So the other day, Ryan’s grandma, who we call Granny, was asking Ryan if he was interested in getting any toys for Christmas. I was surprised when he answered YES. The reason is that Ryan has never really played with any toys appropriately, nor has he shown much interest in them, even as his communication has taken off.
I WANT TOYS WITH INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO PUT THEM TOGETHER.
Hmmm. I was trying to figure out what that meant. Granny suggested construx or legos, but I began to think of things like models of some sort. Later that day, this showed up in my Facebook feed.
Randy and I had planned on an overnight getaway, beginning that morning of November 7th, but I was determined to bring Ryan to the workshop. I spoke with Randy and we agreed and signed both Grace and Ryan up for it.
We went, prepared with Ryan’s headphones in case it got too loud. There were a lot of kids and it was loud, but he did great. He was very interested in the project and helping with it. He stayed on the fake turf and stuck with it until the project was done.
Grace had a great time too and was able to do most of it on her own (with just a little bit of help from mom).
Ryan spelled out while we were there, KNOW THAT I LOVED THIS.
We plan on trying to attend these events in the future. They are on the first Saturday of the month at participating Home Depots. I would also love any suggestions from our readers for projects like this that I can do at home with Ryan. Home Depot made the instructions very easy and the actual construction was fairly easy too (especially for a challenged mom.)
This week in school, I made the focus on Veterans Day. I created several lessons around this theme and thought that it would be a good idea for Ryan to interview a veteran. Ryan’s Uncle Ryan served as a United States Marine. We set up a time to FaceTime him (coincidentally on the Birthday of the Marines, which was Tuesday) and Ryan asked his uncle several questions. Here are a few of them:
WHAT DOES SEMPER FIDELIS MEAN TO YOU?
HAS TO BE HARD, WAS IT?
HAVE YOU KILLED ANYONE?
HAVE YOU EVER FIRED A GUN?
HAVE YOU HAD ANY ENCOUNTER WITH ENEMIES?
DO YOU MISS IT?
Ryan and Uncle Ryan spoke for about 25 minutes. Aunt Sarah noted that Ryan seemed rather hyper and “stimmy” at the beginning of the call, but became rather calm as the call went on. I noticed this as well. Ryan was very engaged with Uncle Ryan.
REALLY MEANINGFUL TO TALK TO ME ABOUT THE MARINES. SO UNCLE RYAN THANKS FOR SPEAKING TO ME TODAY.
“Anything else that you want to say?”
YES TO LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE ARMED FORCES.
So today we went to the local North Richland Hills Veterans Day Celebration. Ryan was very excited to go. Last night, when I asked him if he still wanted to go, he replied WE ALREADY SAID THAT WE ARE GOING. So that was that!
I was concerned about the weather as it was supposed to rain, but, as I have found, Texas weather is funny. It was actually sunny and 80 degrees and I was sweating. We got there and Ryan seemed to be having trouble with his body from the start. He spelled out I AM NOT SURE THAT I CAN LAST THE WHOLE TIME. I told him that it would not be necessary to stay the whole time and that we would stay as long as he could.
We stood in the back and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him–Officer Hodges! I had mentioned to Ryan that he might be there. Well it did not take him long to hear and recognize one of Ryan’s noises and he came right over to us.
I have to say, as a parent, the sight of this brought tears to my eyes. As soon as Ryan saw Officer Hodges, he went right up to him and hugged him and smelled him and smacked him on the chest (which Officer Hodges didn’t mind but I was mortified) and Ryan kissed him. You could feel the love and admiration that Ryan has for him. In the midst of it all, Ryan spelled SO AWESOME TO SEE HIM.
If it wouldn’t have been awkward to take a picture, I would have. The picture of it is in my mind though and it is vivid and amazing.
Even with Officer Hodges there, Ryan still had difficulty with limiting his noises though. I decided it was best to leave as I didn’t want to disrupt the ceremony.
On our way out, we saw the ladies who had given us flags and the program upon our arrival. Ryan spelled out for them THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING US.
We got home and I made lunch. When I sat down, Ryan kept motioning and pulling for me to get up. I held out his board. KIND OF WANT TO START HOMESCHOOL AGAIN (meaning cut your lunch short, Mom!)
We sat down at the desk and he spelled:
MR. HODGES IS REALLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER. HE IS ALWAYS SO KIND TO ME. REALLY LIKED SEEING HIM AGAIN. REALLY KNOW THAT I AM GLAD THAT WE WENT TO THE VETERANS DAY CEREMONY.
8 thoughts on “Back to Home Depot and Veterans Day”
“I would also love any suggestions from our readers for projects like this that I can do at home with Ryan.”
Steph – Lowe’s does this type of thing regularly in store as well. Also, any good sized hobby store will have a section dedicated to building projects and models geared toward some sort of lesson; often scientific. We like to projects for the kids at Hobby Town USA. Thier website says they have locations in your area.
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Thank you, John! I will check all of this out!!!
Hi I found your blog from a cerebral palsy Facebook page I follow/like (I have cp, I can relate to Ryan on the loud noise thing) Yep Texas weather is weird just wait til Dec Jan Feb if it snows/ices over everything shuts down
I am so touched an inspired by this post, by your powerful love for Ryan and grace. May God continue to bless and guide your family. Prayers and admiration from Indonesia.
How about origami? I did a quick google search for ORIGAMI EASY YOU TUBE and found this: http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-bamboo-letterfold.html
I am kind of late to this, so maybe you’ve already discovered that Lowes sells the kits in their stores, in case you want to take one home to work on. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Thank you, Becky! We did find this out! Merry Christmas to you too!!!