Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Kanyon at School (and Christmas kick off!)

Baby Tre got home to some very excited cousins! We are so happy to have him join the gang!

This has been a little bit of a tough year for Kanyon at school.  We don't really know exactly what the deal is....probably a combination of lots of things.... but his school team never stopped trying to change, rearrange, adjust, and think of new ideas to help things go smoother.  It seemed like we'd "solve" one problem and a new one would pop up.  It was tiring for everyone and a lot of work for his teachers and especially his aide that is with him all day.  

Despite the challenges of this year, the boy is learning SO MUCH! 
This paper came home one day....they said he wrote all of this all by himself! He just sat down and started writing words! 

Mrs. Alex (his aide) is so good to send me pictures of his day. I love it so much.....I get a sneak peek into his day.  Here he is working at the table with some of his buddies.  They don't have assigned seating in his class so everyone just sits wherever they choose.  This was his table of choice with this group of guys for a while.  His class this year is full of the sweetest boys.  The girls have always taken good care of him....sometimes mothering him and tending to him the special way little girls can.  But this year it seems like the boys have joined the party with Kanyon and they have been so sweet, helpful, and all around good buddies for him.  

His teachers say when its his turn to do something at the board he does NOT want Mrs. Alex to help him.  IF he accepts help (big IF) he only wants it from one of his buddies.  

Every day he tells Mrs. Jenni, the school secretary, the date to practice.  He also reads his book to her and she is very generous to give up her comfy seat for the reader! We love Mrs. Jenni! She isn't "just" the secretary. She has played a really big role with Kanyon at school.  

Alex sent this picture of his class practicing for the Christmas program.  Sweet Kade got down on his knees so that Kanyon could reach his shoulder.  Heart melter, I tell ya.  

His school team asked me to come spend day with them to see Kanyon's day, see what I thought and if I had any ideas on things we could do/not do differently. It was fun to be with them all day and see Kanyon through an entire day of school.  I left that day amazed at how hard Kanyon works all day.  It was a reminder to me of how many things he has to navigate and process that require so much effort.  Not only does he have a lot of physical work to keep up and move around though the school all day but for him to process ALLLLLLLLL that goes on even in just one sitting for a few minutes is SO. MUCH.  Every minute he is there he is being pushed to the limit.  I'm thankful for his team, especially for his aide who has to keep all the plates spinning all day.  He really is The Grand Kanyon.

One of the trouble spots in his day was leaving lunch.  He gets to go to lunch with his class, but after lunch his class heads back to the classroom for reading and Kanyon goes into his blue room (the room in the school that is just for him) for his reading time.  He HATES to miss out and was always so sad (read:screaming and crying) when he had to separate from his class. So the solution they came up with was for one kid to help him clean up his trash and walk him to the front by the office and read a book with him until Mrs. Alex got there.  It worked! He loved it, the kids in his class loved it, and there was no screaming! 
The day I was there, Sammy was his partner.

We got to go to Music...not Kan's favorite, but he lasted almost the whole class that day.  

Mrs. Murphy took him to recess and Kanyon thought it was HILARIOUS when she decided to trade jackets with him! She's wearing his and he's wearing hers! They are so good at taking a tricky situation, like Kanyon not wanting to put his coat on, and turning it into something silly and fun.  

In winter, the safest and most efficient thing to do for recess is use the school's wheel chair.  For one, Kanyon's snow boots are super heavy and the walk from his room to the playground is long. That alone would take up his recess time.  Then once they are outside the ground is icy and slippery so its hard for him to walk on that stuff.  The wheelchair gets him to the playground quickly and keeps him safe. Plus it gives his buddies a job because you know they love to push the chair! The day I was there, Jack was the lucky friend who got to drive the wheelchair.  

I was glad to spend the day at school and see the whole gig first hand.  I am super thankful that we have a school that INVITES me to do this.  They are team players and I appreciate their desire to do whatever it takes to help Kanyon and to actually WANT my input.  We are very very very thankful.  

Jaylie June decided she wanted to make a recipe.....so she did! Her recipe was very descriptive and her finished product a lovely fruit kabob on a toothpick.   

I'm teaching her how to make Nanny Lou's bread! She's kneading away....

 We took our friends The Snyders with us up the mountain at the ranch to cut down Christmas trees.  It was a fun afternoon.  We (finally) found the perfect tree and I think each of  the kiddos ended up cutting down their own too.  

Evan and Lane...sweet boys were busy playing all afternoon then made themselves some lemonade. 

 We LOVE this tree in town!!! Isn't it the best!!!  

This is Jaylie's horse. She even made a saddle with stirrups out of paper. 

Taking the horses and bulls hay is Jaylie's favorite winter job. 


Quinn's thumbprint version of Kawhi Leonard

Kory and Juney shoveling the driveway for our sweet neighbor Ms. Alice.

Fun in the snow in our front yard...

making a hill for sledding

They LOVE to do this and it seems sooooo NOT fun to me.  They pull each there around the house like a horse and buggy.   

Quinn and the ever present winter job of chopping ice at the water tanks.  They said that when he finished chopping he tried to put the ax down and his glove was frozen to the handle so his hand slipped right out and his glove stayed.  Brrrrrr!

Pretty June girl in her Christmas dress.  

(not sure where Kanyon's glasses were)

Our neighbor Ms. Alice came over so we got a quick picture.  We just love her! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Paris Thanksgiving

We got to Texas and hit the ground running! Kanyon had some appointments in Dallas so we squeezed in quick visits with some dear friends....

Kasey! I was so happy to get to visit with Kasey and catch up a tiny bit on her life in a new town at a new school. 

