Monday, February 20, 2017

Exploding implants on the bench press

A few days ago while I was getting ready for the day, I thought I heard Chance out in the living room. That wouldn't be right though, because Chance's school had started over an hour earlier and I knew he had gone to school.

Low and behold, it was Chance though. I figured out it really was him that I had heard when he walked into my bedroom. It turns out that during his first hour class while he was bench pressing, one of his implants had fallen onto the floor and the battery pack had shattered. That must have been quite a workout Chance was engaged in.

Chance, not feeling like having only one implant for the rest of the day, picked up the pieces and drove home to get his back up implant. Thank heavens for back up implants. And I got a little surprise visit from Chance mid morning.  


Monday, February 13, 2017

Sweethearts Dance

Chance went to The Sweethearts dance this weekend. It was a girls' choice dance so the girls planned the whole shin dig. The date was a whole day affair, with Chance and the boys coming back to our house to change after the afternoon activities to get ready for the dance. This process of getting ready for the dance always takes a bit longer for the girls, so the boys get ready and then hang out at one of the boys' houses and play games, watch a movie or engage in some other activity while they wait for the girls to get ready and then pick them up for the dance.

While they were at the restaurant, all of the kids poured a bit of their drink into a cup and Chance drank it. A sort of root beer, Sprite, lemonade, orange sort of mix. Apparently, it was really fun and entertaining.

The first activity of the day was being a human ball. Chance loved this part of the date and if you look closely you can see Chance's and his date's legs hanging out of the balls as they play a game. I think Chance may be the one on the ground.

A good time was had by all and Chance was dropped off by his date and one of the other girls and they were all laughing. I would say the date was a success.


Monday, February 06, 2017

Chance's San Francisco Presentation as the walking wounded

Chance had a marvelous time in San Francisco. He got to see the Golden Gate Bridge again and he ate lots and lots of Chinese Food.

Chance just gave his presentation at school yesterday and when we got to the school, there was no Chance in the Chinese display room.  Each student chooses an aspect of Chinese life or culture to study indepth and give a presentation on. Chance chose calligraphy. He had a video showing the different strokes, how the strokes were made, the kind of paper used and a poem that was written at Angel Island, a state park which was the Asian Immigration Processing location from 1910 to 1940.

I called Chance to see where he was when I arrived at the school. Chance told me he was busy working with the CERT team but would be up to the classroom soon.

The CERT team is the group that studied community emergency response for their Winterim. Chance was being prepared for a demonstration the CERT team was doing which meant he looked like this:


Chance was part of their presentation of what first responders would do if there was an actual emergency in the community. It sort of grossed his little sister out.

When Chance got back up to the room to show us his presentation, it looked like that:

Chance loved his San Francisco trip and the opportunity learn more about Chinese culture.  He had a memorable trip with friends and teachers that will help him broaden his knowledge about Chinese culture.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Biking Across the Bridge

Chance has tried to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge each time he has visited San Francisco. The first time he went was last year in January.  He went with a school group and his brother was with him. Part of the itinerary for the trip was that all of the students would bike across the bridge. Chance and his brother were ecstatic.  When the day for them to bike across arrived though, the weather was bad so the bike ride was canceled.

Chance was then looking forward to biking across the bridge when our family went to San Francisco as part of our vacation through California. We looked into biking across the bridge, but in the end we didn't have enough time to bike across the bridge and do the other activities we had planned on.

When Chance went back to San Francisco last week for school again, he was determined to bike across the bridge. He had friends and a teacher who were excited to bike across the bridge as well. As it turned out, Chance was the only one who actually biked across the bridge. Some of the kids got tired before they got to the bridge and stopped. (It's about a 5 mile ride each way from where you rent the bikes to the start of the bridge.)  Some of the kids biked up to the bridge and turned around, but Chance was determined to bike the entire bridge and he finally made that item on his bucket list a reality. CHANCE HAS NOW OFFICIALLY BIKED ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE!

