Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pictures of the Day-O Man

Thankfully he did not start it off with the first verse of 'work all night on a drink of Rum' That would have gone over really well on the State Capitol Building steps!

With Acer is Tim Paulding, the vocalist, who also happens to share one of Acer's eye conditions, Bilateral Microphthalmia.

Finally able to catch my breath; now to work on catching you all up!

By Heather

Wow, We've out of school for 2 1/2 weeks and boy have we been busy! We've only had 3 days of down time, and we have been all over the city and even across the state.

On June 21st, Calli started GoalBall day camp. Once again, we traveled down to Detroit early in the morning. Acer accompanied us, and played on the playground and in the auditorium while we waited for Calli. This year there were 9 kids, much better for teams of 3 than last year when there were only 6 (one of whom didn't want to play and would quit mid-game). Calli was happy to be playing again, although she was not happy with her blocking and said she was going to do better. On the way home I ran over a chunk of tire, and it took out my power steering cooling, Sigh, More money.

June 22 was the Braille-A-Thon on the steps of the capitol in Lansing. Calli kicked the event off by singing 'The Star Spangled Banner' with about 2 minutes warning. She sang at a podium that was almost as tall as she. It was an event to bring awareness of Braille to the elected officials, and to put a face on users of Braille. We'd thought it was a competition, and Calli had bought a full page slate and stylus with her own money. She loves it, but I don't know if we'd have ordered it if we hadn't thought she'd be using it to compete. The kids' godmother Steph and her son Rain met us there, and there were events that got him interested in Braille himself. It was a good setup and the kids were able to earn tickets to buy prizes. Two men provided the entertainment, one with an elaborate keyboard and the other with vocals. At one point, Acer decided to take them up on their open mike offer and he stood their on the capitol steps, singing Day-o. The cuteness factor was pretty overwhelming at that point and many formally dressed people walking by had huge grins at the sight. Here is an article, with Acer's picture prominently featured. If you look just to the right here, on my FB badge on the sidebar, you can see him standing with an microphone, iintent, singing in his raspy voice,and you'll understand why people were so amused.

June 23 was the Technology sizzler put on by our local BVI agency. Cousin Brandon was with us, and we had a good time. Acer won a toy in the drawing, but the was put out that it didn't come with batteries :( we connected with a few places to but nifty tech toys, and Calli saw a lot of people she'd met before and exchanged phone numbers happily. After lunch, we had the mist exciting time of the day. I'd decided to put the kids leftover soda into their water bottles to keep it safe and so that we didn't have to carry it around. well, who knew that Acer's camelback bottle would be pressurized and when he finally opened it it would squirt two feet up into the air, all over Acer, splashing the stair he was sitting us on, and setting Brandon and myself off into uncontrolled laughter. We used Acer's shirt to mop up, and then I got another shirt for him from another booth. Thank heavens we'd gotten him Sprite! I think the look on all our faces must've been priceless - I mean soda - 2' up in the air from a water bottle! Oh yes, when Acer's name was called, he told them he would be up to get his prize later as he was eating. He had potato chips, a treat and didn't want to be interrupted. It's all about priorities!

June 24 was back to Goalball camp, this time with Brandon as a Shanghaied assistant. Earlier I'd noticed that they had few helpers and more kids this year and as he is looking for a job, I volunteered him. I have a great nephew in case you hadn't figured that out. So we went all went down and Acer and I amused ourselves again and Brandon and Calli had fun. Calli said she played better and was happier with her blocking. Her coach said he could easily see he making the state team in the future, quite the compliment! We took my car back to the car place, the power steering pump was damaged on Monday too, more money yet.

June 25, The last day of Goalball camp, and Calli was very pleased with her playing. She wore hip pads, I think they're from hockey, and played center. She blocked all the balls except one. She was really doing well. Brandon put on blinders and got to play too, a little one on one, and found he liked it himself. Maybe he can help her practice now when he comes over!

Acer and I went on an adventure, we went to the local public radio, our favorite one that plays classical music, WRCJ, and toured the studio. The air conditioning was out, so we didn't actually spend much time in the booth, but the DJ, Jack Goggin, showed us around between numbers. Thankfully, classical pieces tend to be long so we have plenty of time. I didn't realize the extent that computers had taken over the job. I thought that they at least had to put cd's in and push buttons, but no, it's all computerized and the DJ just has to make the interesting little bits of info announcements in between. Acer was kind of disappointed that the traffic guy wasn't there live in the studio, but our host, Jack Goggin, piped in an announcement from earlier in the day to show Acer how it was done (not broadcast, just in the studio).

After we picked Calli and Brandon up from Goalball, because we were relatively close, we went to Guitar Center for Acer. He loves to go and try out all the drums, he moves from one to another, just listening to them, checking out their cymbals all those percussion sort of things. Oddly enough, instead of the normal 3 brands of electronic drums, they only had one brand. As we were leaving, he told the salesman 'thank you!'. When the salesman said come again, Acer said 'Someday we will, someday we won't.' Accurate, but funny.

