The morning of the wish, we were instructed by the Make A Wish California liaison to be in the lobby of the hotel by 8am, where an accessible limo would arrive to take us to the set of Speechless. So, to save some time, we ordered room service for breakfast. Once we arrived in the lobby, we were greeted by Ray who would be escorting us throughout the day. While we were anxiously waiting to get the party started, there seemed to be a snafu with the coordination of the limo and it turned out that it wasn’t supposed to take us until the next day. So, we waited another two hrs. and then finally a vehicle arrived. By the looks of it, as it was throttling across the driveway of the hotel that was smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, the limos outer body looks greatly congruent to the DiMeo’s van. Except for once we entered the vehicle, the unpleasant sight of a bar full of liquor rotted my eyes but it did have a tv that played movies while we were driving on the 105. Meanwhile as the limo was gridlock in the horrible traffic of Los Angeles. Waiting an hour and half to get to the studio which was only thirty-eight miles away is definitely way worse than the ruckus traffic of Houston. As our limo driver was pulling up to the studio, I pinpointed my view of a sign saying, “Speechless” unconvinced to what I’m experiencing by the excitement! After I got out of the limo, the producer of the show, Daniel, greeted me with a kind voice. Overlooking the background behind him at the set-up shop of an old abandoned hospital. He then led us to the room next door where the actual scene was taking place. While we were all obnoxiously waiting to meet the cast, Daniel brought us all some headphones, so we could hear the tv screen of them doing their scenes from the room next door. The scene was for their Thanksgiving show in a hospital. So, the first thing my mom was thinking, was “what happened to JJ?” We were told it was a secret! Then we watched a funny scene with the dad (Jimmie, played by John Ross Bowie), his dentist brother and Kenneth (played by Cedric Yarbrough). Trying not to laugh sporadically is practicably incapable for me! I had to stuff my handy towel in my mouth to muffle my loudness, so I wouldn’t screw up their act. Repeatedly, they had to re-do the same scene over and over. Daniel mentioned that the cast will do this hundreds of times until they are satisfied with their work. I can’t tell you what actually happened in the scene so you will just have to watch the episode…trust me, its funny!
Once Kenneth and Jimmy entered in the room we were in, I immediately knew I was seeing two funny men. Jimmy should be himself because he’s such a naturally funny guy! He asked me, “what my favorite movie was?” I said, “Talladega Nights.” After I said that he immediately started laughing and he said he had a funny story about that movie. He told us that his wife was actually in that movie and she had a scene with the actual producer’s kids and she was thinking that there was no way that they would ever cut her scenes because it was with the producer’s kids…well she got cut and so did the producer’s kids. I guess if there’s one thing you must be in Hollywood if you want to be an actor is thick skinned and humble!
Next, Ray (played by Mason Cook) enters the studio. He was very polite and mild and told potent jokes. I thought he was cool, especially when his sister Dylan (played by Kyla Kenedy) came by. I thought it was hilarious how they interacted with each other because they acted like brother and sister bickering and joking back and forth. My sister kept asking, “where’s PJ, where’s PJ, where’s PJ?” This is what she calls JJ (played by Micah Fowler). She loves him as much as I do and it’s really the only adult show she will watch.
As time passed by and the urge to meet JJ was becoming greater every second, my palms started sweating as I clinched my fists to straighten my arms. My chin sat on my right shoulder, as my eyes were finally overjoyed by the sight of JJ. As he positions his manual chair next to me, the conversation starts with a smile and a fist pump. He spent an hour or so just talking with us. He seemed to be very gracious and humbled that we chose to meet him as my wish! I was very surprised how well that he could talk verbally. My parents could tell right off the bat that his speech was a little more advanced than mine. He has trouble with starting his sentence, then as he goes on it suddenly clears up and the speed of his voice accelerates. I could understand him easily each time he glanced at my questions and answered one of many I had pre-written for him. What’s funny is that he uses the show as a crutch to get away from collage because he never really wanted to go. Incredibly, he doesn’t mind flying back and forth between New York and Los Angeles. If I had to do that, I would probably like it at first but then I would get tired of flying eventually. Anyway, I loved hearing his laugh as he clapped his leg after a funny joke. The perfect timing of his laughter is so connected to his body motion that his jaws were chasing his hands. Once JJ answered all the questions, the director decided to guide us around the set through all the clutter of cameras, people, lighting, chords and suit cases packed with scripts.
Soon after, JJ needed to go eat with his mom and assistant AJ. We said our good byes and we entered the limo starving, the perplexing sense of a hamburger at McDonalds made my parents stomach rumble as there was no plans for lunch. So next, my dad yelled from the back of the van, “I’m hungry!!!” I turned back and said thank you to him as I was about to lose it, I was so hangry! With a bulging stomach, we headed to the Fox Studios.
When we finally got there, it was a series of buildings/warehouses where several other shows are taped as well as Speechless. They were about the size of airport hangers. This is where we got a tour of the school and house that they typically shoot their scenes in. They first took us to the school where we saw they had a very steep “emergency ramp, I guess”. We saw the hallways, the cafeteria, principals’ offices and the library. After looking a while for the house, they finally found it which was very surprising because it’s all discombobulated. Well to sum it up, it was a dump. The lady said they took pictures of a house that was going to be demolished and mimicked the house and that it cost a whole lot of money to make the house look old and dirty. It looks much better on camera than in person! I think it made my mom feel bad for the cast since they must spend much of their time shooting in the dingy house. My dad investigated the closets and around the house. It had wide doors and was accessible. Next, we went up to the office building and took us to the creator of the show, Scott Silveri’s office and he sat down with us for a good amount of time asking us questions and answering our questions. He seemed very down to earth, engaging and generally seemed like a nice guy. He talked about his brother having cerebral palsy and what inspired him to create the show. He let us watch the first uncut episode of season three (three weeks before it was aired on tv). He talked to me about getting started in script writing and what I would need to do if I wanted to pursue it in the future. Finally, he took us into the writer’s room where all these young writers sit around a huge table and come up with ideas for future shows. It was funny because they had a bunch of toys on the table to play with, like kids, to keep them busy and a bar full of different hot sauces and candy. The neat thing was seeing Zack Anner as a writer on the show. He is also a very funny comedian and just so happens to have cerebral palsy as well. I kept my cool though! As we were getting ready to leave, we thanked them all for the awesome experience. Scott Silveri kindly stopped us before we left and gave me a link to all copies of scripts from season 1 & 2 of the show. He walked us out to the limo van and told me that if I ever had any more questions in the future or wanted to pursue script writing that I should give him a call. He didn’t have to say that, but I thought it was pretty awesome!
The next day, Make A Wish hooked us up with Universal Studios Hollywood tickets. I was super stoked because I had wanted to go to the one in Orlando when we were there previously but didn’t get a chance. I was excited to go check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. First stop was ordering a frozen butterbeer which Jimmy said we had to try, and it was quite tasty. We checked out a few stores and rode a few rides which Caleryn got scared of. We ate the best meal of the whole trip at Three Broomsticks. I picked out a few souvenirs and of course had to find a wand at Ollivander’s. Unfortunately, the day was not so pleasant because Caleryn saw a stuffed rabbit (Snowball) from the movie “A secret Life of Pets” that she had to have after my mom had already paid for items. So, she started throwing a fit and didn’t give in the entire day.