Then he left his camera in the little pouch attached to the bike. He called the bike company and they said they had found it and would hold it for him. He got to the bike shop just as they were closing for the day. The girl on duty was apparently really attractive, but she told Chance that he would probably never see his camera again because they rarely got items back that had been left in the pouches. Chance explained that he had called earlier and and had been told his camera was being saved for him. The attractive girl looked in the drawer and was surprised to find Chance's camera sitting there waiting for him.  Alas, the bike rental store was closing so Chance could not continue talking to the cute girl and besides, the other students were waiting for him. He did get his camera back though. The camera that crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge with him on his third try.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Third time's a charm




Chance leaves for San Francisco in two days for an in depth study of Chinese culture. It may seem that Chance was just in San Francisco......that would be because he was there just last year at this time.  Chance and his brother had such a great experience in San Francisco back then, that they wanted the whole family to go back to see it.  So we included two days in San Francisco during our family vacation last summer. For anyone who is counting, Chance's trip to San Francisco next week will be his third in the span of a year. His destiny must somehow be tied to that city.

The focus this year is different than it was last year. Last year Chance rode a train to California and then flew home in an airplane. This year Chance will fly both to and from California.  Chance will be immersed in Chinese culture, language, religion and of course speaking Mandarin.  It will be good for Chance to have people around him who can answer him in Mandarin. He speaks to us at home in Mandarin all of the time. We just don't know what he is saying. For fun, I will sometimes respond in Dutch. Then neither one of us knows what the other is saying. It will be fun for Chance to practice his Mandarin while eating Chinese food.

The weather forecast calls for lots of rain while Chance is there. But the temperature should be much warmer than it is here. We are anticipating snow. Chance will have tales to tell us when he gets home. He says that since this is his third time visiting the city, he is much more aware of what a good souvenir is and where to spend his money. Chance is very frugal with his money. He is a working man now and he has earned all of his own spending money and paid for half of the trip. He is particular where he spends that hard earned cash.

View from the Golden Gate Bridge

Lombard Street in San Francisco

Chance on the ferry from Oakland to San Francisco

Ghirardelli chocolate shop


Friday, January 06, 2017

Advantages of having deaf children

Enjoying the warm weather in Arizona by climbing a palm tree

 We spent part of Christmas break in Arizona.  It was much warmer there than it is at our house. We went to the park and laid out on the grass. Our grass has snow on it, so it was a real treat to go outside without our coats and just enjoy the nice weather.

We were visiting family and hanging out with cousins. If we loaded everyone in the van to go somewhere, three people had to ride in another car so we could all fit and have seat belts. My sister and I wanted to have some "girl talk" on our ride to the park and I was trying to figure out which child should come with us. Then it struck me....Chance could come with us because he can't hear anything if he is using his headphones! I know, I know, teenagers in general can't hear anything else if they put in their headphones, but having two teenagers, one who is deaf, and one who is hearing, I can attest that the deaf one hears less.

Chance was the perfect kid to ride with us so we could talk freely. Chance already had his headphones ready for the ride and when I suggested that he ride with us and "not hear" what we said, he shrugged and happily agreed. I think it was a win win because our car was going to be more peaceful since it didn't have lots of kids riding in it and Chance could just sit back and relax.

It is true that Chance could have cheated and slid his headphones down just enough to hear what we were saying, but if you are a 16 year old boy, you really don't have an interest in what your mom and her sister talk about while on a drive to the park.

Now I know that if I need a child to ride in a car with me and not hear what I am saying, I can just invite Chance, because he can't hear anything if he has headphones in or takes his hearing devices off.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hats and hearing devices

As a little boy, Chance loved wearing hats. Baseball caps and cowboy hats were his favorites and we have many pictures from his childhood that include hats.