Alison and Miles!!!! We usually get to have more time together than a quick dinner, but we'll take what we can get! We got such a kick out of watching (and listening) to our kiddos together.  Any time with life long best friends is the best! 

Double Trouble!

We got to Gay Gay's and got BUSY in the kitchen! 

Avery got to spend the night with us...I don't remember how it ended up just her, but it was lots of fun. She pretty much single handedly put everyone to bed.  

Chillin' with cuz....thats a pretty good way to start your day. 

And nothing beats TD for lunch!!! 

We got to go out to see Clay and Mo's house they're building.  The kids were so sweet to help Kanyon get around the construction zone.  

The two little twinkles still looking a lot alike.  

Kan was happy to be reunited with his cousins' hair! They are ever so patient. 

Kan and Uncle Clay catching up on the latest happenings.  

We all looked at the house, helped Mo pick paint colors, and then headed to DQ for supper with the WHOOOOOLE gang.  

Head Macaroni Makers

Head Bathtub Swimmer 

Rise and Shine in your bball uniform! 

The night before Thanksgiving is all hands on deck as we prepare for the crowd of 80+ Cagle Cousins! 

Kory and Dad doing some celery chopping..

and Kory doing double duty on the toast brigade.  

They toast it, me, Chay, and Claire crumble it up! 

Chay and Claire came from New Orleans and cousin Annette came all the way from California. It has been years and years since she's been back so it was extra fun to have her.  Plus its more hands to crumble toast.  

The big day arrived and everyone's favorite dressing was almost ready!

Here's the whole gang! I can't remember the count this year...80 something.  It is the families of my Mom's mom and her siblings. All of the Cagle siblings have passed away so the generation in charge is Mom's and all the Cagle first cousins.  

Here are the 1st cousin's kids that were there this year (I don't get all the 3rd cousin...once removed...blah blah blah)

And the freshest generation....the 1st cousin's grandkids! You see how this Thanksgiving thing just gets bigger and bigger! 

Mom and Dad with their grandkids

Thanks to Paige for being the official family photographer! 

The day is full of catching up with family that we haven't seen in a  while and for the kids, its like meeting new friends! Isaiah and Kanyon were big buddies! 

Parker and Jaylie June.  He was so sweet to her all day. 

My mom and here sisters with their grandkids! 

It was a really fun day.  Its neat that the tradition is still going and this family is full of people who still value our connection to each other and time together.  Happy Turkey Day!!! 

Sometimes we have nice, lazy mornings together at Gay Gay's.  

And sometimes your Uncle brushes your teeth for you.  

Jaylie looooooooves Ollie! 

Ollie is very generous with his personal space. 

Sidewalk chalk after dark.

Mom pays the kids to pick up pecans out of the yard! Bringing in the big bucks! 

We zipped over to Longview for the weekend and got to see some of our dearest friends.  It still feels like home and the people there still feel like family.  We were able to go to church at our old church and being there was just beyond wonderful. 

We ate lunch after church with Gary and Sharon...always a fun time full of laughing, playing, and catching up with them. We love them SO MUCH.  

Miss Kinsey!!!!! Yay!!!

Jaylie and the Rotzler girls

Seeing this little trio so big and grown up kinda like a knife in the heart...there's a special connection here and we were so glad to get to be together.
Quinn and Ryan in Sunday school together! 

Cole and Kanyon in Sunday school.  The Kitchens had been to visit us a few months ago so it was fun to see them again. It was just like the old days to show up to church (a tad late) and drop Kanyon off with teachers and kids that know how to take care of him.  We gave aaaaaalllllllllll the love for our Apline Family and the way they have always taken good care of Kanyon.  

Sunday evening we all got together at the church so we could hang out and visit and let the kids play. It is always so hard to actually catch up on Sunday morning so we met back up for a night together and it was SO SO SO SO GREAT! When we moved to Longview, none of these kids existed....somehow this happened. 

The girls! 

The whole gang! We laughed so much and it felt so good to be together.  These people will always be our PEOPLE.

Of course..these 3 are forced together again.  

Back at Gay Gay's Jaylie June got busy fixing some very fancy hair.  

The ever helping cousins and Kanyon. They are all such a good team.

These two peas in a pod are connected at the hip as usual. 

Ro reading Kanyon Peter Pan while he plays with her hair....THIS is Kanyon's best life. 

I got to have a quick lunch and hang out with Julie and Taryn before they left town.  Thanksgiving Day is always so hectic so it was fun to have a little more time and a little less going on around us to visit and catch up.  

The guys did a campout one night at the cabin....Q and Paw Paw in the stand.  They didn't shoot anything but got pretty close a couple of times. 

Quinn and Nolan went from the deer stand to the dock to fish.


A little fun on the "beach" 

Meanwhile Kanyon got to have a sleepover with Ro (and her hair and freaky smile).

Taco D, y'all.  And this particular day Eden a camp friend showed up on her way through town! 

Can you find all the kids???!!! 

Kanyon is STILL talking about getting to drive the skid steer with Uncle Clay!
Of course there are always fish to catch off the pier at the house...

And of course my daughter is laying all over the dog.  She just can't help it. 

Gay Gay and her posse.  

Saying goodbye the last night is always THE WORST.  

Me and my bros. 

The next morning we were on the plane headed out.  

Our little travelers do a pretty good job.  We're older and a little more experience and they make it all pretty easy.  

As if a great time in Texas wasn't enough to be thankful for, we flew in to Billings and found out Tye and Rachael were there to have the baby!!! So Kory took the kids home and I stayed in Billings to be there for the arrival of Mr. Tre West Phillips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daddy with his new boy. 

Nolan is now de-throned as our only nephew! We are so happy Tre is here and thankful to have a new one to love.  What a way to end a Thanksgiving break!