Oct 17, 2017

Weekend Recap- October 17th, 2017

Our weekend started off pretty good with a great Sauk Rapids-Storm win against Alexandria-Cardinals . It was a fun game but also a nail biter. They pulled off a win in overtime 38-36. This week is Camdin's last regular season high school game. Very sad.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed up to Fargo, ND for Jason's niece Kylee's Birthday party. 

 Kylee wanted a county themed party so all the food and party favors was centered around that concept. 

 Jake and the boys played blocks while the girls partied. 

After the party we all headed over to our home away from home for a pool party. I've blogged about The Element in Fargo, ND before and how much we love staying here. Jason gets to watch football on the flat screen while the kids swim. Everyone is happy. 

This is always a sign that he had a good time. 

No travel plans until the end of November. Time to get caught up on home projects, blog posts and reading blog posts from my favorite peeps at PP. 


Oct 3, 2017

Friday Night Lights-September 29th, 2017

As I've said before, we spend our Friday nights watching Jason's son Camdin play football. Jason is so proud of the athlete that Camdin is. Big win against Sartell. Camdin made the Saint Cloud Times. Please read the article below. Pretty cool. Sad that it's his senior year. 

Camdin Carlson-Mathies got a lot of praise from his team Friday for a big play he made.
He is going to catch some grief for another big play that did not end with him in the end zone.
Carlson-Mathies, a senior defensive back, had a 75-yard interception return for Sauk Rapids' first touchdown in a 40-14 win at Sartell. That earned him the praise.
"We expect him to because he is one of the best defensive players in our league, no question about it," Sauk Rapids coach Phillip Klaphake said. "He is very dynamic. For a kid who is 5-foot-11 and 150 pounds — he is one of the hardest hitting, most football savvy — the kid can play any position on our football team.
"He just has it. He's just one of those 'it' kids."
Carlson-Mathies said that once he got the interception, he had a lot of open field in front of him.
"I was playing cover-2 safety and (quarterback Jordan Och) just overthrew and it came right to me," he said. "I just had to out-run everyone. After I turned that corner, I was gone. There was nobody going to catch me. I needed that touchdown."
Carlson-Mathies was the team's top returning rusher going into the season, but he has not played as much on offense this season.
"We're scared to put him on offense because if he got hurt, then we wouldn't have him on 'D,'" Klaphake said.
He did, though, have a 57-yard catch on Sauk Rapids' opening drive to get the ball inside the 5. But it is a play that Klaphake is going to give Carlson-Mathies the hard time about.
"We found a way to get him down the middle of the field and I'm going to give him a hard time for not scoring on that because he got it to the 1, which is really funny," Klaphake said. "We'll pick on him for that.
"But because he's so dynamic, we put him at wide receiver for one play and he picks up almost 60 yards."
Carlson-Mathies helped Sauk Rapids to its second straight strong defensive game. A week after shutting out Brainerd, the Storm did not allow Sartell was able to jump out to a 27-7 lead by halftime.
"Beginning of the season, this was the only team I wanted to beat," he said of the Sabres, the Storm's cross-river rivals. "This was one of the funnest games."

This is the opinion of Mick Hatten. Follow @mickhatten on Twitter, Instagram @MickHatten and at Facebook.com/sctimesmick. Contact him at 259-3621 or mhatten@stcloudtimes.com.

Oct 2, 2017

Camp Lake Carlos for Visually Impaired Students

Last week Jake and I attended Camp Lake Carlos for Visually Impaired Students in Alexandria, MN. This was one of the best experiences I've had with Jake thus far. I can't even put into words how amazing it was for both Jake and myself. It was put together by the vision teachers in our region. 

Parents, students, vision teachers and paraprofessionals were welcome. An instructor from the North Dakota School for The Blind was there to teach life skills to the kids. The kids were taught personal hygiene, how to make their beds, money management and cooking. Not only did Jake learn a lot but so did I. They taught us tips to help our kids. So many things that I would have never thought of. 

It was not only fun but it was also educational. Who would have thought that learning how to cut a banana without cutting yourself or making a peanut butter sandwich would be so fun. I realized through this experience, that I do everything for Jake when I should be teaching him to do things for himself. It was an eye opening experience. We got home and Jake wanted to make his own lunch. 

