The Zoo and Grace’s Music Program

Keeping up a blog is tough work!  I am sorry that it has been so long since we posted.  I could give a lot of excuses like Randy was out of town for ten days or I have been trying to come up with more challenging lessons for Ryan for RPM for his homeschool (which requires a lot of research on my part) or that helping to maintain the social media for my dad’s situation has consumed a lot of my time, but the truth is, it really is all of the above and there is just not enough time in the day.  I am sure that many of you can relate to this.

In our homeschool, we have recently done lessons on some wonderful topics like different kinds of maps, the pros and cons of Nuclear Energy, Peyton Manning (did you know that he was born with a cleft palate?), Andrea Bocceli, Neil Peart (of the band Rush), Ancient Greece and some Mythology, The Great Pyramids of Giza, the Thyroid gland and Hypothyroidism (Ryan and I are affected by it), the Iowa Caucuses, the artists J.M.W. Turner and Henri Matisse (whose work Ryan was not a fan of, spelling CALLING ABSTRACT ART BOGUS PAINTING).  I am certainly learning a lot alongside Ryan.

After we finished the thyroid lesson yesterday (in which he sat for 45 straight minutes with me, without trying to get up or needing a break), Ryan spelled CAN WE ALWAYS DO CHALLENGING LESSONS LIKE THIS?

Sheesh!  I thought that we were.


A week and a half ago, Ryan and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo.  The weather was perfect and on Wednesdays, there is half price admission.  We got there and started exploring.

Not a Parselmouth. #HarryPotterForever
Can you find the cheetah?
IMG_7955 2
Gazing at giraffes. A lot of them.
Fish are still fun to watch.


But hands down, Ryan’s favorite part was feeding the ducks.  They had the little machines that you insert a quarter into and you get a handful of duck food.  I was slightly concerned that Ryan might try to eat the food, but sure enough, as soon as I put it in his hand and I told him to throw it, he did. Over and over and over again.

Ryan wrote the following once we got home from the zoo:



Last night, we went to Grace’s First Grade Music Program at her school.  Ryan has been excited to go for a while.  When we got there, Grace went to the music room with her class while Randy, Granny, Ryan and I proceeded to the cafeteria, where the program was to be  held.  Well, once 6:00 hit, we were informed that they were going to do the PTA meeting first, then the music program.

Randy and Ryan at the event.

I was concerned.  I was not sure how long that Ryan would be able to sit without possibly being disruptive or just having a difficult time with his body.  I was extremely surprised that he was absolutely amazing the entire time, which was about 50 minutes between the PTA meeting and the program.  I asked him his thoughts immediately after the program ended.

Grace and the rest of the First Graders at Liberty Elementary School.


So we waited until she came out.  He then spelled:  I AM SO REALLY PROUD OF YOU GRACE.

But, in the midst of him trying to spell, Grace’s friends came up and starting being 7 year old girls together:  yelling, giggling, etc.  I could see Ryan struggling a bit, but he did get his message out.


So we quickly went to the Book Fair that they had in the library.  Grace picked out two books and after showing Ryan the different sections (some labeled Grades 3-6 and some labeled Grades 6-8) we asked Ryan if he wanted to get a book.


Randy and I thought that it might be a good idea to try the series I Survived, which is based on real life events with the main character being witness to the event that the book is based on.  We decided that since Ryan and I are reading a book for his book club, Randy would read this one with Ryan.  The book that we chose is I Survived The Great Chicago Fire, 1871.

We hadn’t eaten yet, so all five of us headed up to the local Cotton Patch Cafe for dinner.

Now that might not seem like a big deal to most, but Ryan had just sat through 50 minutes at the school and now we were chancing a sit down dinner.  He did absolutely wonderful.  This would not have been possible two years ago.  I would have completely shut down the idea of a sit down restaurant at all with Ryan.

Each night, before bed, Randy and I sit down with Ryan to talk with him and to make sure that he has a chance to say anything that he needs.  Last night he spelled:  MEANINGFUL TO ME TO GO TO GRACE’S MUSIC PROGRAM.

Things just keep on getting better and better and I know that they will continue to do so.

We are very thankful.

Grace and Ryan at the Dallas Arboretum on Valentine’s Day.

3 thoughts on “The Zoo and Grace’s Music Program

  1. The blog entries are so heartwarming. I love seeing Ryan’s growth, not by baby steps but often leaps. He has such good guidance from you and such ability. He is truly a miracle. Mostly, I love to hear what he feels. Thoughts and emotions that you would not normally have been privy to. The understanding you have comes from him expressing himself so beautifully and it makes me wish all kids had these opportunities. Keep up the wonderful work. I hope to meet Ryan at the rally.


  2. Way to go Ryan! I love how you were “storing up (your) love for Grace.” Thanks to you and your mom for sharing your experiences with others. People need to know how communication affects all aspects of having a good quality of life. My son Philip has also flourished in his ability to take part in his siblings performances and go out to the theater and fancy dinners. Keep sharing with everyone! You are making a difference in the world!


  3. What great strides you two are making. I love that he wants to learn about so many different things and that you are so willing to do whatever it takes for him. You are amazing and inspiring! I am contemplating homeschool and love to read about others successes as it makes it not so daunting. Lawton and Addie love the zoo and the photos you posted. We watched the video several times. Thanks for sharing with us.


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