Monday, April 21, 2014

A to Z Challenge: r is for rEcess

We had our second to last rEcess night for this school year at the beginning of April.

For anyone who wonders, rEcess is the night in which a group of volunteers get together to care for special needs children and their siblings so the parents can get a much needed night out without the children.  Ours is one chapter of a nationwide program.

It's such a blessing to be able to help care for these children.  Every one is so precious.

We had six kids this time around.

Katie was back, with her two little brothers.  She wasn't wearing her arm braces when she first came,  She's doing better with not leaving her hands in her mouth, and is getting better at feeding herself finger foods.  This week, she seemed not quite herself, and slept a lot as a volunteer carried her around.

Katie, later, with her arm braces on.

Gina and the crew -- her four siblings -- were there, having a ball.  There is finally a movie that will hold her interest long enough to get her through her tube feeding and medication time -- Disney's Frozen.  Our nurse, Cheryl, has never had such an easy time with her!

Gina loves piggyback rides.

Jack is one of my favorite kids in the world.  He has an indomitable spirit.  He may not be able to really walk without help, his limbs may be almost totally stiff and he may have no fine motor control of his fingers, but he never lets it stop him from finding a way to join the games and do the things he wants to do.  He is a part of every game, and if there's a bunch of kids getting a bit rowdy, he's in the middle, having fun.  He's even in a softball league that is tailored to kids with special needs, and he loves it.

Jack, challenging the decorative suits of armor to a joust -- they didn't stand a chance!

Lynn and her sisters and brother came, and now that she can crawl, she wants to do so all of the time.  The new schedule with her feeding tube, in which the pumps is on for 12 hours straight each night, is making a difference.  Her oldest sister loves to help her walk, which she only just began doing a few months ago.

Lynn, with her feeding tube, which she has attached for 12 hours a day.

Pete and his twin brothers were there.  Like most kids with Down's Syndrome, Pete is loving and goes along with whatever fun is at hand.  His younger brothers are mischievous, and i can see where, in years to come, his parents have to make sure he doesn't get led into things where he shouldn't be. 

Pete, trying to decide whether to chase a volunteer up the steps.

And last but not least, Gracie.  She has come such a long way that her mother doesn't think her delayed development will be enough to have her coming to rEcess next year.  She is catching up at an amazing rate, as i found when i went to her home to babysit her.  If her mother does take her out of the program, i'm going to continue to watch her at other times.  

Gracie's getting bigger, catching up, and is full of fun and energy.

We had so much fun that i'm sorry next month's meeting will be the last until September.

Today is

Administrative Professionals Day (original date)

Aggie Muster -- Texas A&M University

Birthday of Rome -- Rome, Italy (753 BCE)

Boston Marathon -- Boston, MA, US (118th running)

Easter Monday -- Christian; related observances
     Dyngus Day
     Egg Races -- Rural Northwestern Switzerland (traditional Easter Monday races with competitors carrying large numbers of eggs from village to village)
     Emaishen -- Luxembourg (traditional market)
     Family Day -- South Africa
     Hallaton Hare Pie Scramble & Bottle Kicking -- Hallaton, Leicestershire, England (traditional celebrations dating back at least 600 years)
     Memorial Day -- Republic of Georgia
     Seu Harvest Parade -- Curacao
     Sham el-Nessim -- Egypt (Smell the Breezes Day, a spring celebration for all religions; celebrated by getting outside, greeting neighbors, enjoying spring, and eating salty raw fish)

Feast of Wadjet (a/k/a Udjet or Buto) -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (date approximate)

First Day of Ridvan -- Baha'i (began sunset yesterday; through May 2)

Grounation Day -- Rastafari (one of the Rastafarian's most important festivals, in honor of Haile Selassie's 1966 visit to Jamaica)

Heroica Defensa de Veracruz -- Mexico (Heroic Defense of Veracruz)

Homecoming of the Elves -- Fairy Calendar (Singing Festival)

Iroquois Corn Planting Ceremony -- Iroquois Native Americans (three day celebration, always around this time of year)

Jose de Diego's Birthday -- Puerto Rico (Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, a/k/a Dia de Reafirmacion del Idioma Espanol)

John Muir Day -- US (American conservationist)

Kartini Day -- Indonesia (honoring a leader who helped emancipate women)

Kindergarten Day -- Germany; US (birth anniversary of Friedrich Froebel, in 1782, who began the first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837)

