Saturday, September 6, 2014

How do we measure fun?

When school starts up, so does rEcess.  We had our first one last night, and we had more kids, and volunteers, than ever.

Gracie was asked to come back, even though her special needs are not as severe as they were when she first started.  She and her mom need another year of this, we all agree.

(For any who read this and wonder what in the world i'm talking about, rEcess is a program in which parents of children with serious special needs can drop the kids and siblings off and have an evening to themselves.  There is always a medical person available to do the tube feedings and medications, and each special needs child is paired with one volunteer who stays with him/her through the evening.  Since these kids can't be left with your typical babysitter, a night out is something a lot of these parents don't get often, if at all.)

We had new kids, and some who hadn't been in a while returned.

Linda, out of her wheelchair and crawling fast!

Jack, also out of his wheelchair and rolling wherever his heart desires.

Emmy, with her arm braces off and her tray attached to her wheelchair.

A new friend, Pam.

Gracie, always on the move.

We did the usual, fed the kids, did a craft, and then we took them to the gym.

On stage, and entertaining everyone.

Noodles and balls and pretending to be spies!

We played until they were all rather tired, and then went back to change into jammies and watch a movie.  There was only one incidence of tears, one of the girls who cries every time, because she misses her dad.  She only cries about 5 minutes or so, and then is okay.

As for how much fun we had, well, i always measure how much fun kids have by the dirt.  The youngest sibling there was Lucas, and it was hard to get him to hold still, but if the dirt tells the story, we had this much fun:

Dirty feet on a 15-month-old tell the whole story.
It's one part of back to school that i look forward to.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day -- Sao Tome and Principe

Boonesborough Days -- Boonesboro, MD, US (living history, food, antiques, and a celebration of the original spelling of the town's name; through tomorrow)

Braemar Royal Highland Gathering -- Braemar, Scotland (one of the largest gatherings and Highland Games, celebrated for the last 900 years)

Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day 2014 -- US (the Saturday after Labor Day, everyone is encouraged to volunteer in cleaning federal land, recreation areas, or waterways, to help do their part to keep these places beautiful)

Chadds Ford Days -- Chadds Ford, PA, US (Brandywine Valley traditional art celebration; through tomorrow)

Classic Boat Show -- Tuckerton, NJ, US (the Tuckerton Seaport and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society present classic wood and glass boats exhibitors, entertainment, demonstrations, a parent/child boat-building contest, and more; through tomorrow)

Defense Day -- Pakistan

Ear and Trumpter Contests for Mice -- Fairy Calendar

Festa Della Rificolona -- Florence, Italy (one of Florences oldest and most colorful celebrations; through tomorrow)

Festival of Children -- Costa Mesa, CA (weekends through Sept.; a community-wide charity outreach with over 100 stage and hands-on activities through the month)

Fight Procrastination Day/National Do It Day

Flag Day -- Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Hang Around Victor Day -- Victor, NY, US (come see why it's a great place to do just that!)

Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair -- Little Falls, MN, US (arts and crafts from hobbyists and pros; through tomorrow)

Mushroom Festival -- Kennett Square, PA, US (food, fun, and fungi in the Mushroom Capital of the World; through tomorrow)

Naked Gardening Day -- scare the neighbors!  get rid of those pesky squirrels!  experience nature (and sunburn, and mosquito bites) with your whole body!  not to be confused with World Naked Gardening Day, which is now held in May each year

Nanticoke Powwow -- Millsboro, DE, US (Native American gathering and celebration; through tomorrow)

National Coffee Ice Cream Day -- Sweetie swears the best ever was at Howard Johnson Restaurants back in the day

National Hummingbird Day -- not official, but someone loves them enough to have started this

National Writing Day -- US (or any place where people love to write; sponsored by Natalie Marie-Collins)

New Jersey Maritime Heritage Festival & Antique and Classic Boat Show -- Tuckerton, NJ, US (lots of seaworthy fun; through tomorrow)

Onam -- Kerala, India (start of a Hindu harvest festival)

Read A Book Day -- can't find the history on it, but enjoy!

Sacrifice to Hera Thelchinia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (date approximate)

Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight -- celebrating the food and drink of this beautiful land, through the 21st

Sheriff's Ride Ceremony -- Lichfield, UK (dating back to 1553, the sheriff and his men ceremonially ride the circuit of the boundary of the city; originally on the 8th Sept. every year by order of Queen Mary, now held on the Saturday nearest)

Somhlolo Day -- Swaziland (Independence Day)

St. Magnus of Fussen's Day (Patron of crops; against caterpillars, hail, lightning, reptiles, vermin)

Stillbirth Remembrance Day -- Canada (some Provinces); US

Unification Day -- Bulgaria

Valparaiso Popcorn Festival -- Valparaiso, IN, US (dare i call it a popping good time?)

Birthdays Today:

Justin Whalin, 1974
Sarah Strange, 1974
Rosie Perez, 1964
Elizabeth Vargas, 1962
Jeff Foxworthy, 1958
Jane Curtin, 1947
Swoosie Kurtz, 1944
Jo Anne Worley, 1937
Billy Rose, 1899
Joseph P. Kennedy, 1888
Jane Addams, 1860
Catharine Esther Beecher, 1800
John Dalton, 1766
Marquis de Lafayette, 1757
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, 1711

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"(TV), 1955
Jack Dempsey/Billy Miske Boxing Match(First match broadcast on radio), 1920
"La clemenza di Tito/The Clemency of Titus"(Opera, Mozart K. 621), 1791

Today in History:

The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world, 1522
The Spanish "Silver Fleet" disappears off the Florida Keys, 1622
Founding of Salem, Massachussetts, 1628
The first US lighthouse is built in Boston, 1716
Hurricane hits Martinique and Guadalupe, hundreds of ships sink and thousands die on land and at sea, 1776
Thomas Blanchard patents the lathe, 1819
Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio becomes co-ed, with 4 women and 30 men in attendance, 1837
Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807, 1870
Juliana becomes Queen of the Netherlands, 1948
Canada's first television station, CBFT-TV, opens in Montreal, 1952
Nine Israeli athletes are killed during a rescue attempt after being kidnapped at the Munich Olympic Games; two had died during the kidnapping the day before, 1972
The Soviet Union recognizes the independence of the Baltic states:
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and restores the name St. Petersburg to Russia's second largest city, 1991
Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that stood for 56 years, 1995
Diana, Princess of Wales is laid to rest in front of a television audience of more than 2.5 billion, 1997
China launches an investigation into its commercial pilots upon learning that more than 200 of them had falsified their resumes, 2010
Central Australia reports the first sighting since 1960 of a Central rock rat, 2013


  1. Such an important break for their parents. Also a break for the kids since they get a new stimulation and new friends!

  2. you love those kids and it shows. :)

  3. Dirt and fun are indeed a good way to gauge how the fun went. Yes indeed. Thank you for doing all that you do. You are a wonderful person.

    Have a fabulous weekend. :)

  4. Mimi- it never ceases to amaze me how caring and loving you are- your community is so very very lucky- big hugs all round honey!

  5. You have such a giving heart. I love these positive reports. Thank you.

  6. I love the idea of measuring fun by dirty feet.


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