The whole trip was quite the experience that I don’t think I’ll forget any time soon. I’m so grateful to Make A Wish Colorado for not only accepting me but making all the details unforgettable! If there is a charity that you might be interested in giving to, then please consider Make A Wish, much of their donated money, over 85%, goes back into making wish dreams for kids. I’ve experienced it first-hand!
Wilderness On Wheels is essentially the definition of Colorado. You would think that the Rocky Mountain state would be less accessible than the mostly flat state of Texas but you would be wrong. Visioning the pitch perfect scenery of trees swallowing the teal blue sky, mountains over indulging the valley below. As the squealing of the wind sways across the valley; pounding against the trees blockading the wooden trail made for motorize vehicles for people with physical disabilities. Supporting my Fold-a-Wheel chair racing above. Ceasing to overcome the mountain that stands before me. While my mom, dad and my sister (Caleryn) stampede behind, I temporary twist myself to spectate the effectiveness of the altitude. Remembering the terror of complications with our breathing when we first moved to Colorado. Admired by the achievement we were making. Every so often, they had to sit on a bench and catch their breath. It took a long time to get to the climax of the boardwalk. I kept wondering how did the builders manage to do it in fifteen years. It took hundreds of volunteers to help. Plank by plank, rising 2 miles up to the heavens in Grant, Colorado.
Praise the Lord for these gifts that I have received, for waiting is not a necessity anymore. I pray that my power will overcome the devil, so I can see how much my parents do for me. They are so wonderful, marvelous and hardworking even when tired. Forgoing the challenges that they face, let them be blessed in the Kingdom of heaven. For over the years they have served me. They have transferred their love onto Caleryn and I.
My patience has paid off, as I see myself being transported by a herculean machine. Descending my F-Five power chair to the great spacious area I call my own, into the freedom and the coziness of the basement. My ability to descent down to the man cave mostly by myself, has been a full-filled destiny I have long awaited. I have trouble with pulling down the bars that is above me. Swiveling the bar that is behind me counter-clockwise, raising the ramp behind upward to centralize my F-Five power chair in a safe position, not having any worry of accidentally flying backwards with a sudden nudge on the joystick by my hand. The amount of space I have between the ramp on the side and the actual mechanism that lowers the platform down is super narrow. Only a semi-professional driver like me can do it. Just kidding. It took me about three tryouts to get it down. Occasionally I need help from my sister to lower and raise the bars, since they are a little high for my crazy arms. The hardest part was getting off the lift from downstairs. Luckily, I have the perfect chair for the seemingly overwhelming job that is facing me. Also, I don’t have hands of a surgeon. So, the task of moving forward while turning slightly right and then backing up as I continue turning right without slamming against the wall in front of me nor scratching the lift from the small front right wheel that dangles in air, is extremely difficult. I have to be very aware of my surroundings. Before the workers even installed the lift, they had to trim the wall that is directly in my frontal view as I come down in order to have enough room length wise at the bottom stationery position. I love reading the wooden poster board that my dad hung on the wall as I motorize my chair off the lift. It reads “Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations”. My brain starts cranking like an old drill press and I think of my whole life. Looking at my new adjustable bed that vibrates and smiling (totally awesome by the way, sleeping like a baby). Though it might take an arm and a leg to get up and down now, I am so happy that I’m finally able to live in my glory hole!
What is the purpose of having a blog? Supposedly, mine is about transmitting my thoughts down to paper. So why am I bringing this up? All throughout my life I have been asking questions, certain questions that are about Jesus, that I couldn’t figure out. College has been on my mind for a while, and the constant cranking of what possible jobs I could do and what I might like to do in the future. After a while, I thought of three ideas. One is to go to school for theology. My mom notices that when I take certain faith-based classes, I find joy in learning as much as I can. The other idea is more of an out of the box one. I’m thinking about creating a website as a complimentary tool for missionaries who are struggling with their faith. I’m not very confident with this idea but, ever since I was a little kid I saw church as a can opener for my soul and now I still feel like I can’t contain my feelings when the priest talks most of the time. I get so focused on what the priest is saying that my mind gets super hyperactive and starts thinking of analogies. So yes, you can go ahead and say that I’m a Jesus fanatic because I am. Although this year has been a little harder for me because of my age. My mental side is messing with my heart and weighing it down by sin and worry. I feel bad a lot of times because I know God hears me and I don’t want to cause him any worry. Reading the Bible and going to church every weekend or most weekends has tremendously helped me get through this year. During the first few months, I wanted to do something that has to do with my mental ability; but I realized that the only way you can change the world is by speaking the word of God through your heart. I also would like to possibly write a book for people with disabilities that are confused by their internal self. By doing that, it would make my papa happy since he always wanted me to write a book. I’m not sure yet what I will I do first out of these generic ideas but hopefully the Lord will guide me to a good foundation where I shall open my heart up to God. I must remind myself, “God is good all the time, and all the time He is good”. When I really stop and think about my life, I know that I inspire people through my joy, struggles and laughter. Sometimes I don’t even try, it just blooms out of nowhere. Which makes me wish that I could do more. I struggle with seeing what I can do. I need to remember that the more weak I feel, the more stronger my faith will be. My memory can be a pain but Jesus all ways knows how to keep my mind on track towards my future mission in life.
This month has been crazy! First of all, we finally sold our house in Houston after being on the market for more than a year. Then we found a house. Even though it’s not the wooded mountain house on acreage that we originally wanted, it has plenty of room for my fat F-Five power chair. I couldn’t even get into the house since there are stairs in the garage to get inside the house. So, a lift and a platform was built in the garage (which took two days). Sadly, I still need to wait for a lift for the basement. It will take about six weeks to be shipped since its coming from another country. I can’t wait until I get to go down there and watch movies in the media room. We’re also thinking about buying a 3d printer so we can create something that could help me control the lights. As soon as all of the boxes and furniture were moved in our house, we had to pack for the cruise to Mexico. It was a daunting task for my parents having to pack the day after moving into a new home. Getting on the plane to San Diego for the cruise was a cluster. First of all, we got to the terminal pretty late and everyone was going in front of us. Not only that but my Fold a Wheelchair wasn’t fitting in the bag, which was driving my dad nuts! When we finally arrived in San Diego, we made our way to the cruise ship terminal and low and behold we couldn’t get through customs to get on the boat because my mom forgot that they needed to bring not only Caleryn and my birth certificates but my mom’s and dad’s as well! We sat in the terminal what seemed like forever for my dad to try and locate a copy of them on his phone. Of course since we just moved to Colorado, we didn’t really know anyone to go to our house and locate them and since we just moved in to the new house, we didn’t know our neighbors either. Thank God that my dad was smart enough to take pictures of all our important documents before we moved to Colorado just in case anything got lost in the move. After about an hour of waiting he used his Jedi Knight skills and was finally able to locate them in a secret file he made. The staff in the terminal was so excited and relieved for us. Needless to say Caleryn was having a meltdown the whole hour as we were all thinking that we came all the way to San Diego for nothing and she wouldn’t be able to see her beloved princesses! Luckily everything turned out just fine as you can tell by the pictures that I already posted.
From the time I was eight years old, I have been a fan of cruises. This year we took another Disney Cruise except this time, from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada, Mexico. It wasn’t really an eventful trip for me but it sure was for my sister. She was in Disney princess heaven! I only remember half of it since I was just watching the action from my sister’s perspective. Here’s some pictures from the trip.