When Chance wore hearing aids, the hats would make them buzz as the hats rested on his ears. It would drive the rest of us a little batty to have that buzzing sound going on all the time so we would adjust the hat and then a few minutes later, the buzzing would start again. Cowboy hats tended to work with the the hearing aids better than baseball caps.

I asked our audiologist once if that buzzing sound didn't drive Chance crazy too. The audiologist said Chance probably didn't even hear the buzzing so it wasn't bothering him at all.

Once Chance got implants, wearing hats wasn't really an issue anymore.

Chance wears baseball and cowboy hats now on a fairly regular basis.






I decided to ask Chance this week as he was wearing a baseball cap if hats were a problem anymore with implants, I was surprised by his answer. He said he has to put the hat over the processors and kind of adjust them or it sticks out and is very uncomfortable. He still wears hats though so it must be worth the effort.

And the implants don't squeal when he puts a hat on.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas trees and raining snow

We headed up into the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree again this year.  We were dressed in snow bibs, coats and gloves, but it was one of the warmest years we've had when collecting our tree.
Chance's brother had hurt his foot so he wasn't up to hiking a long way into the wilderness so we were looking for a tree that was lower rather than higher up in the hills.

Luckily for us, we found several trees to chose from that were just a short distance off of the road. As usual, once we started looking the trees over, some had sides that were a bit bare of branches, and others had another tree growing right next to them which made the branches look fuller than they actually were. Like we always do, we eventually found a tree we all loved and hauled it down to the van.


Chance works his way into the branches of the tree to find the trunk.

We all take a turn sawing into the tree to cut it down and this year was no different.  While Chance was sawing down at the bottom of the tree, a cascade of snow started landing on him from the branches that were higher up.  He was flicking his head to try and avoid being drenched in snow. I thought I was recording the moment, but it turns out that when my daughter handed me the phone, she had turned off recording. So, we have no record except for our own memories. And this picture:






Thank goodness he had that hat.





Monday, November 21, 2016

Being tall helps you when playing the game twister.

This is Chance and his brother playing the game Twister. We had a family game night and Chance and his brother played against each other. This is a time when Chance's height is a definate advantage because he can just bend over other people to put his hands or feet on the colored spots where the dial says they need to go.
Twister is a game where you spin a dial and it tells you which color circle to put your hand or foot on. It starts out easy enough, but as the game continues, you end up getting all twisted up. Eventually one of the players can't do what the spin dial tells them to do without falling over. The winner is the one who manages to put their hands and feet on the circles the dial tells them to without falling over.
Chance had a great time playing this game with his brother. His brother won though, because Chance ended up falling over.
Better luck next time Chance!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chance has a loud whisper

Chance was casually telling me today that one of his friends in physics class tells him regularly that he has a loud whisper.

Chance sits up at the front of the classroom and he and his friend sometimes have things they want to say to each other while class is in session. The problem is, Chance apparently has a loud whisper.  His friend is nervous that they are going to get caught talking so she will tell Chance that he is whispering really loud.

Chance said he doesn't feel like he is whispering loud, although two more friends on the row behind him can apparently hear what he is saying when he whispers.

The second problem Chance faces with his attempts to whisper, is that most of the time, he can't hear what his friend is whispering back because she is trying to be quiet enough to not get caught by the teacher.

Chance says it is actually a miracle that they haven't gotten into more trouble for talking in class since his friend regularly tells him he is whispering loudly.

I have found that both Chance and Ammon are difficult to whisper to with when you are trying to be discrete.  They just don't hear you until you are louder than you feel you want to be when whispering. If you are in church or in class where you want to whisper and not draw attention to yourself, whispering with Chance or Ammon is challenging. Chance can catch on to what you are saying with his superb lip reading skills many times.  Ammon has not developed that skill like Chance has.
I don't know why lip reading isn't helping Chance with his whispering problem in class. Maybe his friend isn't facing his direction.

Chance does best when he can communicate without having to whisper.