June 26th We went to a large local park to hear the Symphony. Target sponsors a series of these concerts and we try to go to at least one every year. Afterwards, Acer went up and met the new Principle Percussionist, Jake Nissly. Jake was very nice and showed Acer all sorts of different instruments and sticks. Acer loved it. We also stopped and handed Jack Goggin the hand made Thank You card Acer had made him. It was Acer's concoction of crayon, stickers, and Calli's Braille, but it was a Thank You card. Nice concert, the conductor from previous years was back, I thought he wasn't going to be, that he and the DSO had parted ways, but there he was again.

June 27th. Church, Softball after church for Bill and Calli, nap for Acer so home for me. The game got rained out, and that was a shame because Bill was doing really well even if the team was losing. Our friend Beq came over and ate dinner with us, and then we were off to meet Curtis and Teresa for another evening of DSO concert. It was interesting, the difference between being there by ourselves, and being at a different park with the others. the music was the same, but when people enjoy something with you, you can enjoy it more yourself. It was a stormy evening, but most people stayed. For some reason, about every other year it rains at this park, so perhaps we're used to it. People just covered up, put their umbrellas up, and stayed. the conductor was amazed. the orchestra kept huddling closer together so that the instruments didn't get wet, but they kept playing.

June 28-30 Were stay at home and catch up on things days. We could sleep in a little later, except Acer really doesn't sleep in, but usually he tries to be a bit quieter until he knows I'm up. We worked on a bit of Mandarin, and a bit on telling time on an analog watch.

July 1 Calli had a Dr's appointment, nothing major. Calli and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some portable food and then we packed up and then went to pick Bill up from work. We headed off to Holland MI for our adventures on July 2. We got to the hotel late, and the kids only had time to swim for half an hour before bed.

Every time we pack up for a trip, whether I do most of the packing or Bill helps, we forget something. This time, i forgot to pack underwear for Acer! Yup, one of the most important things possible and I forgot it! Bill headed out and got Acer his first pack of Boxer briefs - too cute on the little man! He calls them 'big underwear' and briefs are now 'little underwear' He loves them and wants to wear them all the time!

July 2 We were up and at 'em early, and I discovered we had indeed forgotten something, even if it had been right on the bed next to the suitcase! Yes, I forgot clothing for Calli! She had underwear at least, but not a single change of clothing. Sigh. We went over to the Hope College Campus, and then followed someone to a house where Acer was going to be filmed as a part of this PBS show. We waited for a long time, and then they finally filmed Acer's bit last. He was the recipient of cards and dessert that 3 other kids had made for his 'Birthday'. They made scratch and sniff cards, and then a pudding, fruit, jello, yogurt concoction. Acer loved it, two of the others, not so much, they wouldn't even touch it. Oddly enough they didn't give him any speaking parts, just filmed him looking at and eating everything. Then they packed up and left and so did we.

We took the scenic route back and had a very pleasant drive across the state. We looked for something special to do on the way home, and finally, when we stopped for dinner we figured it out and went across the road to a music store. This was more of a classical music store than Guitar center, so the kids were able to look at a lot of instruments they've only heard before.

July 3rd was another busy day, up early to drive to the town Bill works in so we could walk in the parade to show our support for his library. We all had shirts reminding people to vote in the milage. Acer walked for about 100', and then rode the rest of the way on Bill's shoulders. Calli did fine, loved tossing suckers to people, and ended up pulling the wagon that carried the group's supplies. Afterwards, we came home and napped and then worked a bit in the yard. Calli worked on a fruit salad with Mum, for bringing on the 4th.

July 4th, we all headed off to Bill's parents after church. Everyone had their own assigned bits, and it all came together. Calli and Acer both started out in the pool, but after dinner, Acer went to play on the drum set and Calli went back. I also had a delicious blueberry birthday pie - my favorite, instead of cake. It was good to see and talk to everyone as usual. Acer also had a run in with a brick paver and scratched up the bottom half of his nose. Good thing it happened on the 4th and not the second - he would have looked awful on TV.

July 5, My real Birthday, Bill had the day off and we slept in as much as Acer would let us. We worked in the yard, and then took a break, worked in the yard etc. It was HOT! we got a lot accomplished and were able to play in the pool afterwards, because finally, the pool was done! Hurrah for BIll! We fed the kids, our friend Carl came over and then Bill, Carl and I went out to eat. Yum, Lebanese food! Carl and his wife Beq are our camping buddies. They own 40 acres of woods up on Drummond Island on the east side of the UP. While we had just seen Beq at the DSO concert, it had been months since we'd seen Carl. He also brought over a Tent pole fixing kit, but ended up taking the pole back to his house to fix it. Also, we put up a tent that had been a friend of mine's tent, just to take a look at it. So, with that tent, the tent he's fixing the pole on and our new tent we'd bought to replace the broken pole one, we have 3 fairly large sized tents - perfect if you're going to stay someplace for a week. This year, Calli will come home from summer camp, we'll wash her clothes, and then we'll leave then next day for Drummond. We are looking forward to it a lot. I will admit that I accidentally swiped Carl's knife during the tent assembly. Need to send that back ASAP!

July 6, a nice day of rest. We worked on Mandarin and then I went to renew my license plate tabs while the kids rested. Not too much else exciting except we'll hit the pool in a little bit.

Whew! I caught you all up. I'll post pictures as I find them!