Group Picture of all the kids

 Jake making his name tag in braille, making a key chain for his personal hygiene kit and then packing his personal hygiene kit.
Jake making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cutting a banana and learning how to make his bed. 
 In between sessions Jake and I went off to explore the camp. It was a beautiful fall day and having this quality time with Jake is priceless. These are memories we will cherish forever. 

Each child was given a wallet and 15 dollars. They were shown how to fold money and where to put it in their wallets so that they can tell what bill it is. They also taught them how to figure out tax and tip when paying for a meal. After the money management session we all piled into a school bus where we headed to a sit down dinner so the kids could  use the skills they just learned.

Below is a picture Jake and his friend Ava on the bus ride. Jake actually knows Ava from another group we are involved it. He was super happy to see a familiar face. 

After dinner we headed back to camp for a dance and game night. The band let all the kids play with their instruments. 

All the games were tactile and had braille so all the kids could play 

Jake and his new friend Brady along with Brady's Mom Melissa. 

The last day of camp the kids got together in the woods to work on team building and listening skills. The kids did so awesome. I am in awe of these kids.
Jake, Brady and Jake's Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Kevin hanging out.  
 Jake on the way home. Let's just say, he was a little beat. 

This has been one of the best summers. We've done so many awesome things and made so many fun memories. 

Sep 26, 2017

Tuesday Topics: Nine. Favorite Television Series

I've decided to link up with Jenn from Quirky Pickings for her Tuesday Topics. This week it's 9 of your favorite television series. I had to jump on this one since I am a tvaholic. Just ask Jason, it drives him nuts. I keep telling him that it's no different than his addiction to watching football, ESPN, Sports center and motocross. He doesn't agree.

In no particular order because I love them all. Some are no longer on, which makes me very sad.

1) Grey's Anatomy- This show is going on season 14. I know that seems a tad extreme but I still love it. If you remember the series ER. Well, that lasted 15 seasons. I'm still a fan and will always be

2)Friends- I love this show. If it on I will always stop to watch it. I never get sick of watching it over and over and over.

3)Sex and The City- I didn't watch this until it was over and bought the series on DVD. I watched is from beginning to end over and over, more times than I can count.

4)Friday Night Lights- LOVE

5) The Walking Dead- I am obsessed. It's more than just gore.

6)Pretty Little Liars- Yes it was at times ridiculous but it was fun and I enjoyed it.

7)One Tree Hill- It was on for 9 seasons and when I was done watching it on netflix I didn't want it to end. I loved it.

8)Hart of Dixie- Do you see a pattern. I love teenie bopper dramedies.

9)Roseanne- My all time favorite sitcom of ALL time!! I love it. I watch it in reruns every Saturday morning. A Roseanne Reboot is in the mix. It will be interesting to see what they do. I hope they don't ruin it.

I could keep going. It was hard to narrow it down to 9. I love senseless TV. Like I said, Jason gets so annoyed with me and everything that I watch. It's just fun.

Sep 25, 2017

Weekend Recap-September 25th, 2017

Every Friday night we watch Jason's son Camdin play football. It's bittersweet for Jason because it's Camdin's senior year and he only has a handful of games left. 
They played Brainerd and pulled off a 6-0 win. It was a nerve racking game but defense was on point. Not only was it homecoming but it was the first time Sauk Rapids won against Brainerd. 

The team singing their school song after the big win.

Saturday morning we headed up to Fargo. This is our 3rd or 4th time in Fargo this summer and when we always stay at the Element Hotel. We absolutely LOVE it there. I highly recommend this place. They are eco-conscious and every room is a suite.

Saturday Afternoon we hung out in the lobby and watched college football on the curve TV. Jason was in heaven. 

Then a little more football in the hot tub. 

We had an amazing dinner at Tru Blu. This is our second time eating here and once again it didn't disappoint. The last time we ordered pretty much every app on the menu, this time we had dinner. It was amazing. 

Jason's Step Dad Steve, Niece Kylee and his Mom Laura

The purpose of our trip was to celebrate Jason's Nephew's Birthday's. Dawson turned 4 and Wyatt turned 3. For some reason I didn't snap photos of the Birthday celebration. Strange for me, I know. 

After dinner Jason's Sister and Nephew Dawson stopped by to swim and visit. Dawson loves Cooper. 

We are lucky to find a hotel that allows us to bring our little backseat driver with us. 