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus, as we come here today with somber hearts; gratifying each tear we pore down our cheeks, for the love we had upon this joyful man; and the glorious sun shines down the creation that the lord has made and angels welcome my papa to heaven. Though we feel depressed and weak, Christ is who strengthens me; may the storms of the devil rage over time as Jesus Christ will save me. Yet my heart is still caged by emptiness, the good lord will set me free! Make this day a blessing as we meditate on everything my papa has done for us in his lifetime, for he was slow to anger, for he was patient, for he was caring; this wonderful man shall be forever remembered as the super glue of our family. Peacefully snoring on his bed, don’t wake up the giant, for the consequence is a bear hug and as his long arms wrap around your body with his enormous hands, you hope that this will never end. For it may be time he has to pass over, my papa will always be in my heart. Oh Jesus, oh Jesus, as we come here today with somber hearts, we try to happily express ourselves, though it can be perplexing certain times when we start to morn. With my heart torn, and I feel broken; Jesus will give me infinite happiness in the kingdom of heaven, as I use the only token I have that the lord has given me; throughout the passing days I live, nothing will be the same anymore without his laughter but, we will still remember it. Let this marvelous person be not forgotten as he reclines in a chair and sleeps peacefully in heaven. Please let these few words seep in your mind, as we remember papa as a strong hearted man who loved his family and as the light shines ever so brightly; we shall love him as papa did for us.
For my birthday, my parents surprised me with a ski trip to Steamboat Springs. We decided to celebrate it a day earlier. My mom did all the planning and coordinating of the schedule. It was actually a ski camp that caters to kids like me. My dad and I were going stay in a hotel for three days. After my parents got done with packing my new ski jacket, pants and boots that I got for my birthday, my dad said to me he had to go the enterprise store, so he could rent a more acceptable vehicle for driving through the snowy Rockies unlike my dad’s truck.
During the three-hour drive to Steamboat Springs, I was praying that my dad wouldn’t hurt himself because he hasn’t skied in nineteen years. When we got to the Rocky Mountains, I started feeling tired from my baclofen pump, so my dad stopped at a gas station once we got to a town. He bought me a Five-Hour Energy! My eyes jolted wide open as a rush of pure energy came through my body while I sipped through a small straw. I was laughing up a storm. The feelings that I was experiencing felt like I was in an interview after winning a Nascar race and saying, “It felt real good; the five hour energy blended well. Don’t know what to do with my hands” (an ode to my favorite movie, Talledega Nights). Yet, my mind was like an airbag rupturing through the immense pressure of fear. My dad was freaking out and was constantly asking me, “Why are you laughing so much?” I didn’t know how to answer that question with a short answer because my brain was running fifty million miles per hour. Thinking about Jesus, assuming my dad will fall and break something by skiing, and what I’m hoping to do in the future. My mom will probably never let my dad give me a Five-Hour Energy again because she got real paranoid when we called her on FaceTime and told her once we got settled in the hotel. She told us that it is a gateway drug. So, I don’t recommend giving this to your kid. But before we could check in at the hotel we had to check into the ski resort for camp. The people at the front office were super nice and very inviting. One of my buddies from power soccer, Jack went to the ski resort also. He usually skis on the black mountain. He told them about me and my blog. I was happy that Trevor, who is the guy that runs the program was there with me and was going to be my guide...Thanks Jack!!! Meanwhile, I was going on the blue mountain the next day. The blue mountain is the second tallest mountain to ski on other than the black mountain. While my dad was asking a bunch of questions, I sat there calmly and listened until I looked through the glass pane and saw all the people walking past the building and realized that we didn’t bring our power soccer flyers to recruit some new players for our team! Then I looked straight at my dad in all seriousness. He looked at me for a moment then, I started telling him but, right before I was about to finish my sentence, he got distracted with signing papers. So, I maneuvered my Fold a Wheelchair (mechanical wheelchair) across the room to see the sleds that they use for disabled people. At first glance, it looked long and skinny, almost too skinny like it would tip. I asked my skiing guide, Trevor (my dad translated). Trevor said that they’ll put down riggers on each side of the sled. I felt better when I heard that answer. When we got to the hotel and entered our room, my dad and I saw the horror in front of our eyes! There was only one bed. Which was just great because I get to sleep with a wiggle worm.
The next day, we got up early feeling groggy and semi tired. My dad started setting up a bag for me to get as many calories I can possibly get before I have to get dressed. I already knew beforehand that I’m going to burn calories like nobody’s business while skiing. After I got done with eating, my dad dressed me with my new orange ski jacket and pants. I felt like I was Randy! All bundled up tightly with a red scarf, two layers of pants and two layers of coats. Feeling like a stick figure. Actually, it wasn’t that bad. The jacket and pants were very comfortable. Before we left, my dad got his ski clothes on since he’s going skiing on the bunny slope. At around nine, we got to the front office, Trevor and Hannah started to help me get in the sled. My dad of course explained to Trevor how to hold on to me correctly when I’m walking. Then my dad left to go skiing on the bunny slope. Trevor and Hannah did some practice tests and lifted the sled up so that they can get the ice and snow off the snowboard. At first, Trevor helped me steer to the ski lift. I was so frightened once we got on and the ski lift climbed up because the sled would shake a little. I was relieved when they lowered a safety bar down in front of me once they positioned the sled to the correct spot. I was still scared when I saw myself forty feet off the ground! As we were about to get off, the lift temporary decreased its speed and the sled suddenly pounced on the snowy turf headfirst. Then we finally went skiing. Trevor said that he didn’t want to put the riggers down until I know what it feels like when turning. As I zoomed down the mountain, I felt the rush of cool Rocky Mountain air penetrating my face. I had to dodge people. By leaning my trunk left and right the sled turned smoothly through the snow. It was so easy! But if you do it for three hours straight, your muscles will be worn out. I occasionally told Trevor or Hannah to put the ski mask on when my face started getting cold. At around 45 minutes till noon, we started heading back to the ski resort. I saw my dad sitting on the bench waiting on me. He told Trevor, Hannah and myself that he fell hard on his shoulder (we later learned that he had a separated shoulder after four weeks of pain, he finally went to the doctor). We had some lunch before I went for the second half of the day. I only wanted to ski for an hour and a half more since I was already tired. Which later, I regret because the sun was coming out and melting all of the softer snow leaving the harder snow out. My head was about to come off! Back and forth; looking at the sky, looking at the ground constantly. I felt I was riding a stallion that is trotting fifty mph. How was I able to maneuver through all that racket! Trevor had to help me I think. Which is either him coordinating me or him completely controlling. I am certain that he had to control the sled at that rocky moment because I almost lost my body control. My mind can be weird sometimes, I was thinking of myself as Tow Mater driving down a bumpy road and constantly loosing bolts! When we got down to the bottom of the mountain, I overheard Trevor telling Hannah that his foot nearly came out of the skies, which frightened me. I told Trevor that I only wanted to ski in the morning tomorrow once we got back to the ski resort. Towards the end of the hour and a half I was so ready to collapse in a bed and hibernate in a hotel room for the rest of the day. “Lock down!” as my dad says while he shuts the blinds to hermit mode. I was very proud of myself that I could do it for that long.
