Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blown Away at the First Magic Valley Hands & Voices Family Campout

We decided to try something a little different and schedule a family campout.  Early June not being the best of times (but seemingly the one time when a few families might be able to make it) we advertised it as "weather permitting."  In the end it came down to two families, the Irwins and the Crams, and Jim Irwin had last-minute work responsibilities for the weekend, and the Crams a funeral to attend late Saturday morning.  We "down-sized" from Magic Reservoir to a shorter drive and quick overnighter to Thorn Creek Reservoir north of Gooding.

It was a good beginning-of-summer shake-down cruise for both parties.  The wind BLEW.  We "circled the wagons" and achieved a relatively calm spot for roasting marshmallows, at the cost of the Crams' tent trailer's windward side, which started to give way at the seams.  The tent trailer came down, and we managed to find alternative sleeping quarters for all, waking up to a lovely calm (but not for long) morning and delicious breakfast cooked by Chuck Cram.

We hope this is not the last family campout!  Despite Mother Nature, we enjoyed some time away and parent-to-parent gab and a bit of fishing.  Let us know if you'd like to come next summer, and we will attempt to schedule it better.

Micah Cram makes sure our fire is OUT--the wind was starting to blow again!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Treasure Valley Event at Just Kid'n Around

On Saturday, January 21st, families gathered at an indoor play place called Just Kid'n Around in Meridian. The kids had a blast loading up shopping carts, sliding down slides, and chasing each other around. The rock climbing wall became a big hit as well, as even the 4 year olds climbed up and jumped off the wall onto the mats below! As always, the event gave our kids time to play and interact with one another. It also provided parents the time we need to catch up, share challenges and offer advice. One topic discussed was the use of appropriate smoke detectors for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In light of the very sad Christmas tragedy on the East coast, we recognize that having working smoke detectors in our homes is crucial. But when is the best time to introduce appropriate devices for our young children with hearing loss? We all agreed that there is no time like the present. Stay tuned for suggested equipment and alarms.

Thanks to all who came on Saturday. My son can't wait for the next Hands & Voices event. And we are counting down days until the Bogus Basin tubing hill event. Hope to see you all there!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Deaf Center of Idaho Bazaar

My son Kyle (hearing, student in ISU Meridian Interpreter Training Program) and I spent last Saturday running a booth for Idaho Hands & Voices at the DCI Bazaar. This is an annual event in about its fifth year, and bigger than I expected. We had a few items to sell, plus H&V brochures and newsletters to hand out. I recruited Kyle to do face-painting, and once the kids discovered him, he kept continuously busy painting butterflies, flowers, hearts and ILY hands on faces and arms. Yes, his clientele was exclusively female....

We didn't make a huge amount of money, but covered the booth fee and then some, and had a chance to talk to several people about H&V. Thank you, Diana Collins, for the donation of potscrubbers (I nabbed a couple for myself) and Laura Bainbridge for taking care of the booth so I could make a lunch run for myself and Kyle.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Magic Valley area Halloween Carnival

Last weekend about 160 people attended a Halloween Carnival sponsored by IESDB and Idaho Hands & Voices, at the College of Southern Idaho Corn Maze. The facilities at the maze (two large canvas tents, lots of straw bales to sit on, and a porta-potty) were furnished by the CSI horticulture club for the low cost of $1 a head. Families arrived, decided whether or not they wanted to take a chance of getting lost in the corn field, and then participated in several carnival-style games and pumpkin-painting. The last has been our local Hands & Voices family activity for several years, and instead of our usual 10 to 12 kids, this year we had 85 pumpkins, and they all got painted! As the RSVPs came flooding in, we combined the planned pumpkin ring-toss with pumpkin painting in order to use the same pumpkins for both activities. Lorna brought her harvest (42 pumpkins) and Arden Schmitt gathered the rest from various donors, including H&V member Jenny Hirai.

Lorna Irwin, AKA The Paint Monster

(every mother's nightmare)

Kids of all ages at work!

Don't forget to visit the games!

Green-haired witch Janice Finch
and her pumpkin toss.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Story Book Park (Burley, Idaho) picnic canceled

Most of our H&V families in the Burley area are busy this weekend, so we're cancelling the picnic we'd originally scheduled for August 20. Sorry, folks, next year we'll try to avoid picking a date so close to fair time and the beginning of school!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Treasure Valley FAMILY Day at the Park

Our last FAMILY Day of the Summer... We had a great time catching up with our new and old friends. Sounds like there will be some exciting changes with the River Valley, IESDB preschool program this year. We look forward to hearing more about the upcoming school year in weeks to come. 

Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Magic Valley H&V at Dierke's Lake

Saturday, June 25 the Magic Valley area Hands & Voices members met at Dierke's Lake near Twin Falls. I remembered everything except my camera, so this will be a picture-less report.

Attendance was down a bit from our usual numbers; four families came. A lot of information and support was exchanged, quite a number of cookies consumed, and water sports and beach play enjoyed.

The wading beach at Dierke's was recently upgraded with the addition of a concrete barrier and lots of new white sand. A large amount of this sand went home clinging to the younger members of the picnic party.

Joel and Micah Cram went kayaking around the lake with Jim Irwin, who introduced them to his favorite recreational activity, cleaning up trash. Whether they are sold on this as a fun pasttime I don't know, but the lake is a lot cleaner for their efforts!