Saturday, August 30, 2008


Camp Little Rock for Visually Impaired and Blind Children was started in 2001 by the Little Rock Foundation. Mike and I have been a part of the camp for all 8 years. I began in 2001 as the director of the camp, but I had to step down when we adopted Camille.

In 2006 and 2007, Camille was invited to visit the camp. This year she was invited to stay the entire week, which was doubly special because normally you must be blind or visually impaired and at least 7 years old to attend.

Camille visiting Camp Little Rock in 2006 at age 2

Camille in 2006, enjoying a snack with Brian.

Camille with Timmy at Camp Little Rock in 2007 at age 3

Camille and camp counselor Joe in 2007

Camille and Rocco at Camp Little Rock in 2008

Camille caught her first fish!
Let's go for a hayride!
There was a visit from "Build-a-Bear Workshop" because Rocco was one of this year's Huggable Heroes.

It was a really fun week and a great way to end the summer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bedtime Rituals

Here's a line-up of our bedtime routine, post bath and teeth brushing.

Three people and one shih-tzu head upstairs. The shih-tzu situates herself under the bed while the littlest person situates herself into bed. It's crucial to have everyone in just the right place. Hippo on the left, Shamu on the right, blankie and Kitty snuggled in Camille's arms. First there is a story, usually read by mommy, but thanks to a large collection of Braille children's books, sometimes it's read by daddy. Following the story is lost of kisses and hugs, plus a drink of water. This is when mommy usually sneaks out, followed by the shih-tzu, while daddy sings a song (sometimes a few songs). These songs are always by request and almost always something by Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra or Perry Como, although, once in a while it's "Elmo's World" or some other song from Sesame Street. Then daddy grants just one more drink of water, a hug, a kiss and it's lights out!

Good Night everyone... sleep well... God-speed... sweet dreams.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School Supplies

Normally I don't post photos of 'stuff', but this was too cute not to share. Here's the backpack and matching lunchbox Camille picked out for Pre-K... Isn't it just the cutest!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shoe Drive a Success!

As you may know, with a little help from Mommy, Camille decided to do a shoe drive in lieu of gifts for her birthday this year. The shoe drive was a BIG success! Camille collected 22 pairs of new and gently worn shoes to donate to Soles 4 Souls. Thanks to everyone who donate a pair (and in some cases several pairs) of shoes.

Queen of Shoes!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On your 4th Birthday

Happy 4th Birthday Princess! We love you!
Love, Mommy, Daddy and Riley

Happy Birthday Princess!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Camille!

First you're one...

Then you're two...
Then you're three...

Now you're FOUR!

Happy 4th Birthday to the most beautiful girl in the world! We love you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good in the World

Camille loves shoes. When Camille was only 3 ½ years old, she saw an infomercial for a charity that provides food for the needy. During the program, she saw several needy children in bare feet. She brought to my attention that children were not wearing shoes. I explained that not all children could afford to have shoes, not even one pair. At that Camille exclaimed that she wanted to give her shoes to those children. We thought it was a lovely idea and suggested that for her fourth birthday, Camille could request that her guests bring a pair of shoes to be donated to the needy, rather than a gift for herself. So we included that on the invitation and found Soles 4 Souls, a charity that donates shoes to the needy in the United States and around the world.

Today, on my lunch hour, I decided to go to a shoe store to pick up 2 pairs of new shoes for Camille's shoe drive. The store wasn't very busy and a clerk asked if she could help me. I told her I was looking for a couple of pairs of shoes and why I needed them and if she could point me to any that were on sale. A woman who was shopping near us came over and asked if she could also buy a pair of shoes for Camille's shoe drive. I told her that I could give her the website address if she would prefer to make a donation, but she declined telling me that she was hoping she could buy a pair of shoes for me to take to Camille. Soon another woman walked over and then another. I left the shoe store with 6 pairs of shoes, only 2 of which I purchased myself. Thanks to the lovely ladies who helped us with the shoe drive. There is still a lot of good in the world!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Our Ocean City Vacation

We had a truly amazing vacation! Apart from a 24 hour bug that knocked Camille down (for literally 24 hours) we had a terrific time! Here's a photo journal of our trip!

The newest member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol!

We spent a day with the Lynches. Mike performed an inpromptu concert for Karen, Kieran, Karen's sister, niece, nephew and some friends.

Kieran, who was diagnosed with ALS in December, had a good laugh over some of Mike's "silly songs." It was good to see Kieran so happy!
Steven had an ice pop for Camille
Camille 'helps' Kieran out the door in his new electric wheelchair.
Karen and Kieran really love Camille.
Kieran take Camille for a ride on his new wheelchair. Camille loved every minute of it shouting "Go faster, Uncle Kieran, go faster!"
Back at the beach house it was a little TV then 'lights out!'

"Home base" on the beach!

Mike and Camille test the water.
We'll call this one "Camille Cam" like our friends do when their 5 year old takes the shot.

Time for lunch back at the beach house... yum!
While we were in OCNJ, we met up with Mike's first grade teacher from Overbrook... yes, his first grade teacher, Bonnie Perkins.
Camille plays with Bonnie's grandchildren, James and William.
Rides onthe boardwalk. I love this shot of Camille on the carousel.

Then it was time for frozen custard.

Mimi and Bop came during the week and spent the night at the beach house. Mimi and Camille test the water...

Bop laughs as Camille struggles with a bucket full of water.
We had pizza at the famous Mack & Manco's
Camille made a spin art shirt on the boardwalk.
And it turned out pretty cool!

There was lots of time to relax on the beach!
There was lots of music on Asbury Avenue too!
More crafts... a birdhouse. It really turned out quite nice.

Mommy's favorite respite was the local coffee house.
And of course there was always time for more rides. The carousel was a big hit!

Every evening there was something new on the boardwalk. This gentleman brought some tidepool specimens for the kids to enjoy.

On Friday, Karen met us at the beach to spend just a little more time with Camille.

Then we headed back to the Lynches house for some time in the pool.

It was tough to say goodbye to Ocean City... we sure had a great time!