Taking the Scenic Route

Touring Magnet Schools on “Oma Day”

26th January 2011

Touring Magnet Schools on “Oma Day”

This semester, on Wednesday, my mom comes up to Speech Therapy to pick Zora up during Zane’s Friendship group and spends the day with her.  This time we are switching things up.  She is going to have a day with Zane instead.  He wants to go the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson and to “Subway, Eat Fresh”.  Zach got off work to go with Zora and I to tour different magnet schools.

By the end of the day, we think Earhart will make the top of the list, with Hyde a close second, and Buckner (the closest one) as our third choice.  We liked all the schools we went to, but those seemed to be the best fit for Zora’s personality.

posted in Autistic Life, ST, School, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zane, Zora | Comments Off

26th January 2011

Oma Day with Zane

Posted by my Mom, on Facebook: Out of the mouths of babes… I had ZANE day today and we went to the Cosmosphere & Space center. We saw the IMAX show on the Hubble telescope with some of the spectacular pictures it took. At the end they showed deep deep space and showed irregular ‘blobs’ of solar systems, etc. After the last note of the music played Zane said “Just like in the beginning’ (Gen. 1). He gets it!

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25th December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Santa came!

Club Penguin membership that he has been asking for since summer

And the “WOW” gift, my parents got each of the kids a DSi, Zora’s was the regular size one, blinged out by my mom, Zane’s was the XL one, which means that motor issues are lessened with games that require writing/manipulating with the pen/stick.  Zane’s old DS died and we had been unable to replace it, and it was Zane’s constant companion.  The kids were THRILLED!

Zora and Oma had a tea party

A huge thank you to friends and family this season.  After nearly a year of unemployment, and the kids having to go without, we were very worried about how we were going to be able to afford Christmas.  We were blessed with friends and family that really went the extra mile, sending presents, sending giftcards, and especially my parents, who spent more than usual getting the DSi for each kid.  We were very blessed.  It was a happy season because of others who cared about our family.  We were humbled by the generosity.

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23rd December 2010

Zora turns FIVE!

First Oma came by and we opened gifts.  A car from Oma & Opa, a weaving loom from Zane, and a bunch of cookie cutters from us.

Then the cake.  After an ever changing cake request, Zora finally settled on a “rainbow cake”.

The layers are a combination of strawberry and vanilla, topped with homemade buttercream frosting and marshmallow fondant.  I discovered while making it that kool-aid does not work as a coloring agent.  Makes a flat cake that tastes like a sweet tart.  lol.

Then we went to McDonalds to have a happy meal, per Zora’s request, and met up with some friends.  After supper they came by the house and helped us eat cake.  Eilysh got her an Eeyore stuffed animal that was an instant favorite.

posted in Birthday, Friends, Milestones, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zora | Comments Off

7th December 2010


Getting a hug from Oma after rehearsal.

posted in Christmas, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zora | Comments Off

15th September 2010

State Fair

My folks took our family to the fair this year.  As usual, it was a lot of fun.  The only unfun thing was dad having an injured eye.  He got a scratch on his cornea and it was ulcerating, causing him a lot of pain, and the drops he has to put in hourly were also painful.  It was in his “good” eye, which rendered him, effectively, blind.

They got ride-o-rama bracelets for the three kids the kids and Zach, so Zach could help, especially on the bigger rides Zane wanted to go on.

We have a photo of him looking forward and happy on this ride, but I was tickled by the picture of him smelling the ride before settling in.  One of those quirks inherited from both sides of the family.  (Even Zach’s dad, Zane’s grandpa, was known for smelling everything.  lol)

Before Zach & Zane split off to go on big rides, Zane rode a few of the kid ones with Zora.

One of the only rides that Zane has never really liked is the carousel.  When he does ride, he rides on the bench, but he prefers not to ride it.  I actually agree with him on this one.  I can ride the wildest roller coasters and other adrenaline rides, but the carousel gives me horrible vertigo and I hate it.  Zora and Zach both love the carousel.

