Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Winner in My Book

It was my favorite night of the month.  rEcess.

For the final time in this school year, we got the gang together to take care of the special needs kids so their parents could get out for a night.

We had a great crowd.  Jack was there, making sure he was in the center of everything. Even if he has to roll on the floor to get there, he lets nothing get in his way.

Jack is in the middle of everything.

Pete, as usual, never stopped moving.  Neither did his younger brothers.  They keep us hopping!

He's a perpetual motion machine.

Emmy was busy, once she fed herself.  She wore herself out and fell asleep early!

She's five, and feeds herself some now, as well as makes eye contact!

Gina wore a princess dress, and wanted to play princess games all night.  She wanted to be trapped in the tower, and have to make a break for it.  That game went on for quite a while, too.

Her captor temporarily distracted, she makes a break for it.

Then there was Gracie.  She and i walked a lot, and she even showed off her tricycle skills.  She steered like a champ and didn't even run into anything once.

She loves to lead me in games of chase.

We can see so much progress with her.  When she first came, her walking was uncoordinated, she would cry a lot (she didn't get teary even once this night), and she couldn't speak at all.  As for playing with other kids, or doing crafts, it was out of the question.  Now she does so much, and we even got her to join the fun at the craft table.  "Glue!" she said, with enthusiasm, as we made a "sun" out of paint and a paper plate, with the rays represented by tracing her hand on construction paper and cutting it out.  Note that someone much cleverer than me comes up with crafts.

Gracie brings sunshine with her now, with her big smile.
Gina led the girls and smaller children in demanding the movie Frozen again, for the second month in a row.  Jack staged a bit of a rebellion, as he wanted Turbo.  We solved the problem by setting up two movie rooms.  Why didn't we think of that before?

One other person deserves special mention.  Matt is 13 and in 8th grade.  His mother is a volunteer, and he always comes and volunteers, too.  He is on the football team, and this spring he's practicing with the high school team.  They have a special meal together, as a team, and a movie night, every Friday.

Matt told his mother that he was committed to coming to rEcess, that he wanted to be with Jack, and that he wasn't going to miss it.  He said his place was with us.  As usual, he spent the whole night playing with and carrying Jack around.  That's a lot of work for a 13-year-old.  He's a champion.

Matt, wearing a shirt he promised Jack he would wear this time.

We had fun, the parents got the night out they needed, and we can all hardly wait for September, when we start again.

Today is

Apple Blossom Festival -- Gettysburg, PA, US (58th annual; through tomorrow)

Bark in the Park -- Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, US (in recognition of Be Kind to Animals Week which begins tomorrow; sponsored by The Anti-Cruelty Society)

Bent Wand-Straightening Day -- Fairy Calendar

Bladder Cancer Awareness Day --

Bona Dia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (a women's festival)

Cheung Chau Bun Festival -- Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong (one of Hong Kong's liveliest and most colorful festivals, coincides with Buddha's Birthday celebration, with the procession on the final day; celebration through the 7th)

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta -- Portland, Oregon (the sister city to Guadalajara, Mexico, has a multicultural party; through Sunday)

Clun Green Man Festival -- Clun, Shropshire, England (spring festival ending with the Clun Green Man battling and defeating the Frost Queen to end winter and bring in spring, along with a May Fair; through the Monday Spring Bank Holiday)

Constitution Day -- Poland

Constitution Memorial Day -- Japan (Part of the Showa Golden Week Festivities)

Cotton Pickin' Fair -- Gay, GA, US (a fabulous two days of Southern family fun)

Dia de la Cruz -- Mexico (Day of the Holy Cross, a festive day for construction workers, with parties and a flower decorated cross placed on every piece of new construction through the country)

Florae -- Ancient Roman Calendar (ceremony at the temple of Flora)

Free Comic Book Day -- check here for information, including a store locator

Galveston Historic Homes Tour -- Galveston, TX, US (Galveston Island’s great treasures of Victorian and post-Victorian architecture that are privately owned are opened for tours this weekend and next)

Garden Meditation Day -- let go your concerns and center your attention on your garden

Herb Day -- an international celebration of herbs and all the flavor they add to our lives; try a new herb to season a dish today

Holland Tulip Time Festival -- Holland, MI, US (one of the best small town festivals in the US, with visitors from around the world; through next Saturday)

Hug Your Cat Day -- sponsored by Apricat

International Space Day

Join Hands Day -- uniting young people and adults to do community service projects

Kansas Sampler Festival -- Liberal, KS, US (a living brochure of the state of Kansas, with over 100 communities, hiking trails, historic sites, off-the-beaten-track places, and more represented in one place, highlighting all the great things there are to do in the state of Kansas; through tomorrow)

