Obviously, the remainder of the week was FULL and I ran out of time to blog. Here's the photo album from these days.
July 5th was Ken's birthdayt! We got him a cake and card and gave him the gift of not spending any more money than that. He loved it! Our friend Chris joined us for dinner and cake to help us celebrate. :) The kids and I visited NAD for a while during the day, then Ken and Hannah went back to watch the College Bowl that evening.
|Cool artistic horse.|
|Carol and Merv Garretson with the boys.|
|A key lime cake after dinner to celebrate Ken's birthday!|
Friday morning, we decided to go across the street to Atlantis Waterpark. It was a great way to spend the 105-degree day. Travis wasn't a huge fan of the waterpark. He does not enjoy the blinding sunlight nor getting his face wet, so after a couple of hours, we went back to the RV, picked up Ken from work, let him and the little boys nap while the rest of us went back to Atlantis. The girls and I were ready to leave by 3:00, but TJ wanted to stay until closing at 6:00. He had already made a friend, as usual, so Ken and I decided he would be okay there with his friend, lifeguards, and us just across the street. He did an excellent job and was walking across the parking lot to the KOA when we went to pick him up at closing time.
|Tian on the waterslide.|
I spent the afternoon doing laundry, then that evening, the girls and I went to see the Miss Deaf America Pageant/Ambassador Program. It was fun to attend and we enjoyed running in to a few Deaf celebrities!
|John from Rathskellar|
Saturday was DeafFest! We stayed out there from about 11:30 a.m. until the final band played at 8:30 that night. Ken worked hard while the kids and I enjoyed some of the entertainment such as Sean Forbes, Pinky Aiello, TL Forsberg, WaWa doing Dip Hop, and Beethoven's Nightmare.
We were thrilled to see Ken's Aunt Janice come by, too.
A major highlight of the conference was stopping to visit with Jack and Rosalyn Gannon. You can read and see a little about them here and here. As they took a few moments to visit with us and let us snap a few photos of them with the kids, I was overcome with emotion for a few reasons: One is that I've always adored and admired Deaf Seniors. Visiting with seniors reminds me of my college years and those who poured so much time and stories into my life. I also think about all the Gannons and others in their generation have endured over the years such as oralism, audism, and oppression; yet they live with joy and success, giving so much of themselves to better the entire community. Thirdly, Jack and Rosalyn themselves are icons in the Deaf Community. Jack, who holds a PhD, has written some of the best books on Deaf History, including the classic Deaf Heritage and his new book about the World Federation of the Deaf. You'll see him in documentaries such as Through Deaf Eyes and For a Deaf Son.
Seeing the Gannons' true love and care for our kids, both Deaf and hearing, just melted my heart and solidified the honor and respect I have for them. They represent how I feel about the Deaf Community as a whole. I love that THEY love our kids, no matter what's going on with their ears! I hope to have the chance to meet them again.
|Travis, applauding the entertainment.|
|Ken and Aunt Janice using ZVRS!|
|The sweet Gannons!|
|This melts my heart!! I might just have it framed!|