Monday, June 30, 2014

Walk for Williams 2014

In May, I organized a Walk for Williams in Indiana to raise awareness for Williams Syndrome. We've been to several walks before, and even helped to plan one two years ago, but this year it was all organized by me. Well, me AND Mckay. There is no way that I would have been able to get it all done without him. He helped me plan it all out, we bounced ideas off each other, he was my "muscle" with setting everything up at the event, and he walked/ran the walk route several times to plan out the walk path and put up signs.

In addition to the actual one mile walk at the park, our event included a silent auction. I have several amazing, creative friends who donated handmade craft items to the auction.
Skirts, hair bows, artwork, a quilt, a tote bag, and felt food. Can you guess what I made? Yep, I love felt food a little too much.

 My aunt Stephanie works for Ulta Beauty and she sent some donated beauty products for the auction.
It was the best smelling package I've ever received.

The other fundraising part of the walk was selling tickets to carnival games. That meant we needed to get some carnival games. So Mckay made them.
Skee ball and Plinko.
Yeah, he's pretty amazing.

The prizes for the games were donated by several  businesses.
Coupons for free appetizers, drinks, breadsticks, movie popcorn, family video rentals, and pizzas. 

The days before the walk were really rainy and cold. I was worried about the weather, but it ended up being a beautiful day. It was a little cool in the morning as we were setting up, but the weather was very pleasant.

A photographer in the area donated her time and skills to take pictures at the walk. Kim Davis did an amazing job. All these pictures below were taken by her. (If you ever need a photographer in the Lafayette area...)
 At the registration table
I can't remember what we were excited about here, but we were having a good time. My wonderful friend Nicole helped with registration. (She did so much more than that. She brought us dinner a few times the week before the walk because she knew how busy we were. She came over the day before the walk to help with all the last minute things, including an 11pm run to the grocery store for last minute food items for the walk. And when the walk required me to be in two places at once, she became my clone and did anything I needed her to do for me. Seriously, such a good friend.)

 Silent auction table

Dallin and Kendal (5, WS) are buddies. I love that they're holding hands here.

Mckay and another WS dad leading the walkers.

I made signs to put along the walk pathway.

Mckay, inspiring the crowd.

Dallin's preschool teacher came to the walk. It was great to see how many of our friends came to support the walk.

The two oldest participants with WS.

This is Amy. She is such a wonderful person. She is very friendly and genuine. I'm pretty sure she personally introduced herself to all 100+ people at the walk.

James, a very handsome young man.

 At the end of the walk path, we had lunch waiting.
Jimmy Johns donated sub sandwiches. We also had bagels from Panera. Bottled water and apples were donated by two grocery stores (Kroger and Marsh). And Texas Roadhouse donated rolls. With the cinnamon butter. DE-licious!

People ate and listened to live music provided by Friends n' Stuff.

Then we began the games.

The missionaries in our ward volunteered to help run the games.

We had a frisbee toss game. 

The kids loved this water gun game. They had to shoot all the ping pong balls off the tees in 30 seconds.

And Mckay made balloon animals.
I bet you didn't know he could make balloons animals. He is a man of many talents.

Two girls from church (they also happen to be my piano students) did face painting.

The Lafayette Fire Department brought a fire truck over so the kids could climb inside and have a seat.

We couldn't have a walk without a picture of Dallin in a fire truck.

A wonderful young man from church volunteered to watch Dallin and Connor for us at the walk. I knew that with Mckay and I being so involved with running everything, I would need someone to keep a constant eye on the kids and to keep Connor from running away to the playground.
He did a great job and kept the boys safe.

Amy loved dancing along with the music.

I said a few words about the importance of raising awareness.
And I announced the silent auction winners.

It was a wonderful day. We raised just over $2000 for the Williams Syndrome Association. We didn't quite reach our goal, but I'm still impressed with all we managed to pull off in our small city. (If you're interested in helping us meet our goal, donations are still accepted through the end of July. :)  )

I'm proud of what we accomplished. It was time consuming and a lot of work, but I'd do just about anything for this sweet boy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Break

School is out and summer break has officially started! Summer weather is here too. We've already had several hot, humid days and I've already turned the air conditioning on, which is way sooner in the year than I did last year.

I made our summer bucket list for this year. I didn't stray from from the layout I used for last year's summer list
I left some room at the bottom in case we want to add more. There are a lot of repeat activities from last year, as well as some new ones. I added new travel goals like "See the White House." My goal for Connor is to potty train him. We'll see how that goes.... My goal for Dallin is for him to recognize all 26 letters of the alphabet (his recognition right now is spotty, with about 10 letters regularly recognized). I also want to work on a few other things like writing to get him ready to start Kindergarten in August.

During this summer, we're going to have 20 minutes of "school" time each morning. It will really just be games or activities to help learn the letters. Yesterday, we started with the first letter of the alphabet: A. 
We practiced tracing and drawing the letter 'a' and then the boys got to cover the outline of the letter with cereal pieces. Dallin was the one who gave me the idea for this when he was playing with his Apple Jacks that morning said, "Look! I made a T!" Of course, they got to eat the cereal after they made the letter. Connor started eating his cereal right away.

I tried to take a second picture to give Connor another chance to smile.
He just grabbed more apple jacks to shove in his mouth.

The local zoo is open now, so I'm sure we'll go there a lot this summer. I love having a small, free zoo only ten minutes away. It's right in the middle of town and it's really easy to just stop by for a little bit after running errands.

The recently born baby goats were out so we got to play with them

Connor is so sweet with the goats. He would walk up to the big goats and say in his high, baby voice, "I'm just petting you, I'm not going to hurt you."

Our summer is off to a good start so far!