Sunday was a perfect day to ski, partially sunny skies, not too cold which was good for me because I get cold fast and the people don’t have to hear a tractor by them (snorting). I am still a Houston Texan. I kind of miss all the moisture in Houston sometimes because this winter, Colorado has destroyed my lip and left a big crack. So, occasionally, I reminded Trevor to put on Chapstick, that way I don’t have to start the healing process again. On the other hand, you just can’t get the feeling of slushy icy snow being splattered all over your mask as another skier swerves his skies through the snow so broadly in front of me. My dad didn’t go skiing that day. He probably just lied down on the bed and watched YouTube videos. I felt a little bad for my dad especially towards the end of the skiing day when I went on the half pipe. The half pipe was my favorite thing to do. Every time I wanted to do the half pipe, I had to go through an obstacle, the big ramp. First of all, I had to navigate my way around the higher ramps to finally scope upon what would be my next significant activity for the day. I thought the sled ramp was cool but not as exhilarating as the half pipe. The reason why I think that is because the sled acts like a sailing vessel swaying across the turquoise ocean. I loved the second the sled went airborne! My second favorite part was just looking down from the ski lift and watching people get cocky by jumping off a slope and then falling. Also, Trevor would tell jokes to me and I would try to guess the answer, which I sucked at. However, I was grateful that I had an awesome ski teacher behind guiding me. Granted that it may take me a whole lot of determination and fantastic fine-motor control to my arms, before I can potentially ski by myself with ski poles. Next year I am going to try the black mountain!
Happy Easter everyone, I hope all had a blessed day!
This year for was kinda special for me, Hanna, our youth director asked if I would be interested in having my feet washed by the priest on Holy Thursday. They do things a little different at my new church. Usually the catechumens (new people becoming catholic) get their feet washed by the priest on Holy Thursday before they come into the church as new catholic parishoners for Easter. Here, they just ask new parishoners, long time servers, elderly or youth etc. if they would like to do it. Of course, I said I would like to do it, but I was already a nervous wreck beforehand worrying that I would startle and my feet would kick someone in the face or kick the holy water and spill it everywhere. My head was shaking, my eyes were giving me crazy eyes, my heart was racing, yeah I think I was pretty nervous! I was glad that my dad pushed me to the alter and back to where we were sitting because there would be no way that I could drive the chair with me being so nervous. Everything kicks in and I kind of freeze and then can't control my hands, arms and legs. Even though I was so nervous during the process, I am very happy that I've done this for Jesus. I hope to toil all of my weaknesses in my faith.
Now you ask, "why did Jesus wash the disciples feet?" It seems like such a humiliating task, yet it's also very personal and intimate, I mean he's not only washing it but he then kisses the foot as well! That Jesus performed this task as one of His last acts on Earth delivers an important message of how we are supposed to be as Christians. Are we willing to wash the feet of our neighbors? We are to serve our neighbors, even if it means we must do things we might not like to do. Even if the work is hard or dirty and even if we think its beneath us. We are no greater than Jesus!
I have now lived in Colorado right at the year mark now and even though Ive had a few medical setbacks, its not really been long enough to establish medical relationships with all my doctors here. So, when I received the letter in the mail that the people from Make a Wish (after consulting my new doctors) accepted me to the program, I was super surprised and excited! They gave us a few weeks to think about my wishes before we went up to their offices to meet with everyone. On the day of the appointment, I had three wishes in my head. My first wish was to go meet JJ (Micah Fowler) from the show “Speechless” and introduce the sport of power soccer to him and the show; maybe they’ll even let me be in the audience! I was thinking we need to really find a way to make power soccer more widely known since its really the only competitive sport for power chair users to play completely independently. He has such a strong following since he's really the only kid on t.v. that is truly representing all with physical disabilities, and in this case cerebral palsy. I was also hoping to meet Zack Anner who is super funny as well as a writer for the show. He just so happens to also have cerebral palsy. Maybe I should just get busy writing a script to help them out!! ;) Anyway, I thought if I could meet JJ and the crew then maybe it would give them a good idea to write a script of JJ trying out power soccer on the show. My wish granter in Denver has expressed an interest to come watch one of our power soccer practices too, I thought that was pretty cool as well!
If that wish didn't work out, then my second wish would be to go to Israel to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to see some of the places He went during his life. My third wish (in my head) was to go to Rome to be blessed by the Pope, but that never came up. The lady who wrote the wishes down on paper said to my parents that it takes about a month to get the wish out to the right people since I essentially want to meet a celebrity. After I told her my wishes, she guided us through their office and introduced us to everyone. Everyone was very nice and a few actually knew about the show and was excited about my wish! Hopefully soon they will tell us some news...more to come!!
So, I haven't had a lot of time lately with school and all but I did want to update everyone that I have a new job! I have been asked to be a monthly blogger for United States Power Soccer Association, the official sponsors of TEAM USA! I was pretty excited about this position and although I don't really get paid, its a great way to get my thoughts out there and gain some more experience and exposure for my writing portfolio. I've placed the links on the home page of my blog so you can go directly to their sites and read my blogs about power soccer, travel and all things accessibility.
I also wanted to mention that my team The Rolling Rapids has partnered with The Denver Rapids professional men's soccer team to gain exposure and hopefully bring us some much needed new players for our team. They have also placed a link on their website and vice versa. Right now they are being gracious enough to provide my team mates and I some jerseys, pants and shoes so we can look a little more like a professional athletic team.
Good things are happening!
Here is a link to the Colorado Rapids Soccer Team Website. Check it out!
For my mom's birthday we went to eat at The Fort. The outside of the restaurant looked very old and western. There was a big open area in the back of the restaurant with a campfire outside. The food at the restaurant was reminiscent of what they served in the 1830s. The reason my mom wanted to go there is to have a true Colorado experience and try out some Rocky Mountain Oysters or so called, cow balls. My dad got into defense mode and started acting like a scaredy cat before we even left the apartment. I thought the cow balls were disgusting. It (notice i said it, not they) was so chewy and tasted like liver. Every time my parents would say the name of it I would start gagging on it. For the entree, my dad and I shared buffalo prime rib. I thought it was good but I liked what my mom ordered better which was buffalo rib eye. Surprisingly, it was less gamey than regular steak. Towards the end of the dinner, they asked us if we wanted a picture with buffalo hats on and so we did. When my dad got his phone back and started looking at the pictures, he saw that mom had her eyes closed in one photo. I don't know why she does that but I do know that she despises having to take pictures for sure. In fact, she really doesn't like being the center of attention at all. If you notice in my blogs, she's always the one taking the pictures. She's the one that helps me a lot with my blog, she likes to work behind the scenes. Anyway, my mom is the best cook, has a weird sense of humor and she dresses me nicely so I don't look like a dork and she helps me do pretty much EVERYTHING every day and I love her.
hat are your strengths? My mental intelligence, some common sense that I got from my mother and my dorky moo
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Spain
Why? Better tasting food
What do you like to do for fun? Power soccer, Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Chess.
What are you most worried about? That people start seeing me as a total loser.
What do you wish your parents knew about you? What I'm mad about.
What do you wish your grandparent knew about you? How much I dislike writing sometimes. It drives me crazy when they call on FaceTime and say, "How come you haven't written a blog?" But I have to say they are my biggest blog supporters too.
If you could have one wish, what would it be? To have a mind reader hooked up to my head. Although, it would be kinda bad because my parents would hear how terrible I am towards myself especially when I do something wrong.
What do you feel ashamed of? Lack of communication to another person and laziness sometimes.
Where do you feel safest? In my F-Five power chair with the tray on.
If you weren't afraid, what would you do? speak up!
If you weren't disabled, what would you do? Become a missionary or a comedian.
