Welcome, Spring!

This weekend was chilly, and today was rainy, but what gorgeous weather we had last weekend!  The temperatures got up into the 70’s and we were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.  I had the day off last Friday, so while the big boys were at school, Mark and I took the little ones to the park.

Ben and Nate both went on swings and slides for the first time!  They had an awesome time.  We really should go to the park more often.  They both took good naps that day.

Nate’s an old pro with slides now.  His Sunday School class at church has a little slide in the room and he’s so thrilled that he doesn’t mind me leaving him there during services.

On Saturday morning, Isaac had a piano recital.  After the recital the boys were able to run and play outside for a bit.  Saturday evening we were invited to some friends’ house for dinner.  The beautiful weather continued, and the boys were able to play with their friends in their large fenced backyard until after dark.

Nate was given this balloon by someone during Isaac’s recital.  We hoped it would keep him quiet.  It didn’t.

Jonny thought he’d try his friend’s skateboard and found it was harder than it looked.  In any case, his friend told him that he shouldn’t be skateboarding in his “handsome clothes”.

Nate found the chip bowl:

I am SO glad that winter is over!

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Mini-Vacation

I get a half-day off work once a week. Lately, that half-day has been spent sleeping! Last week, however, was quite different. Mark picked me up from work and we drove to Hershey, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away. Mark thought it would be nice to visit the lovely Hershey Gardens. I’d never been there before, although we’d once lived in the Hershey area for 4 years.

It was early afternoon when we arrived, but the temperature was probably in the mid to upper 70’s and quite pleasant. We began at the Children’s Garden where Jonny’s found his favorite attraction – the Hershey Kiss fountain.

We visited the Butterfly House. We learned so much about the life cycle of butterflies!

If you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see Isaac has caught a butterfly on his card.

We did lots of walking, but fortunately for my swollen ankles, there were plenty of benches around. Ben slept for most of the beginning of our trip, but eventually awoke. He really enjoyed seeing all the trees and flowers.

Finally, the big boys began to get whiny and hungry, so we headed to Friendly’s for dinner and some ice cream.

What an awesome afternoon! It felt more like a mini-vacation than a typical half-day, although I still managed to nap on the drive to and from Hershey!

Pennsylvania CdLS Gathering

Ben at CdLS gathering 

This weekend we attended our first ever CdLS family gathering!

On Friday I rearranged my schedule to work just a half-day, thinking that we would be ready to leave as soon as Isaac got home from school at 3 pm.  I should have known better – we are not the world’s most organized family, so we actually set out closer to 5:00 pm.  All three boys tolerated the car ride amazingly well.  The older two are quiet as long as their Gameboys are charged, and Ben slept most of the way there. 

The family gathering took place the next day at the Center for Creative Play in Pittsburgh, PA.  What a neat place that was!  I wish we had something like that in our little town.  We were surprised at how many people were there.  There were about 14 individuals with CdLS (and I think Ben was the youngest one there; the oldest person with CdLS was 28 years old), and lots of friends and family.  We met some truly wonderful families and parents, and enjoyed meeting all the kids.  It was surreal seeing all these kids whom we’ve never met before who look so much like Ben.  (BTW: I’m not posting any of their photos here because I didn’t ask their parents’ permission to do so.)

Isaac and Jonny castle 

Mark spent most of the meeting time out in the play area with the boys, while I stayed and listened to the speakers.  Ben really loved this wooden activity center.  (I wonder where we can buy one like it.)  Ben enjoyed being held by lots of different people, and he was quiet and content for the most part.

Ben at CdLS gathering 2

The food was good.  They even had our favorite pizza with basil and tomato!  And it was nice to see all of these kids with CdLS who were eating by mouth!  🙂

Eating

Truthfully, before we went to the family gathering, both Mark and I approached this weekend with some trepidation.  We weren’t sure how we would handle seeing some of the older kids and adults with CdLS, and we worried that it would be too overwhelming.  For me, anyway it turned out not to be as scary as I expected (although Mark’s experience was a little different, so I won’t speak for him).  I have a sister with developmental disabilities who is now 24, and the older kids reminded me so much of her. 

I hope we get the opportunity to attend more meetings in the future.  Mom: you will have to come and bring Maryam too!  😉