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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

July 31, 2009

Tazmania vs the Jessinator. . .

Or more accurately Taz and Jessie, my two wonderful special needs children. Jessie is 13.5 years old, autistic and a fab soccer player. We call her Jessie James a/k/a the Jessinator, because she'll rob you blind on the soccer field.

Taz is 7 years old, severely ADHD, ASD, SID, Asthmatic, GFCF, you name it. We call him the Tazmanian Devil, because he's like a mini tornado that spins, stops and grins, and spins some more, wreaking destruction everywhere he goes.

Gotta love em.

Taz has been visiting his cousin in Charleston for most of the summer and won't come home until tomorrow. Meanwhile, dh, Jessie and I have been enjoying our staycation. We have spent our summer touring the local sites in and around HotLanta. There's a lot to do in this town and in Northern Georgia.

It goes without saying that when Taz goes with us, he rules the roost. No matter how hard we try, we spend most of our time chasing the little devil around.

With Jessie we can take our time. View the sites, have a leisurely lunch/dinner and relax.

I have certainly enjoyed our quiet summer, but I can't wait to get my Taz back tomorrow. Jessie's not so sure she wants to give up being an only child again, but I know that deep down she misses him. We all do.


July 30, 2009

Tubing in Helen was Good for my Soul. . .

Dh, Jessie and I had a blast yesterday tubing with our church youth in Helen GA. It's was 13-year-old Jessie's first time. Dh and I hadn't tubed since we were her age.

We spent the last three rain-less, hot, muggy weeks looking forward to a lazy trip done the river only to get drenched in the pouring rain for the first hour of the trip.

Still, I never lost my humour. I was determined to get some photos and video of the kids on the river and even went out to a couple of stores the night before to see if I could find a waterproof disposable camera. NOT

I took a chance with one of my small Kodak cameras, which takes good still shots and video, hung it around my neck in a water-resistant camera case and covered the lot with Ziploc baggies.

My red-neck version of a water-proof camera actually worked pretty well. I managed to keep it high enough in the air with one hand, while I braved the rapids by holding onto my tube with the other. I got a few shots and one short video in between the bouts of pouring rain.

Dh and I lost Jessie earlier on. She floated way ahead of us with the more ambitious youth. I even lost Dh about half way through, because I kept getting stuck on rocks in the shallow areas, but I found a real sense of peace, while drifting slowly down the river, in between the raging rapids.

And, of course, the sun came out and dried up all the rain, just after we boarded the tubing company's bus to go back to our vans and cars.

We had a great day with a group of really great kids. I have never been involved with a friendlier group of teens at church or anywhere else for that matter. These kids are fun, have great manners and shine with the spirit of God.

And, best of all, I asked Jessie on the way back if she talked with the kids while on the river and she said YES. That means everything to the mother of an autistic teen and it shows me that the kids reached out to her and made her feel welcome.