Have you ever felt like a failure? Yes
How did you cope? By remembering all of the good times I had in the past.
How can you tell that you're getting angry? By feeling my brain burning by the flood of bad words after hearing something and then rub my fist to my eyes.
What are you thinking? I wish that I can help more often.
How are you different? I don't see myself as ugly anymore.
What's something that adults(parents, grandparent's, teachers, etc.) say to you that's really stuck with you? Your going to change the world
Do you think they are right? Sometimes no and sometimes yes. It depends on how I am feeling when they say that.
How do you feel when people stare at you? I don't really mind it. The only time that it kinda bugs me is when I'm walking in my walker. I feel like a sumo wrestler stomping the ground.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Being able to put my clothes on.
What do you like about your school? It's not all about tests. I can breathe.
What do you dislike? Devil and time
Do you think it was a good idea to homeschool? Yes
What do you do when you're stressed out? I start sweating and start panicking to rush myself to finish whatever I'm doing.
What's something nice you could say to yourself? I am a hard___worker and not to say the bad word.
What is your happiest memory? The happiest memory is when I got my first gun for my birthday and I was so surprised that I started crying. I remember my Papa telling me not to shoot my eye out and I started laughing.
What do you do when you're feeling down? Blame myself and only see what I can't do.
Do you think it's OK to cry? No, because it makes me feel weak inside.
What is your favorite book? Out of my Mind
What is your favorite movie? Star Wars
What is your favorite music or band? Classic rock
What is your favorite color? Orange
What are you grateful for? For staying healthy and not getting pneumonia. I'm grateful to have a little sister that makes me laugh even when I'm not in the greatest mood.
What do you like about yourself? I'm a goofball, funny, smart and i have a nice smile
The week of Thanksgiving before we even got on the road to Las Vegas in the rv, Caleryn was being negative Nancy. She would say, “I guess we’re just not going to the driving house”. Where does she get this negativity from? I know that this seems like a heavy topic to write about in a first paragraph but when I hear her say something like that, it sounds so funny because Caleryn is only four years old and she is already so gloomy towards everything! But sometimes she can be sweet and helpful to my parents and me.
When my dad brought the rv to the apartment, we started loading up all of the bags my mom packed. Later on, my dad got mom’s car from the garage and picked us up to go to Le Peep for breakfast. My dad usually gets a coffee and then my sister hogs some of it but that morning I wanted some coffee. Which is good because I’m the one who actually needs it, not them two hogs. After we ate, we stopped at a store for my mom to get some last-minute groceries for the trip. Caleryn started to get impatient waiting in the car with my dad and me. We started getting on the road after my dad secured everything that could move around or tip over during our road trip. We went through Breckenridge, Colorado. You could actually see people skiing down the mountain from the highway, it was pretty cool. Once in awhile, I would look out through the small rectangular window to the left of me and see what type of landscape we were passing by. When we were going through the Rocky Mountains my mom set me up with a pouch. The pump for the g-button wasn’t working very well all throughout the vacation, so mom had to get up a million times to try and unclog the line when it would beep (now this is pretty funny when we are still driving, she wobbles all over the rv). Maybe because it was not a good enough connection in the rv or because it pulls a lot of power. Who knows. The next town we passed on the highway was Vail. It is a lot nicer than Breckenridge in my opinion. Once we got to Grand Junction, we stayed for the night at an rv camp site. On Sunday, my parents got up early because there were still a lot of miles to cover. Caleryn and I stayed up in the top bed for a little while longer. When we got a little bit into Utah, there was a sign on the road saying, “no services for the next 100 miles”. Good thing that my dad stopped to get gas before we left Grand Junction. Utah was pretty much a desert. I was just imaging how hard it must have been to travel on horseback and in carriage wagons back when pioneers trekked the embarking journey to California to stock hold gold in the early 1800s. There is so much land uninhabited out there. Furthermore, they had to deal with the scorching heat in the summer months as well as rattle snakes. There wasn’t much scenery to look at in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, just a lot of rocky topography. All they saw was reddish-brown colored sediment ingrained in the rocks. I imagine the pioneers didn’t know how to treat many diseases. This makes me feel pretty lucky that I live in an age where doctors know how to treat different types of diseases, with the right medicine, without having to amputate a body part.
There were a few lookout areas in Arizona along the road. My dad stopped at three of them. One was an uranium deposit. My dad got out of the rv and took pictures of the descriptions for me so I can read them later. Caleryn of course stole a rock from there. I tell you what, she is such a little thief sometimes. I think that Caleryn will be a future geologist because my sister is downright addicted to rocks, and she brings them back home after we go anywhere! Once we finally got to Lake Mead, Navada we parked the rv at another camp site and that was our resting place for the week. My parents went ahead and set up the beds because everyone was so tired already from all the driving. Towards midnight my dad decided to make a fool of himself by kicking his foot at the wall on the bed, waking me and my mom up. He later told us while we were eating breakfast the next morning, that he had a dream about him playing soccer and he did a flip kick. Once he woke up he realized he really hurt his toe. Now, I do this quite a bit except I don’t hurt myself, I startle and my hand hits the blinds. I hate dreams.
The next day my dad went to go rent a car which took a few hours. Meanwhile, Caleryn and my mom was sitting on the picnic table outside playing play doe and listening to music. In the evening after my dad rented an all-wheel-drive Jeep, we went to Las Vegas to go see the Beatles Love show at the Mirage Hotel. After a hour of driving and seeing barely anything along the way we started to see some lights up ahead. As my dad drove closer to the city, I saw cool buildings that can be found at other parts of the world but they modernized it, like the Pyramid and New York City and the Eiffel Tower of Paris. My dad stopped at a restaurant to kill time before the show. I got a chicken fried steak from there. It has been such a long time since I have actually been to a restaurant that knows the correct name of chicken fried steak. Anyway, we took our time eating even though, we still got to the show 20 minutes early. Unfortunately, we had to walk through the casino area. I can totally smell the smoke in there and it is not a pleasant smell either. They really should’ve made the casino area out of the way of all of the shows and the movie theater, so your kids didn’t have to smell that stuff just to go see a show. That seems to be a pattern in Las Vegas. Even the movie theatres are all in casinos! Anyway, I thought the show was awesome because all of the songs from the Beatles were played and they would do acrobats and dance to the music. Caleryn of course loved all of the romantic dancing. My favorite part of it is when they unleashed a curtain out of nowhere and multiple stage lights came down from the ceiling creating a movie on top of the curtain about what the Beatles did in their lives as it waved up and down. after the show, it was pretty late so we headed back to the rv.
Tuesday we went to a nuclear museum. What I learned from the nuclear museum is that in 1951 America started doing aerial testing on nuclear bombs to see what effect it does to the ground. The problem was that it was super loud and you would feel these small tremors as the day went on. Another issue with aerial bomb testing was that it wasn’t very accurate and some bombs got a little close to the cities. As the years went by, they noticed that more and more people were getting cancer from radiation. Then in 1959 they started building underground bomb test sites scattered everywhere throughout Nevada and Arizona in the 60s. The coolest part was a theatre that demonstrated the effects of the bomb going off and you could actually feel the air hit you, the blinding light and feel the earth shake. I thought the nuclear museum was interesting to see and learn about.
