Graham Starts 4K

Graham started 4K this week at Spartanburg Day School.  USC Upstate, where I work, has a partnership with them, so we get a really nice tuition cut.  He  is so excited to start Kindergarten.  It seems to be going well so far.   The school has a fantastic reputation.  We are thrilled to have him there!

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Graham and Surae Having Summer Fun

Graham and Surae are a great team!  They really do have a good time together.  It is so much fun to see them getting along.  Surae follows Graham all over the place and Graham is really good to her.   He is so happy to finally have his sister.

Families with Children from China Dinner

This past Friday, we hosted the second Friday Families with Children from China dinner.  This is a smaller group of people with children from China that are 2 and under.  We meet once a month for dinner and rotate the host house.  It is a lot of fun and I think it is so beneficial for Surae to start the process of making connections with other children from China.  It is also a great way for Michael and I to meet other families who have had the same experiences and dealt with some of the same issues that we are dealing with.  Surae was velcroed to me for most of the party, but detached herself near the end in order to play with some of her new friends.  We are really lucky to have this group in our area!

Dillsboro Thomas the Train Ride

Last weekend, the family headed out for a little camping trip near the Great Smokey Mts.  Michael and I took the day off of work on Friday and loaded up the car.  We camped for the weekend at Moonshine Creek Campground near Dillsboro.  It was right on Moonshine Creek, so we were able to go to sleep to the peaceful sound of the creek right behind us. 

After we got unpacked, we headed onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We drove on the parkway to Cherokee which was a beautiful drive.  The Parkway is a truly amazing road filled with gorgeous views at every turn.  We hung out in Cherokee for a very short period of time.  It is kind of the Myrtle Beach of the mountains.  After that, we ended up having dinner with some of the people I had met in Reno the previous week.  It was one of those small world things, but we just happened to be camping right next door to where one of the guys I met lived and another one of the guys lived really close by as well.  Crazy!  So, we went out and indulged in some mountain barbecue.  Plenty yummy and perfect for making us want to do nothing but sit around a fire afterwards.

Late Friday night/Saturday morning, the rains started.  It rained all night which I actually love to hear the sound of while sleeping in a tent, but then when morning came, it didn’t let up at all.  So, we had to make breakfast in the rain.  It finally stopped around noonish when we headed into Waynesville to check out the Folkmoot festival.  It was a cool arts fest with plenty of great vendors, but we didn’t have much time to look, so we vowed to come back another year.  It was time to get the kids a nap before the big train ride.  By that time, our friends Joy, Hal, and their daughter Sarah had arrived as well.

After naps, we all headed into downtown Dillsboro for the Great Smokey Mountains Thomas the Train ride.   There were lots of activities to do before and after the train ride like a petting zoo and lego building.  The train ride was very fun and all of the kids enjoyed it.  It was only about a half hour, so just long enough to keep their attention spans active.  After we got back, Graham and Sarah had a blast playing in the creek and having a pillow fight in the tent.  Camping is great stuff for kids!

Reno AHEAD Conference

From July 15-19, I attended the Association on Higher Education and Disability Conference in Reno, Nevada.  This was the biggest conference I have ever attended and the most days I have ever spent away from home at a conference.  It was held at the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno, so I spent the whole time in a casino which was kind of crazy.  Reno is a gambling city for sure.    The hotel was really nice overall although insanely dark inside.  It had a great pool area though with these big white beds to lie on, so I took advantage of that as much as possible and got some reading in.  The conference itself was pretty good and I was able to get some useful information to take back to work.  I also met some really cool people working in disability services.  On my last night there, a group of us took the bus into downtown Reno and had a night out on the town.  It was a blast!  I’m not sure I’ll ever be back to Reno, but I had a great time visiting!