sam loved the food court because they have a McDonald's. 

Everyone else in the family loves the food court because it has a huge variety of food options.
By the food court there is a series of escalators going down all the levels of the parking garage and up to the second level of the mall.

The mall is across the road from the Salt Lake Temple for our church.
Every time we asked Samuel what he would like to do, he replied, "I want to go to Temple McDonald's and then ride the escalators."
So, that is what we did several times.

Today in the cartoon section of the newspaper, there was the following cartoon.

It reminded me of our trip to Utah.
In fact, Sam still asks, "Are we going to Utah on Tuesday to ride the escalators by the Temple McDonald's?"

Sadly, I have to tell him, "No."
 Have you ridden an escalator today?
Try it, it is a good thing.......


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day.......songs, flowers, red hats & more!

On Friday, Sam's school held a special Mother's Day program.
They all sang us some songs.
Here they are all ready to sing
"You are my Sunshine."
In this shot they are performing their closing number......
I was very sad because my memory card filled up.  But, I still managed to get some video! 

Can you pick out Sam???

After a wonderful performance, we went back to the classroom.
There, waiting for us, was some wonderful gifts, handmade especially for us!!!
A card,
memo board,
laminated place mat,
handwritten letter,
a BEAUTIFUL red hat with a butterfly magnet clipped to it!!
There was also a wonderful feast waiting for us.

I truly appreciate all the time Samuel's teacher and therapists put into helping make it such a wonderful day.  Two years ago I wondered if Samuel would ever be able to participate in this type of event.  Well, he has, he does and he will.

Sam's letter
"I like to hang out with Mum. 
We like to play at the play ground. 
 I love running! 
After words we go to lunch. 
I like PB and J. 
I love you Mum."

It was a 1/2 day for Sam's school, so Jessica, Sam and I went off to the Florida Aquarium for the rest of the afternoon.  We haven't been for quite some time, so I thought it would be fun.  Sam was most excited because......
at the aquarium........
there is.........
Sam told me, "It is only one level, not like the escalator in Utah, but that is OK."

A very good day.
Definitely got my  fill of "happy!"

Today was also a good day!
Jim made French Toast for breakfast and I had the treat of having breakfast in bed.
It was a good day at church.  The Primary children and the YM/YW (12-18 year-olds) sang a song for their mothers.  Good lessons taught.  A fairly lazy afternoon.  We all went to the cemetery and put a rose on Emma's grave, she is always in my heart, but on Mother's day.......can't express the feelings today.
Jim made a wonderful dinner, Jessica cleaned up, Joshua called and Samuel.......well, Samuel did what Samuel does! 
After Samuel quizzing us all with "tell the time" flashcards, he is now fast asleep and I am waiting patiently for the video to download!!!  It take sooooo long!  But, I want to share the joy!

I love being a Mum.
I love my husband.
I love my children.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spring Break in the Keys

I have already done one post about our Spring break in Marathon.
Yesterday I finally downloaded our pictures.
 We had some kayaks at the house we stayed at.
The little jetty and launch area was literally 5 steps from our back veranda.
 Jim was a very brave adventurous brave man and took his Dad and Sam out for a paddle.
 They were not gone very long.......
 I couldn't watch.
 Sam thought it was great fun and wanted to go again.
Jim did go out again.
Very, very early in the morning......
by himself.
The neighbors boat
 View from the back veranda
 Our dock
 This is how the veranda railing looked most of the time!
 The pool.
See the alligator lurking by the side of the pool?
I sat and blew that thing up with my own hot air.
Do you think Sam was grateful???
No, didn't ride on it once!!!!
It is now sitting next to our pool......deflated.
 Dual "Jelly Cars" or, possibly, "Blast Monkeys"
 Mom and Dad.........relaxing with Pringles
 We went on a sunset cruise.
 Sam waiting patiently
 Mom, Dad and Jessica
Not sure what Jessica is doing
 Michelle and Jim
Sam contemplating an apple slice
 There is our house!!
The one with the swimsuits and towels hanging over the veranda!!!
 Here it is again!
You know, just in case you missed it the first time!!!

 So serious........
 The Seven Mile Bridge
 Had to stop and think why I took a picture of this restaurant by the 7 mile bridge.
The kids can swim in a pool there while parents sit poolside and eat.
I am assuming that the kids can eat as well if they choose to do so!
Sam and me

 Me and Sam
 A little bit of pole dancing
 Jim saying something "smart"
 Me about to reply
 Jim, Sally-Ann, Jessica and Samuel
 Mom and Dad
 Jessica, Sally-Ann, Jim, Samuel, Dad, Mom and Michelle

 Sam and Captain Jim

The boat's name is Lady Catherine.
Here is Jessica with Captain Jim's wife, Catherine in the background.

Great people and if you are ever trying to decide what to do in Marathon, Florida.......
here is the link
They do fishing, diving as well as the sunset cruises.

It was a fun evening!!