The next place we went to was Hoover Dam. We didn’t take a tour but I know some things about it already that I learned from a t.v show on the science channel. Workers that built the Hoover Dam used extremely cold water through pipes in the concrete to cool it down because without it, it would take years to cool due to the blazing heat there. Seeing the Hoover Dam in person up close tells a whole different story because its just so big and impressive to me the amount of labor and dedication it takes to build a structure like this. My dad had to get me out of my mechanical chair and stand me up on top of the footplate to see down the dam, since I wasn’t tall enough to see over the thick concrete wall with just sitting down. After I looked down it, we kept on walking onwards into Arizona. As we were crossing the road to see the other side, I saw a clock in front of us, and I noticed that we gained a hour because we were back in Mountain time. It’s cool because you can walk back and forth between Nevada and Arizona like its a time machine. Once we got a good view of the other side (which looked the exact same as the previous side that we saw, excluding the two hydraulic generators on each side of the Colorado River) and crossed the road again, we started walking back to the car in the parking garage. Mom had noticed that there was a police guard that was standing in the middle of both clock towers, apparently they used to have a line in the middle of the road and one side said Navada while the other side said Arizona. I was told that they got rid of the line in the street because people would go out there and put one foot on each side of the line and take pictures to show they have a foot in each state. If you've ever been there than you would know this is quite a busy road with traffic so i guess it would cause a lot of backups. Caleryn got tired of walking as we got closer to the car so I let her sit in lap because I’m an awesome brother. Sometimes I wish she had been born during the time when I was still crawling on my knees. I would so make fun of my mom’s shows that she watches with Caleryn’s barbies.
On Wednesday, it was my parents 27th anniversary (that they started dating). That evening we went to the Paris Hotel for the anniversary dinner at Gordon Ramsey Steak. When my mom ordered Caleryn some steak, the waiter suggested giving her a 16 ounce beef wellington steak for 72 bucks. My mom couldn’t get over that for the rest of the vacation and neither could I. My mom and I got the beef wellington and no, I didn’t smash it on the table and say it’s raw, like he does in Hell’s Kitchen. There was so much flavor saturated in my mouth that it was very hard not to smile. The downside to eating at a high class restaurant is that it is so expensive. It cost 215 bucks but, on the other hand, it’s a once in a lifetime thing to do and its cool having that experience as a teenager. It was one of our favorite shows back in the day. After my dad paid the enormous check, we followed one of the managers of the restaurant to the comedy show that we were seeing. Unfortunately, he led us to the wrong place and my dad had to ask three other people around the casino to finally get to the show. Luckily, the show hadn’t started yet. This was my first comedy show that I went to and I had an awesome time laughing my head off with other people surrounding me. The comedian that we were seeing was Jeff Civilico. He didn’t come out until after a little comedy beforehand. What happened is that three people from the audience got chosen to come up on the stage to make fun of themselves by doing a silly game. They each sat in a chair and blew up a balloon, they would try to pop it by standing up and then sitting straight down on top of it. The funniest part about it was when they sat down and the balloon didn’t pop because their whole body weight was on the balloon for a second and then when it popped, they splatted down on the chair. After that, Jeff Civilico came out. He was a lot like Jim Carry in his mannerisms. I think that it was a good first comedy show for me and Caleryn.
On Thanksgiving, we had lunch at Hash House a Go Go. Everything was normal until my dad asked for the check and the waiter told us that it was already paid for. This has happened quite a few times before in my life and every time that it happens to us, I think about whoever does that probably feels good about themselves. It's such a nice gesture! We of course felt guilty but if more people would do that, the world would be much better. We try to pay it forward every once in a while when we see a military serviceman or mom likes to do it with senior citizens. As we were walking out the door, my dad saw that the people sitting behind us had two checks on their table and my mom noticed that they had prayed before dinner, where as she reminded to us to pray before we ate as well. Don't you just love the signs that God puts before you? Then we went and watched the movie "Wander", which of course was very good and inspiring! When it was dinner time, we got in the car and went into Las Vegas to see the “Tournament of Kings” at the Excalibur Hotel. Caleryn was freaking out when she first saw the hotel because it looks like a big castle. She of course mentioned again seeing the princess castle at Disney World. I can’t believe that she still remembers that trip. She has a good memory just like her daddy. When we got there and my dad showed our tickets to the ticket master, we saw that we are going to be seated in Spain. Then servers started coming out of the kitchen with menus in their hands. Now, I have come to this place and seen it before, but it was the one in Dallas. Caleryn sure did enjoy seeing the queen come out with horse galloping all over the arena after a knight was crowned king. I still think that the coolest part out of all of the things they do there is jousting because it seems so real as if you are actually living during the medieval age and see how they fought back then. You are also eating the exact food that people ate long ago and how they would have eaten their food, with your hands. My parents were very surprised by the amount of cornish hen that Caleryn ate. She ate like a hog! Everybody loved going there again especially my dad and I because we were both anticipating going there all week and then when we finally got there, we were super excited.
On Friday we started heading towards the Grand Canyon after my mom took back the car as she followed my dad in the rv. After being in Las Vegas for five nights, we were so sick of being there with the stinch of smoke and surprisingly nobody gambled! The part of the Grand Canyon that we were going to is the Sky Bridge. First of all, my dad wasn’t specific enough for dumb siri to know what he actually meant and she led us to a bunch of small houses. My dad found out that siri led us to the makers of the Sky Bridge, which was on an Indian reservation! So, my dad put in another area to go and see the Grand Canyon since we already passed the Sky Bridge. This took an extra 2 hours; plus, we had to eat and then by the time that we were done eating, it was already dark. My dad started looking for a place to park the rv for the night. He parked it at the Grand Canyon visitors Center parking lot. The next day my parents got up early and started driving to the Grand Canyon State Park. Caleryn and I was still laying down in top bed rolling around slightly. When we got to the first lookout area, my dad carried me and Caleryn one at a time on his shoulder, down the ladder. Once we all got outside and walked closer to the sight, I started to see a huge dip in the earth’s crust through the trees to the right of me as I was following my parents. I was awe-inspired by the creation that God, not nature, did to make a cool vast landscape like this. It's amazing! Caleryn and I sat down on a rock on the edge of the cliff just for a picture. I was of course freaking out because I haven’t done horseback riding in a long time and I had to use my trunk control and I might fall backwards down the cliff! Good thing that I didn’t because that would mean bye, bye to Mr. Cameron. My dad stopped on the side of the road three other times so my mom could look at it and take pictures for my blog. Then we headed straight for the home without stopping.
After all that we did, we didn’t have one incident in this whole vacation. Not one! It’s pretty crazy because of the amount of time we were contained in a small space with four people in it and usually we go nuts in these situations! To conclude this blog, I think that this trip was very fun and very successful. I hope to go again when I’m 21 so I can gamble a little.
It has been four years since we've been on a Disney cruise and 7 years since I have been to Disney World and the coolest part about going this time is that I can tell everything that we did to all of my friends and family.