Kentucky Derby Day -- Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY, US (the longest continually held sporting event in the US)

Low Country Shrimp Festival -- McClellanville, SC, US (seafood, arts, crafts, civic displays, entertainment, and the blessing of the fleet)

Lumpy Rug Day -- the tongue-in-cheek day to tease bigots about shoving unwanted facts under the rug, sponsored by Robert L. Birch of Puns corps

National Homebrew Day -- US (Home Brewers Association)

National Raspberry Popover Day / National Raspberry Tart Day

National Scrapbooking Day -- begun by Creative Memories, now celebrated by scrapbookers everywhere, a good article about it here

National Travel and Tourism Week begins -- US

National Two Different Colored Shoes Day -- celebrate your uniqueness, take a risk, and step outside of your routine today

Paranormal Day -- i have enough trouble with normal, thank you

Peddler's Village Strawberry Festival -- Lahaska, PA, US (strawberries in every form imaginable; through tomorrow)

Pregnancy Fitness Awareness Day -- can't confirm this is still sponsored by Karen Bridson

Specially-Abled Pet Day -- learn more about caring for disabled pets

St. James the Lesser's Day (Patron of apothecaries, druggists, the dying, fullers, hatters and hatmakers, miliners, pharmacists; Frascati, Italy; Monterotondo, Italy; Nemi, Italy; Uruguay; Venegono Inferiore, Italy)

St. Phillip the Apostle's Day (Patron of hatmakers and hatters, milliners, pastry chefs; Luxembourg; Monterotondo, Italy; Nemi, Italy; San Felipe Indian Pueblo; Uruguay; Venegono, Inferiore, Italy)

Taro Festival -- East Maui, Hawaii, US (celebration of Hawai'an culture;through tomorrow)

Towsontown Spring Festival -- Towson, MD, US (four stages of continual entertainment, food, art and photography exhibit, and more; through tomorrow)

Wordsmith Day

World Press Freedom Day -- International/UN

Birthdays Today:

Joseph Addai, 1983
Christine Hendricks, 1975
Dule Hill, 1974
Christopher Cross, 1951
Mary Hopkin, 1950
Doug Henning, 1947
Greg Gumbel, 1946
Frankie Valli, 1937
Engelbert Humperdinck, 1936
James Brown, 1933
Sugar Ray Robinson, 1921
Pete Seeger, 1919
Bing Crosby, 1903
Golda Meir, 1898
Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Bent"(Play), 1979
"All Things Considered"(National Public Radio Network first broadcast), 1971
"The Most Happy Fella"(Musical), 1956
"CBS Evening News"(TV), 1948

Today in History:

Christopher Columbus first sights Jamaica (Santiago), 1494
Francis Bacon is charged with bribery, 1621
A royal charter is granted for Connecticut, 1662
The last total solar eclipse to be observed from London for the next 900 years occurs as predicted by Edmund Halley; called Halley's eclipse as he predicted it to within 4 minutes accuracy and described its path to within 30km, 1715
The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1791
Washington, D.C., is incorporated as a city, 1802
The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened. It is the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel, 1830
The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island, 1867
The Great Fire of 1901 in Jacksonville, Florida, destroys 1,700 buildings, 1901
Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film is released, marking the beginning of the Indian film industry, 1913
The poem In Flanders Fields is written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1915
Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to head the United States Mint, 1933
Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is awarded the Pulitzer Prize, 1937
The Kentucky Derby is televised for the first time, 1951
Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole, 1952
The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1960
The first "spam" email is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States, 1978
The strongest tornado ever recorded, one of  66 tornadoes recorded that day,with winds of up to 313mph, strikes Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 1999
The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet, 2000
New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses, 2003
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art announces it will return two statues from northern Cambodia's archeological site Koh Ker, 2013


  1. The parents of these kids owe you guys such a debt of gratitude.

  2. You do so many wonderful things. Thank you.

    Matt rocks.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. All ten digits sky-ward for Matt! He's a champ in my book along with you and all the other volunteers! Have a great day!
    Made a big mistake in the previous comment so had to delete and start over!

  5. bless you all. and the 2nd generation that cares, too. :)

  6. I have so much rEspect for you and the crew who take care of these kidlets as you do. And for Matt.. what a gem. Thank you for being that kind of presence in their lives.

  7. I love you for doing this, Mimi, and Matt too! Having worked for 19 years in an agency that provided services for children such as these, I know how much it means to parents to have a night out to themselves, knowing that their children are in safe and loving hands. There is no higher calling! And yes, the rewards come in seeing what they discover they are capable of doing! Hugs! Josie