It was the first weekend in a long time when we didn't have anything planned and we were all healthy!
So, we decided to take a little road trip to the Jersey Shore (or, in Jersey-speak, "Down the Shore"). The kids were very excited when we told them we were going to the beach. Of course, they thought they would be swimming and playing in the sand. They didn't realize they would need hats and gloves =)
Our destination was Sandy Hook, NJ, which is basically the most-northern part of the Jersey Shore. You can see New York City across the water.
We tried to take in some lighthouses, but because of the ice, we were not allowed to the tops.
We did have a great time on the beach, despite no swimming. The kids had a lot of fun collecting shells...and there were thousands of them to choose from. I guess that is one perk of going to the beach in the middle of winter. =)
Twin Lighthouses in Highlands, NJ. NYC in the background (look really hard!) Inside Twin Lighthouse museum Twin Lighthouses (one of them) and museum Collecting Shells at Sandy Hook A walk on the beach at Sandy Hook There's NYC Again! Stay out of the water, Charlie! Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Last Saturday was Charlie's birthday party. Flat Stanley was very excited that he got to celebrate with him.
For Charlie's party, we went glow-bowling. All the kids loved the glowing balls and pins. At first, Flat Stanley was slightly nervous about being run over by a ball, but then he realized that he was already flat! I am not sure what his final score was, but I think we might see Flat Stanley on the PBA tour sometime soon. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. It is time for us to send Flat Stanley to another family for some other adventures. We will be putting him in the mail tomorrow.
Thanks, Owen, of Mrs. Veeh's from Fremont Elementary School in Glendale, CA for sharing Flat Stanley with our family. We hope he had as much fun with us, as we did with him!
C: "Obi Wan, This is Annakin. Come in, Obi Wan." P: "Copy Annakin. This is Obi Wan" C: "The Jedi Temple has been Destroyed, do you have the map to the new location" P: "I have the map with me in my escape pod." C: "Great! I will get in my escape pod and meet you on Tatooine." P: "Roger Roger"
Flat Stanley is so excited to be visiting us because he also gets a chance to learn a little bit about children with special needs, in particular, Down syndrome.
Today, Flat Stanley participated in therapy with Anna, and I could barely believe it that he is almost as flexible as she is! Maybe we should get Flat Stanley some orthotics as well! =) Tomorrow is Charlie's birthday party. Flat Stanley is really looking forward to some birhtday cake!
Flat Stanely has come to visit our house...and it looks like he will be here awhile longer because of the snow!
Most of you are probably familiar with Flat Stanley. Flat Stanely is based on a series of books about a boy, Stanley Lambchop, who is completely flat. He has all kinds of adventures, by sliding under doors and being mailed around the world. You can read about him on Wikipedia, or better yet, pick up the books and read them with your kids...they are certain to enjoy them!
Flat Stanley came to visit back in early January. We had all sorts of plans for him, but most of them have been derailed by one illness after another. We have been trying to keep Flat Stanley from getting sick, as well. I mean, seriously, how to take the temperature of someone who is completely flat?!
Flat Stanley even made it to Boston with Jonathan one week, but never saw the sites because Jonathan was too sick (strep throat) to hardly live, let alone take a flat boy out on an adventure. Flat Stanley was kind enough to do some filing in Jonathan's briefcase while he was hanging out in there, though.
So, when we heard about the big snow storm headed our way, we decided it was time for Flat Stanley to have some fun! (Flat Stanley came to us from Glendale, California, so we are not sure how much snow he has seen before.)
And, boy, did we get snow! Flat Stanley could not believe how much snow there was! He had fun sledding with Anna. And he built a snowman with Paige.
We are not quite ready to send Flat Stanley on, yet. We have a few more things planned. We figure, since he is here, he might like to participate in one of Anna's therapy sessions and learn more about individuals with Down syndrome. And, of course, Flat Stanley wants to go to Charlie's birthday party on Saturday!
If anyone is interested in having Flat Stanley come visit their home, just shoot me an email with your address. I am sure his adventures with you will be much more exciting!
The Northeast got hammered by snow today. Schools were canceled last night before the first flake even fell...with good reason!
We are all feeling better after a round of stomach virus swept through our house, and we got to enjoy a fun Snow Day!
Charlie was extra excited to have, yet another, day off from school (He missed Monday and Tuesday due to illness). He was especially excited to have his birthday be a snow day.
So, since I can't make it go away...I decided that we might as go out and enjoy the fluffy white stuff. We went out in the morning, before it got too cold and blustery in the afternoon, for some sledding and playing in the snow with the neighbor kids. Anna loved sledding with Mommy. She was even giggling when the snow flew up into her face.
But, really...enough is enough. We have had our fun. Now Winter, Be gone!
He is funny and clever. He gets jokes and humor that goes over the head of a lot of kids. He is always inventing new toys or games or ways to get things done.
He is sweet and sensitive. He loves his sisters to death...especially Anna. He is very protective of them and makes sure they are included. (He is also a typical big brother -- picking on them to no end!) And, you would be blessed to hear him pray sometime...so sweet and heartfelt!
He is fast and agile. Man! You should see this kid run or ride his scooter! And he is getting pretty good with his light saber moves, as well =)
He is smart and has a great memory. Not too much gets by Charlie. He is pretty quick, listens well, and will remember what you said.
He is quiet and thoughtful. Charlie, though he has plenty of friends, is definitely not a social butterfly,. He's just not a big talker - especially in a group. One of his favorite activities is just spending some time with his Pooh Bear. (You can also frequently find him playing with his Legos and Star Wars figures)
Yep -- Charlie is a pretty cool little kid! Happy Birthday, my little man!
Well, we had about 3 days of everyone feeling well...but we knew it was too good to be true.
It started about 2 am Sunday morning with Anna. She threw up her previous night's dinner for about 3 hours. Fortunately, it was quickly over. By the time she woke up on Sunday morning (about 9 am), she was back to her usual perky self.
Then, this morning about 6 am, Charlie got sick, followed a few hours later by Paige.
And now, I finally got my turn at being sick.
Pray for my poor husband who is having to deal with all of sickies. (But, Praise the Lord that he is able to work from home this week to help take care of everyone!)
I hate stomach viruses! Go away germs!
Oh -- and while I am at it...I hate winter! Go away snow!
We picked up Anna's orthotics (Supra-Malleolar Orthosis, or SMOs) last week.
Aren't they cute? It is hard to believe these little pieces of plastic can make such a big difference....and that they cost so much! We didn't have any shoes that fit her new SMOs. Without her SMOs, Anna wears a size 4, and has a very narrow foot. With her SMOs; however, she is a size 5 (at least), and it is difficult to find a shoe that fits around the ankle where the straps are. Velcro-strap shoes are out. And the more supportive shoes have too much padding around the ankle area. So, we ended up with these snazzy Converse All-stars for just over $5 from Target. Orthotics need a little bit of bling, right? =) Anna wears the SMOs during most of the day while she is awake and playing, and she does not seem to mind them. Hopefully, when she finally decides to go ahead and stand up, they will work the magic they are designed for, and Anna will be up and cruising in no time!
Anna Banana Pants is our third child who has a little something extra...an extra 21st chromosome. Having a child with Down syndrome is not the life sentence that many believe it to be. In fact, it is the probably the greatest blessing we have received as a family. This blog is about Anna, and our everyday family life.