Last Friday morning my mom started packing for the flight to Florida. We probably should have packed the night before but it was late when my dad and I got home from power soccer practice and we had a very busy week. So my mom had to rush on the next day to get as much stuff packed in three hours. While she was packing my clothes, I was thinking about how much stuff I used to do because I knew that I could do it. At around 12pm my dad came home from work and helped my mom out. When we got to the airport we ate at Chick-fil-A before going through security. We had plenty of time to eat because the flight leaves at three forty-five and it’s a three hour flight. When we got to Orlando we had to get on a bus to go to the Animal Kingdom Lodge where we stayed for the week. We got there at 12am and we were starving by then. The only place there that was still open was a quick service food place called Mana, because it was so late, all they had was these flat bread pizzas. Here is where it begins...the food is outrageously priced! 4 flat bread pizzas for all of us was almost $70. Not even a decent meal. The next morning when mom ordered breakfast, it cost 75 bucks and all my mom ordered was a fruit/yogurt plate for me, a plate of eggs, bacon & toast for Caleryn, and French toast for my mom. They didn’t even give us the yogurt or the toast! What a rip-off! Here's the thing, when the guy brought up the food, he handed her the totaled receipt and waited for her to give a tip. When she saw the itemized receipt on the food tray, she saw that they had already given themselves an 18% tip automatically plus a delivery fee as well. So they got a double tip because they were being tricky. So we decided to go to the grocery store and get stuff for breakfast and lunch then have nice dinners in the hotel or parks.
When my dad got back from work we rode in a bus to Hollywood Studios. When we got there, we saw that something was going on in the street. It was a bunch of stormtroopers marching. While we were watching them, a park guy came up to us and asked us if we were Star Wars fans and did we want to get to do something they don't let anyone else do? So, we of course said yes. He led us through the crowd that had gathered to watch the show around to the side of the stage and as soon as the show was done he told us to stand there and Captain Phasma came up behind us to take a picture with us! She was pretty intimidating! This is one of the reasons I love Disney and Disney Cruises so much, they pick kids out of the crowd like me and really make it a special experience that not all kids get to experience! Next, we went to see a Frozen show for Caleryn that was surprisingly really cool. It was a funny recreation of the movie but the cool part was at the end when when Elsa came out and started singing, they had this smoke machine with all this smoke coming over us as we were on the front row. Then they had snow coming down over everyone in the audience, which turned out to be foam and they started blowing really cold air on us to get the real snow effect. It was pretty neat. After we did that my dad and I went to the tower of terror and rode that. It was the funnest ride of all because it was like an elevator that goes up and down. We would float in midair for a couple of seconds when it ascended and then suddenly jerked back down. We ate then went to go see the Raiders of the Lost Arc movie stunt production. It's like watching how they direct and produce a movie. Once again, someone came up to us right before the show was over and asked if we wanted to meet the stunt actors playing Indiana Jones and his girlfriend (I forget her name) after the show. So of course we waited for the actors to get their breath and wipe the sweat off so they could come talk to us and take pictures, it was pretty cool.
The next day, mom took Caleryn and I to go see the real African animals on the hotel premises so she isn’t cooped up in a hotel room all day liked a caged animal until dad gets back from work. We saw some giraffes and wildebeest. Caleryn was laughing at one giraffe because I guess to her it looked funny when she ate. When we were outside I could feel the humidity like we were back in Houston. We checked out the souvenir store and there was an African priest trading pins, right up my alley since I collect pins! I got a few extra ones that they gave me. That night we walked over to the other part of the hotel to another African restaurant where we had dinner reservations. It was nice but really different food.
My favorite part of the whole trip was when we went to Magic Kingdom. Caleryn screamed when she saw the castle. The first thing that we did was the tea pot ride. My dad thought that we could all fit in one tea pot but, he doesn’t have a lot of common sense. So we were pretty cramped. My parents were laughing at me because my head flopped backward like a rag doll. After we all rode on a roller-coaster. Caleryn had the most fun on that ride. Of course mom, was screaming cause she's a scaredy cat. I got a little scared on that ride and don’t start judging me because after that me and my dad made a reservation for a much cooler roller coaster. As we were waiting, we looked for the place that Caleryn was going to go crazy at...Be Our Guest restaurant wich is actually the Beast's Castle. My mom got us some last minute reservations for her but we had to go during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the park at night, which worked out perfect for us. Meanwhile, Caleryn saw and pointed at a dumbo ride so my dad took her while my mom and I watched them. Every time they would go around and see us, he would stick his tongue at us. Soon after he did that my sister mimicked him. Once the ride was over and they got out of it, we headed back to the roller coaster. I had fun on that ride but the tower of terror is more thrilling. That evening we finally ate French food at the Beast castle. It was pretty cool and we got to see the Beast but not Belle! Caleryn was so scared to take a picture with the Beast and she wasn't having it. So I held her in my lap. After that, Caleryn took some pictures with the Little Mermaid and I guess Prince Charming, I don't know! I'm not a princess expert. Then we watched some awesome fireworks in the park. The weather was awesome and breezy that night and most everyone was dressed up in Halloween costumes and trick or treating. At the end of the firework parade, we were stunned because we were in the center of all of the action!
The next night we just got an uber and went to our usual Chuy's for dinner. The next day we just packed up again and had a long day at the airport and traveled home. Since we've been home, Caleryn has been constantly asking when she can go back to the tea pots because she loved riding those some much. And I want to go to Universal Studios next time to see the Harry Potter exhibit, we couldn't do it this time because the park closes at 5 o'clock. We had a really great time considering it was an impromptu work trip and I can't wait to go back to Disney/Cruise for my 5th time...greatest place on earth!
Well I am finally starting homeschool again now that Caleryn is back in preschool. I'm doing online courses now. The first course I'm taking is economics. Economics is a little hard and I kinda regret saying that I want to do economics over and over again to my mom because when I did the first week, I got confused. My mom seems really impressed that I'm doing all of it by myself. I finally have a good set up for doing work on my own, I don't have everything I need working just right but I'm getting close. Believe me it's not easy when you have to rely on so much to help you get something done. Usually, I always needed help with one thing or another to get school accomplished but with my Surface, Tobii eyegazing, Bluetooth and a clicker botton to control my joystick it's a lot easier. Now if only I had a couple monitors so I don't have to constantly change from one screen to another and a proper desk in my room then I would have the perfect setup. After taking my first test, I've realized that I do still need my moms help to break things down for me and kinda explain what the teacher just talked about. Teachers always go too fast for me! I've decided to work it like my dad does with his school and take one class at a time so I can really grasp everything and then take another class instead of taking multiple classes at the same time. It takes me all day to get through one lesson but that's okay...im doing it by myself!!
I just started youth group also and so far I like it. They don't have it every week more like every other week. You would think I went to a mega church with the size of my old confirmation and youth groups at St. Anthony because it was so huge. But here, it's just a lot smaller and intimate. The first week was about getting to know the group leaders and doing games. There were about thirteen people there for the Lifeteen. Which was the size of my old confirmation group (note there were about 15-20 different groups) to give you perspective. So it' a lot smaller! The second week we went inside, watched a video and did bible study. The people seem really nice so far and very helpful. Since the church is pretty old and not very accessible, they help me get into class. The good news is that dad finally got into our storage unit and found my other ramps so we can use that for now on.
Power soccer is getting into the groove again and my dad gave the team some awesome news that we have some grant money to use for the team and he is going to be ordering everybody proper metal guards and brackets for everyone's chair and goal posts. The team was pretty excited to move into a more competitive direction. Not only will the metal guards be safer for the chairs but you can actually play better too, rather than using plastic guards. The team also has money for travel expenses but we aren't that good yet...that will take some time!
And finally, all my therapy (physical, speech, occupational) has started up again since moving here. So, my blogs are probably going to start being a little more sparse since everything is kicking back into gear now. I'm finally starting to feel a little more settled here.
I'm adding some oddball pictures from our second camping trip just for fun.
