Saturday, October 10, 2015

Help, Homecoming and the beginning of the Tetons

We had the awesome opportunity to see our dear friend, Achim, and his sweetie Maria who had
traveled from Switzerland to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. We have been planning for over six months to spend time with them while they were only a 6 hour drive from us.

Because Achim was a foreign exchange student with Marc's family his parents came with us too so they could spend some much needed and awaited time with Achim and meet his sweetheart.

We were there for 4 days and 3 nights and it was quite an adventure.

One of the reasons I haven't been so good at keeping up in the blog lately is because my laptop is out of commission and some of my Teton trip photos are on there and I was slightly discouraged by that. But, really, between Marc, Gary and I, we had plenty of photos to share.

The first thing I want to tell you all about though is actually something that I wasn't even there for.

I was actually quite sad about it.

Happy that it was happening, but sad I was missing it.

Brother is in high school now and with that comes many new experiences in his life and ours.

Homecoming for his High School was the weekend we were gone.

I made a social story for him and everything. Thanks to Wikihow I was able to find pictures to utilize.

I am sharing the social story I made in this post because I hope it might help some other mom with a special needs kid to have a successful time at a high school dance.

First, though, I want to tell you how it was all possible.

His teacher, Marie, arranged the entire thing by making sure they all had rides, dinner at a fellow classmates home and even pictures, then rides to and from the dance while she chaperoned it all along with some of the parents!

Let's pause for a moment here...

His teacher did all this. Arranged it, planned it, and followed through with it just because she wants her class to have "normal" experiences like their peers do!


There are fantastic teachers in the world. Really.

Then, to add to my wonderful life, we have Lindsey and McKenna who take care of our children when we are away and Lindsey made it all possible for Brother to look nice and even take his photos for us before he left.

photo by Lindsey

Photo by Lindsey
Lindsey said that Baby kept telling her, "take my picture" so of course, she did!
Photo by Lindsey

When I saw these pictures that she sent to me while we were gone I felt a bit of a pang in my heart because I had missed this "first time" moment in his life. Sometimes I question my decisions as a parent and as a wife... sometimes you have to choose which one and it's not always an easy decision. I do find comfort, though, in the fact that Brother has so many people around him that love and care for him and that it doesn't always HAVE to be me that helps in his journey through life. I am thankful for the angels he has surrounding him.

His teacher, Marie, even made sure to take some pictures for me.

Here he is waiting outside the friend's house for everyone to get there for dinner. Look at those big feet!

This is the only picture I can post from the dinner because all the other show his friends,
but I thought you would be as impressed with the fancy cookie as I was!
When we were home from the Tetons I had the opportunity to talk with some of Brother's peers in our neighborhood and they said he was so social and was so much fun and he was dancing and teaching everyone his dance. I was so happy to find that his teacher got a photo of his awesome "long-arm" dance:

I mean, he getting down! Woot! I'm so proud of him!

Now here is the social story that was shown to him for the 4 days before the dance:

I hope this social story may help someone out there with a special needs high-schooler.

Now for the images of our Teton's trip:

We went on a hike every day that we were together. This was the beginning of our first hike to Taggart Lake.
It was a fairly easy hike and was beautiful.

I have memories of the first part of this hike because we tried taking our kids on this one when we came with them a few years back... we didn't make it far that time. This time we made it all the way to the lake and it was beautiful.

Maria was so excited to see the wildlife, even if it was small, so I made sure to take pictures for her.

This was one of my favorite parts of the hike, these trees were majestic.

Here's the image I have on my laptop that I couldn't get to, but I had posted it on Instagram so I was able to take it from there. If you want to follow me on Instagram you can find me at fxsrachael

This is a shot Marc got on his phone.

After our hike to Taggart Lake Maria and Achim decided they needed to call it a night so they headed back to their place at Teton Lodge and we (me, Marc, Lynne and Gary) headed to Jackson Hole for dinner. Marc snapped this picture of the two of us and I just love it:

We did some window shopping after dinner and Marc snuck this cute shot of his parents taking a "selfie." So cute!

And folk's that's all you're getting for now. I was going to post all of the Tetons, but my sweetheart is waiting for me to come watch a movie with him. I don't want to put my blogging before him, so this is the end for now. (wink)

Days 271 and 273 of 365 Days of Up

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