Help for Haiti

Help for Haiti
This organization has been in Haiti for many years. They are trustworthy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Fooled them again"

My dad once told me a story about Pulitzer Prize winning sports writer Grantland Rice. Rice couldn't believe that his writing was popular. In fact, it was rumoured that he would finish a column, pull the paper out of his typewriter, sit back and say to himself "Well, fooled them again!"
That's kind of how I feel right now. We just finished presenting two workshops at the CHEO convention. We had a good time talking with the folks who were kind enough to attend and listen to HUMom speak and watch our PowerPoint presentation. If they only knew.....

Last year, we proposed several ideas for new workshops to the conventions that we normally attend. Due to a series of snafus, I was late applying to CHEO, and initially we weren't going to speak at all. Later, two spots opened up and they asked us to speak - one time on an old topic and another time with a brand new workshop on "Sensory Integration." Unfortunately, I forgot to tell HUMom about that until a week before the convention. (It is a testament to her graciousness that I am still alive!) Thankfully, she already had much of it together in her mind, and was able to pull it together in time. I put the finishing touches on the PowerPoint the night before the convention started.

The next morning, I thought I would take a quick look at the other presentation ("Modifying Curriculum for Special Needs") to make sure everything was okay. What I found was that the file we had on my laptop (HUMom's laptop is in the shop for repairs) was two years old, and the presentation had been modified several times. So, I had to scramble to put the presentation together again. Things are never dull in our household!

We thoroughly enjoyed talking with all of you, and hope that you found some things that are usefull and helpful.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Trip to Florida

Well, our trip to Orlando for the Florida Parent Educators Association convention turned into quite the memorable event.

Things went pretty well until we hit Macon, Georgia. Then, Josh yells "Oh no!" and reports that "parts are falling off the trailer!" When we pulled over, I found that he was correct. The metal rock plate that was screwed onto the front of the trailer had come loose, and was flapping around. This of course, lead to stress on the other screws, which proceeded to pop off one by one, like the buttons on my shirt after a Thanksgiving dinner. By the time we got to a gas station, they were almost all gone. I bought a roll of duct tape, and that held it together for the rest of the trip. (You really can fix almost anything with duct tape.)

We were okay for another half hour when the van started lurching and sputtering. I was hoping that we had just gotten some bad gas, but another 30 minutes saw us losing power and sputtering even worse. By this time, it was 5:30. God was with us, though, and we stopped at Cordele, GA. There was a Comfort Inn, a Wendy's, a WalMart and a car rental place just around the corner. I spent the evening making phone calls, but AAA didn't have any suggestions or approved repair shops nearby. The more I thought about it, I didn't like my options - Wednesday before Memorial Day, with no way to drive the last 300 miles to Orlando. Even if we found a repair shop, it didn't look like a quick fix was in the cards. I considered getting a rental, but usually they don't like you hauling trailers with their rentals. Besides that, I figured rental for four days, plus mileage would probably run over $1,000 - and I'd have to leave HUMom there to watch over the repairs. Not a good plan.

Plan B was for everyone to stay, which would mean we miss the convention altogether, and we have to pay for the hotel until the van is fixed. And, if the van isn't powerful enough to haul the trailer, I still have the source of the problem to deal with. Did I mention that the van has 110,000 miles? Hmmmmm. Plan B isn't looking too good either.

This made for a rather restless & sleepless night for me. The only repair shops we knew of were two dealerships, a Ford and a Chevy. Plan C started forming in my fevered brain.

At 8:00 we limped into the Ford dealership, and HUMom said "We are about to make someone's day" Three hours later, we drove off the lot in a new Expedition. HUMom is very happy. Three kids in the back are very happy, watching the DVD player. HeadsUpDad is trying very hard not to think about 7 years of payments, stretching out before him. Sigh.