Last weekend we went to Staunton State Park to go mountain climbing, yes...I said mountain climbing, in a track chair. Now if you read my posts, you'll remember this is the same state park we went to when we first moved to Colorado and it's only a mountain climbing park. On our first expedition, it was a big fail and I was a little disappointed. After my mom did a little research, she found out that this is the same park that has two track chairs for people with disabilities to use to experience mountain climbing. This is the only state park that has them in Colorado but you have to schedule it way in advance. When I first saw the track chair, it reminded me of a tank chair. I did have a little experience with driving the track chair before when we went the abilities exbo in Houston and I tried one out. The problem was that the joystick on the left side was too far away from me and the one on the right side was closer but I had to drive with my right hand which is my non dominant hand. The cool thing is they have a joystick on both sides of the chair! So I tried both sides to see which side was better. When I drove with my left hand, my elbow kept locking up and it was hard to bend my arm to stop and let go. The lady who was guiding us on the 5 mile hike toward the pond told me what each toggle does. Every once in awhile, she would tell me to go left or right a little bit to make sure I don't go off of the trail. My dad couldn't believe that I was driving so well with my right hand. I let go of the joystick a few times but once I got a good strong grip onto it I drove it pretty well. Along the side of the trail there were numbers which indicated there was something to see. The lady said that the leaves turn red and yellow at around October. Too bad we won't be there to see it because we are going to Disney World. Caleryn is so going to explode because there is going to be princesses everywhere! Then by the time we get back, it will probably be snowing. Anyway, Caleryn and my mom was slipping on rocks walking down a slope because they had the wrong kind of shoes on. Caleryn's stomach was hurting a little bit too so, not too long after that my mom started heading back to the car with Caleryn around half way to the pond. The trail was smooth for the most part. There are three different trails and we tried the easiest one on our first outing. There were lots of tree roots sticking out of the ground. When we got to the pond, I parked the chair on the fishing dock and sat out there for a while. We didn't fish because my dad didn't bring the poles but apparently it's a great stop to fish because we saw lots of people catching. Ten minutes later we headed back. I liked riding in a track chair. I thought it was fun. Kinda wish I could've gone faster but I get it, we had to have a guide and she probably wouldn't let me. All in all I had a great time driving my version of a monster truck.
NanaSeptember 19, 2017 at 9:38 AMCameron I love that chair. Nothing can stop you now. Li love your blogs and pictures. Keep up the blogging. Love you. Nana
NanaSeptember 19, 2017 at 9:38 AM
Cameron I love that chair. Nothing can stop you now. Li love your blogs and pictures. Keep up the blogging. Love you. Nana
The new rv that we bought is so nice. We were going to go with the Mercedes sprinter route for an accessible travel vehicle and put a King size bed with a bathroom in it but when the salesman at the showroom showed us some sprinters that had bathrooms, kitchen sinks and couches already in them, we realized that there was no way that my F-Five power chair could've fit. Plus, they were having trouble finding one that would work for accessibility without having to wait 6 mos. to order it. So mom thought we should try Camping World just to see if maybe that would be a better option...and it was! Soon after we picked the rv up from the rv place and took it to the apartment and parked it at the parking lot outside, we kept thinking of a funny name for it. We struggled with a name at first because we always name our stuff. Caleryn calls it the Driving House, mom calls it Prescious, I call it Hogg of course, dad calls it Leroy Jenkins so we called it Leroy Jenkins! We were going to drive it to Dallas to see Nanna and Papa since it was a holiday weekend but since Hurricane Harvey just happened the week before, there was gas issues so we decided to stay closer to home.
On Friday afternoon for the first time of living in Colorado, we actually went camping. We rode in our new rv. I was so happy that I was able to take my F-Five power chair with me. There is so much room in the back! Thank goodness we went to the rv place and looked around, rather than just going with the flow and wait until the people who work at Mercedes to find us a black sprinter. The problem is that the back door on the rv that opens up like a ramp is a little too steep. So my dad brought the ramp that he uses for his truck with us. Before we even started heading towards the camp site, we had to go to Target to get sheets, covers, pillows and a wedge for me so I can be prompted up a little bit when I'm laying down. During the drive to the camping place outside of Colorado Springs, it got bumpy. So I just watched Masters and Grand Masters play quick one or three minute chess games. Now I have been playing chess again. I think I started back to playing about three months ago. I have to say that I beat my dad all of the time! He sucks! I do play against harder people for an actual challenge.
When we got to the rv camp and found the spot where we were going to stay at, my mom had to get out of the rv and shine the flashlight at the rocks to notify my dad while he was backing up. Then my parents started setting up all of the beds because it was already late. That night we didn't sleep too well because the air conditioner was on a super low temperature. Me and my mom was freezing to death and my dad was being so stubborn and couldn't just turn up the ac, he was too lazy to get off the bed and climb down the ladder.
The next day we woke up and saw the beautiful scenery of the mountains that we had right in front of us when my dad opened the back door. I couldn't go out there until I was done eating my bag of feed. Caleryn was playing outside with the rocks. That day we just stayed in the rv for a while and then we went shopping for some groceries and more supplies, apparently, you have to buy a gazillion things to go camping. When we got back, I reclined back my F-Five power chair and raised the the feet up and took a little nap. When everyone got up, my dad turned on a movie for Caleryn on my t.v. In the evening, we had a campfire and cooked hot dogs. My dad started the fire. The hot dogs were good. It took about five minutes to cook them too. We ate other stuff to like chips, dips, cantaloupe and later on we had smours too.
On Sunday we went to the Royal Gorge Bridge, which is a bridge you walk on and down below is a river and it is scary when you look down because it's so far down and when golf carts drive across it, the bridge shakes a little bit. It was pretty scary. We saw people zip lining down across the Gorge and helicopter tours above us. I totally wanted to do that but I would have to ride a ski lift up to the zip line tower and the line was super long as well. You kinda have to make a reservation and come back later. You can see the Arkansas river down below and if you get lucky you can see the royal gorge train or whitewater rafters floating down the river. It was a long walk up and down hills to get back and forth and of course on the way back Caleryn started throwing a fit because the hill was too steep for her and it was hot and she's a whiney baby. She thinks she can hitch a ride with me whenever she feels like it! It was a fun experience to get to see it. By the time we got back into the rv then drove back to camp, everyone crashed and took a nap. That night mom made hamburgers, mac n cheese, fruit, beans then we made cherry pies over the fire and hung outside, the weather was quite nice and no bugs!
On Labor Day we had to check out by 11am so we kinda saw a bunch of rv's packing up and heading out at the same time. I think that our first rv camping experience was a total success and we had fun!!
My name is Cameron Broyles, I'm 16 years old and I started my blog 5 years ago when I was 11. I have paraplegic cerebral palsy and cannot communicate in a traditional fashion. I am home-schooled now but I used to go to main stream public school. My love of exploring first began with going on field trips to learn about history. I play power soccer and it's become my sport of choice! I am originally from Texas but now I live in Colorado and LOVE it! I love to travel and explore but the majority of times it is much more difficult than the average person. I want this blog to not only be my mouthpiece for my friends and family but also give some ideas and maybe light a spark for other people with disabilities to get out and explore life! I was first coerced into starting a blog from my mom and dad and I have to admit that sometimes it's not my favorite thing to do but what I love most about having a blog for these past 5 years is that it's a daily reminder of all my blessings from God and how grateful and thankful I am for everything I have in my life.