Mesir Paste Festival -- Manisa, Turkey (mesir paste is a blend of 41 different spices and is intended as a general cure-all and tonic; lots of craft exhibitions, concerts and sporting tournaments, as well as traditional throwing of paste off minaret of the Sultan Mosque; through the 28th)

Mibu Dainembutsu Kyogen -- Mibu Temple, Kyoto, Japan (nine day festival of kyogen performances which dates back to 1299)

National Chocolate-Covered Cashew Truffle Day

National Tree Planting Day -- Kenya

Paralia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (shepherd's festival of Pares, goddess of herders)

Passover ends -- Judaism

Patriots' Day -- US (in observance of the first battles of the Revolutionary War; always the 3rd Monday, but this year many celebrations were at the beginning of the month or are next weekend because of Easter)

Queen's Birthday -- Falkland Islands; St. Helena(except Tristan da Cunha)

San Jacinto Day -- Texas, US

St. Anselm of Canturbury's Day

St. Bueno Gasulsych's Day (Patron of diseased cattle, sick animals, and sick children)

St. George's Day -- NL, Canada (obs.)

Tiradentes Day/Brasilia Day -- Brazil (honors Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, called "tooth puller", who fought for Brazilian independence)
     Inauguration of Brasilia, Distrito Federal -- Brazil (anniversary of the 1960 inauguration of the new federal capital)

World Creativity and Innovation Day -- final day of World Creativity and Innovation Week, which always begins on DaVinci's birth anniversary

Birthdays Today:

Robert Smith, 1959
Andie MacDowell, 1958
James Morrison, 1954
Tony Danza, 1951
Patti LuPone, 1949
Iggy Pop, 1947
Charles Grodin, 1935
Elaine May, 1932
Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, 1926
Anthony Quinn, 1915
John Muir, 1838
Charlotte Bronte, 1816
Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel, 1782
Catherine the Great, 1729
Jan van Riebeeck, 1619

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Annie"(Musical), 1977
"Inherit the Wind"(Play), 1955
"Arms and the Man"(Play), 1894

Today in History:

Traditional date for the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, BC753
Marc Antony continues to battle the senators who assasinated Julius Caesar in the Battle of Mutina, which he loses, BC43
Henry VIII ascends the throne of England, 1509
Hernan Cortez lands in Veracruz, 1519
The Maryland Toleration Act is passed, granting religious freedom to all in that colony, 1649
Catherine the Great ends noble privileges in Russia, 1785
Tiradentes, leader of the independence movement in Brazil, is executed, 1792
Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat Mexican troops under Santa Ana, winning the Battle of San Jacinto and the independence of Texas, 1836
The first train crosses the first bridge over the Mississippi River, crossing from Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, 1855
Alexander Douglas patents the bustle, 1857
Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i' faith, declares his mission, 1863
The first firehouse pole is installed in a firehouse in NYC, 1878
The Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen)is shot down, 1918
The first Aggie Muster is held, a remembrance of fellow Texas A&M graduates who had died in the previous year, 1922
Brasilia is officially inaugurated as the capital of Brazil, 1960
In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang, 1989
Alexander Wolszczan announces his the discovery of extrasolar planets, 1994
The ashes of Timothy Leary and Gene Roddenberry are launched into orbit, 1997
By order of an Egyptian court, the name of Egypt's former President, Hosni Mubarak, is stripped from public spaces, schools and streets, 2011


  1. what a wonderful program - and i feel the love you have for these kids!

  2. What an incredible program--I've never heard of it but it makes so much sense to support these parents who must feel overwhelmed so much of the time. And how cool that even as you are generously volunteering your time you are enjoying and appreciating these special kids. Thanks so much for sharing that!

  3. You are such a great person. You are so giving of your time to others. A great program indeed and I know their parents are so very grateful.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  4. Your generous giving of love and time is so wonderful for all of these children and their parents. You amaze me!

  5. Wonderful work. I know I don't have the skills for it. God bless you!

  6. I dare to (boldly) say that the Lord is pleased with your works of charity. You do so much for others. It's a genuine labor of love.

  7. It must be so rewarding to see these kids bloom before your very eyes. You do such good work.

  8. Sounds like a successful night. It's been years since I've worked on that side of Special Ed, but I have some fond memories.


Thanks for meandering by and letting me know you were here!