Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happiest Place on Earth

The plans for converting one of our rooms into a therapy room has been in the making for quite some time.   Today, a very fun piece of that room was completed.

Last week, Gina from I love murals  came and began painting a mural in our soon to be therapy room.  Today, she came and spent about 8 hours finishing it up!  We may not be able to get to Disneyland often, but this room has definitely become one of our happiest places on earth!

Bryce and Annalise's first reactions to the mural (before it was even finished)  Annalise kept looking at all the different parts of it and talking about each one...especially Micky and Minney!

 To make a long story short, we met Gina through Bryce and Annalise's speech therapist, Laura, who met her while at another child's home doing therapy.  Gina was interested in doing a mural for some children who were going through some type of medical challenges.  Laura thought of Bryce and Annalise and brought me Gina's information.  From there, the rest is history!

Gina first came out to meet us and see our home and discuss where we would like the mural.  We decided on the therapy room.   Gina was so easy to talk to and I felt comfortable with her right away.  After she left our home that first day, I looked at her website and was very impressed with what I saw.  I was super excited to start thinking about what we would like in that room. 

I thought about all of the things Bryce and Annalise like.  I tried to think of something that would be outdoors (a favorite for both of the kids) and something bright and cheery.  They both love Micky, Minnie and most everything Disney and have for some time.   I really wasn't sure what would look good, so I gave Gina some very basic ideas of what I was thinking and soon this idea was born. 

Gina came to our home one morning and began the project.  What once was a plain white wall, was becoming something fun for Bryce and Annalise and everyone who passes through that room.   

Gina worked for many hours that first day and then returned today to finish it.  I can't believe all the detail in this mural.  Gina is a VERY talented person!  It was so fun to watch her work and to talk with her as she did. 

I took this picture to show a little better, the size of this mural.  It's huge!  

Personalizing it!

We all love how she made their names truly look like they were carved in the tree.
I'm going to tell you something that you are not going to believe.  This was Gina's first time doing Micky and Minnie!  First time!  Look how perfect these pictures are and on a first try.  Amazing!

Annalise decided on the color of the ball.

Look at all the detail in that tree.   My older boys were very impressed with everything Gina did.  Actually, so was I!

One very talented and thoughtful person!

The finished product!  I love it.  Bryce and Annalise love it.  The older boys love it.  The cousins love it.  Bryce and Annalise's care givers love it and I am sure that the therapists and all who visit our new therapy room will love it just as much as we do.  

We have found that it is very difficult to walk by this mural and not take a good look.  It is also difficult to keep a smile from your face as you look at it.  It truly makes us happy just having this in our home.   Once again we feel very, very blessed to be the recipients of such a selfless act of service from a person we did not even know.  Gina told me that she knows that her talent comes from God and it is meant to be shared!  She is doing a great job of using her talent for good.  Just this past week, she was approached by someone at Make a Wish and asked if she would like to be involved with them for those children who choose room make overs.  Gina jumped at the chance and will now be bringing a little bit of fun into many special children's lives.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Gina!  What a wonderful person you are!  I am so happy to have the mural, but I am even more happy that I have gotten the chance to meet you and get to know you a little bit.   I am so very happy and thankful to now call you my friend!

Everyone, please be sure to check out Gina's website at and pass her information on to anyone and everyone you know who is looking for a mural for their home, office, or anywhere they need a little extra happiness while here on Earth.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Fluke?

Well, it looks like the fact that Bryce was telling time may not have been real after all.  Since that week they have worked with him some more on time telling and it appears that 1:00 is the only time on the clock that he consistently answers correctly.  1:00 is an important time to him though because at school, that is the time when the "work" part of the day is over and the social part begins.  Go figure!  :)
His teachers have decided to hold off a while longer before working any more on telling time which is fine with me.  They will still present it to him occassionally and see what they get, but obviously not try to push anything.  However, until that time they will continue working on the other things that he is catching on to.

Reading is one of those things.  He is learning site words...knows about 22 as of now I believe.  He is reading (silently of course) phrases/sentences using these words and then successfully matching them to the correct picture given an option of two. 

According to the report I get home each week, he has been completing "I see a ......" sentences based on a picture shown.  For example, if they show him a picture of a yellow ball, he will then choose, using eye gaze, the correct words to match the picture to complete the  "I see" sentence. 

In math, he is adding two groups of items together and choosing the correct answer most of the time.  He is also able to sort items by small, medium, and large.

He and Annalise both have begun Music therapy at school and are LOVING it.  I knew they would.  One of my favorite things is to hear Bryce "sing" along to songs while we are in the car.  I need to get some video of him singing one of the songs from Frozen or our Vocal Point CD.  He definitely has his favorites!