Dad and I hung out with the kids and mom for a while, until the brightness and the dust was just more than he could take.  We found a spot just off the midway, in the shade and away from the people where we sat for most of the afternoon.  I realized later that the hours long conversation was the longest uninterrupted conversation I have had with my dad in decades.  We also laughed at the idea that he could never have guessed, when I was Zora’s age, that I would ever sit still for that long.

As darkness fell, we headed back to the cars, with one last stop:  the train.  Mom has taken this ride every year since she was a little girl, she always took us every year, and now my kids have gone every year.  However, I don’t remember being able to go in the “coal car” part of the train, so I am a little jealous.  We ended up going on the last loop of the night.  I think the kids behaved better than the “grown-ups” this time.

And, as we pass by a “photo board” thing, we decided to give it a shot.  I will leave out the nice photos because the bad ones were so much funnier.

Our family’s submission to “awkward family photos” website (a website of horrible family photos).  Zane was not really into the photo thing, as you can tell.

but we did get one last smile out of him before leaving.

posted in Autistic Life, State Fair, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zane, Zora | Comments Off

1st August 2010

Oma & Opa’s Birthdays (and Anniversary)

My parent’s birthdays are one day apart and Zora wanted to have a party for them.   She carefully chose the candles and cake (she wanted white cake with cream cheese frosting in the middle and strawberry frosting on the outside.  I think what she *really* wanted was enough frosting that she could eat half of it and still have enough to decorate the cake.  :laughn1: )  When they came over she insisted on digging out all of the old birthday party left-over supplies for a more festive experience.  Steve & Nora were here too, but they might shoot me if I posted the pictures, since I kept catching them with full mouths and mid-expression.

Clearly, they are still in love.

He kept asking me: “Is the plate full or empty?”  and it sort of confused me.  He asked in between each bite.  After about the third time I finally figured out he was asking if it was ok if he didn’t eat it all.  (Do I have to make the plate empty?) As soon as I told him he didn’t have to finish it, he looked relieved and left the rest of the cake.  A kid that isn’t really into cake just baffles my brain.

posted in Autistic Life, Birthday, Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | 1 Comment

27th June 2010

Father’s Day

We celebrated a week late since the kids were singing in church (and Nora was going to be in town), so everybody came up to hear the kid’s sing then go to Pizza Hut for lunch.  It was, as usual, a great time.

The kids made some cards for Grandpa/Opa and Zach:

From Zora to Opa:

From Zora to Daddy:

From Zane to Grandpa:

From Zane to Daddy:

And a few shots of lunch

posted in Autistic Life, Extended Family, Father's Day, The 2 Opas (J's Parents) | Comments Off

31st May 2010

Memorial Day, Family Day

On Memorial Day Mom, Dad, Steve & Nora all came up here and we shared a meal.  Burgers on the grill, followed by blueberries, Steve’s homemade ice cream & some homemade chocolate sauce.  Mom and Dad brought up a little swimming pool for the kids and we blew up some plastic outdoor toys we had received as gifts last Christmas from Heartspring.  They spent the day in and out of the water.  It was relaxed and fun.

She is dipping the blueberries into the leftover, cooled chocolate.


posted in Extended Family, The 2 Opas (J's Parents) | Comments Off

17th April 2010

MCC Sale

We met my folks at the MCC sale again this year.  After some yummy sausage, vernike and cheese curds, they took the kids to the inflatable playground area and Zach and I got to wander around by ourselves and look at all the neat stuff.  It was almost like a date.  lol.   Even had some people stop me who read the blog (Hi out there!).

As the sale neared it’s close we went back to the kid’s area to find that Zora had made an instant best friend (not much of a surprise. lol) and both kids had a lot of fun.  Zane was starting to zone out, so the timing was good.  (had fun, but he was about done).

Zora and her new friend

And, since I didn’t have one photo where everybody looked good, I will ask you to use your imagination and combine these two photos.  Mom is good in both, but take Dad and Zora from this one…

and my Mom and Zane from this one…

…and you have one good photo of my folks and their grandkids.  :wink:

posted in Autistic Life, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | Comments Off

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 5 months, and 2 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 5 months, and 6 days old
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  • A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. — Martin Luther King, Jr

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