Monday, July 20, 2009

Photos of Christmas in July

Please enjoy the album. You will need to turn off the music from the blog (far left bottom corner). You will also have to click thru 2 promos to view the album. Enjoy it! Just think, we are only 5 months from Christmas!

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Christmas in July

On Saturday, July 18, families from our parent division of National Federation of the Blind drove to Christmas, FL. We toured Fort Christmas, which was founded while trying to find the Seminole Indian chief, Osceola.

There were several old homes which have been recreated. It was interesting to turn back time to the early 1900's with these log cabins ranging from very simple to larger, more modernly-equipped homes. The Fort had many old trees all hanging with Spanish moss, giving us a needed breeze.

After seeing these homes, we shared the lunch which everyone brought. Of course, all the calories were taken out! The lunch was great, sharing a quiet time with each other.

Florida Santa came to give out presents to all ... the kids enjoyed sitting by Santa as well as the adults. Everyone had a great time. Santa lost a few pounds with his "light" outfit. While giving out presents, we watched the thunderstorm, which cooled things off a bit.

It was an awesome time - and we will be doing it again next year! All of us really enjoyed the time with friends.

We are also going to be doing a "corn maze" in October with the parents (no, we don't have them here). We will be going north of Orlando and will enjoy the day trying to find our way out of a corn field that has been shaped into a special maze. I am looking forward to it, hopefully with cooler weather!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back from the Motor City

The week in Detroit was awesome! The weather was absolutely gorgeous - cooler in the mornings with low humidity daily. Several times, I had my sweatshirt on. I don't think the temp tipped 80!!! We walked as much as we could outside to enjoy the city and the weather. We did get to ride the People Mover and got to a Hard Rock Cafe for lunch; we walked back to the hotel that day.

There was a lot to do for us - meetings in the morning, afternoon and night. We did not get to bed much for 11, and several times, it was after midnight. Next day, we were up early to get Torrie to her kid camp and us to the meetings.

Torrie and I were in a "Cane Walk" where I was actually taught how to use the cane to walk everywhere - in the hotel, outside, over steps, thru doors (including the circular door you could get stuck in), narrow and wide hallways - it was eye-opening for me. Torrie kept trying to help me by saying "over here mom" but with a blindfold on, I couldn't see her.

We also got to "see" what our kids are seeing. One of the sessions had the visual readers (us) put on goggles to simulate different eye conditions. I got the cataracts given to me - but we didn't know the conditions as we were getting the glasses. I could not see to read - and that was with the goggles on for only about 5 minutes. Her other eye conditions weren't even simulated - and I had problems just with the cataract simulation to get my head in a position to actually SEE the letters. This is what she deals with all the time, along with her other conditions.

Torrie did learn to ride the escalator from a friend who is 14 with albinism and nystagmus (bobbing eyes). Emily and Torrie were inseparable and it was great that the 2 of them bonded so well. The 2 girls went with the other adults from our FL parents division on the People Mover - without us 2 moms. Torrie was soooo excited she said I had to ride "the train." We got to ride and Torrie could not sit still because of the excitement!

Torrie and I did the FULL 5K March on Monday. Torrie was definitely whopped from the walk - but she did it. She was filmed by a TV crew, but with all the other news, the March did not make the TV or newspaper. She may have been the youngest walker. She did get a shirt for the walk and she proudly wore it that Monday and on the plane home.

I have gotten a lot of information that was much needed. It will help to get services for Torrie as she enters kindergarten next year. This year will be the "trial" year where the teacher will have to record what is going on with her. So we will have to wait .... I will be learning Braille and will be teaching Torrie to read Braille with her fingers (not her eyes) so that if the need arises (due to a loss of vision, eye fatigue, headaches, or other physical symptoms from the use of her eyes), she will have Braille.

I did have lunch with 2 cousins and an aunt I have not seen in 30 years! They lived in Detroit and we moved to FL - so we lost touch. We were able to catch up and we will be able to stay in touch. I wish I had had more time to visit with them and see more of Detroit.

I am going to work on a photo collage tomorrow to upload. God opened the French doors for us ... and we walked thru. Now we need to continue that walk with our information to get her services she needs.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Detroit - here we come!

Today we leave from West Palm Beach to go to Detroit - Torrie and I will spend a week there for the National Federation of the Blind convention. Friday is the parents' sessions; there are also a few other things from the parents division taking place during the nights. I will be all ears!!!

The 5K March for Independence is Monday, July 6th - we start at 7:15 am. Torrie and I will be doing the mini-march which is shorter. Thanks to all for your support!

We will also be doing some evals which will help us out. Torrie is excited to be able to see so many others using their canes and guide dogs. She is excited to be staying in a hotel and having gum on the plane.

Please keep us in prayer - for traveling mercies and for God to put us where we need to be and see who we need to see.

David and Bryanna will be picking up the rug in our bedroom and laying a wood laminate floor. It sounds easier than it is -- the rug is the original and has lots of ingrained things! They will have to move all the furniture and then put it all back! I am glad I will not be here for that! My allergies would definitely be in a flare-up! They will be going to friends for July 4th! And yes, David can cook so he will keep them fed! I am sure Bryanna will be spoiling the dogs while we are not here!

Happy July 4th to all!!! Thanks to all and God Bless!!!!