Another great trip in the books. As much as I love all the traveling this summer, it will be nice to spend some weekends at home. Next weekend, DIY projects on the house. That should be interesting. Stay tuned....

Sep 15, 2017

What's Up Weekend? September 15th, 2017

I haven't linked up with LindsayBeth and Charlotte for a What's Up Weekend post in a long time. These posts are important to me because it helps me STOP for a minute and reflect on what makes me happy. Our summer has been fun and busy. The days, weeks and months are flying by. One week from fall and I welcome it with open arms. I love the cool air and the colors of the leaves changing. Today in Minnesota it is going to be 90. So it doesn't feel like fall is around the corner.

Here is a list the 10 things that made me happy this week.

1) Jake coming home everyday from school so excited to tell me all about his day.
2) Playing go fish with Jason and Jake after dinner.
3) New mascara.
4) Lecy from A Simple Grace shared a link about Jake Olson who is a blind USC Football snapper. As a Mom of a visually impaired child, this really touched me. Check it out here. 
5) This week flew by... That makes me happy.
6) Setting up Jake first play date for this weekend with his favorite new friend. He is so excited!!
7) I ordered some back splash samples. We are finally making steps to finish our kitchen. I swear the projects are never ending.
8) Finding a new short cut to Jake's daycare that cuts about 5 minutes from my drive time.
9) I'm an HR nerd and I just joined a local chapter. I attending my first meeting this week and I am excited for this networking opportunity.

What made you happy this week?

Sep 14, 2017

1st Day of 3rd Grade

Last week Jake started 3rd grade.  He's come home every day and told me how much he loves it at his new school. I can't even tell you how much that makes me happy and how much of a relief that is. I was so worried that it was going to be so hard for him to move to a school where he doesn't know anyone. To me, he seems happier than he has ever been. His new school just has a different vibe than his last school. Not that he didn't love his old school, I just feel this school is a much better fit for Jake and his needs. Here's to a happy and successful school year! STOP GROWING UP!!

His fake smile

His new classroom

Sep 12, 2017

Annual Eye Exam


Since you were 5 months old you have had people messing with your eyes. Not only have you had to go under anesthesia every 3 months for your eye exams but you have endured all the eye drops that, despite what we say, do sting. We were so happy after 6+ years that your surgeon felt comfortable with the stability of your disease to move you to in office visits.
I will never forget the day that first eye doctor told me you were blind.  I was terrified of what your future would look like. I am beyond proud of you, buddy.
I am happy to report we have another year with a stable eye report. I pray for year after year of inactive FEVR. I love you!!

For more information of FEVR click here.

Sep 5, 2017

South Dakota Trip

It's been a busy summer for us. Most of our weekends have been filled with family visits. If we aren't traveling to North Dakota or South Dakota to visit Jason's family they are at our house. That is a big reason I haven't been as active on my blog this summer. 
This past weekend we traveled to South Dakota to celebrate Jason's Mom's birthday and Labor Day. Jason's sister and her kids were also there, so the weekend was filled with family, food, and lots of laughs. Of course if you know me you know that I always have my camera in hand to document every thing. 

Jake LOVES Jason's niece Kylie. Where ever she is he isn't far behind. Sometimes I have to remind him to give her her space. 

This weekend we discovered Jake's love for the sand box. It's not that he's never played in one but he's never shown a big interest in them until recently. He played in it for hours.  Jason was already googling how to build a sandbox as we drove home. :)

Sweet Dawson
 Jake and Wyatt playing. The reason Wyatt's always blurry is because he doesn't sit still long enough to get a good picture.

 Grandma and Kylie looking at Grandma's birthday gift from us. 

We took a field trip to The Children's Museum of South Dakota on Sunday. It was a beautiful day for it and only a 45 minute drive. 

The museum is set up in stations. This was the mechanic shop. They had pretend work orders the kids could follow. It was so cute to watch the kids fixing the cars.

Jake thought this station was so cool.
He's a big kid

I think out of every stations the restaurant was his favorite.  
What can I get for you, kind Sir?

Playing Grocery Store.

Water Station

Jason's sweet niece Sydney
 Sydney and Kylie. Beauties!

We heading back to town after a long day and had an early supper. Then the kids all got ice cream. 

Relaxing after a fun day!

We had such a great weekend. It is so important to me that Jake has a great childhood filled with fun, family and great memories. This weekend was definitely all of those things.