Monday, August 27, 2018

Chance, the Tramp and the Dog

Last night Chance and two of his friends slept out on our trampoline. The weather was nice, the boys wanted to sleep in the fresh air, and they had our dog to protect them.

Apparently the presence of the boys in the backyard was a little overly stimulating for our 7 month old dog and she spent a good part of the night whining and barking to get the boys' attention. Well, Chance was just fine after his night's rest.  His friends, however, were a little tired this morning when they came into the house as they had actually heard the dog throughout the night.

At one point, our pup got a hold of one of the boys' cell phones which was next to the tramp plugged in using an extension cord. The dog actually got a hold of the extension cord, which caused the cell phone to fly across the yard. Chance's two friends had the thought even in their sleepy state, that the dog should not be chewing on a live cord with power surging through it.  It was at this point that they decided to wake Chance up. Or try to wake him up. Chance sleeps like the dead. Eventually however, Chance was brought out of his silent slumber.

The dog lived.

Chance's friends were quite tired today.

Chance was well rested and said that his friends should have woken him up earlier because then he could have pulled the dog next to him to sleep and she would have settled down.

Next time, everyone will have a better idea of what they should do when the dog grabs the charging cell phone in the yard so it is a win/win for all involved.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Summer Adventures

Summer has rapidly flown by like usual.  We still have the rest of the week left before school starts again and we are trying to squeeze in one more family outing.

Chance will not be starting school again. How weird is that? It is still a strange thought to me that I do not need to consider Chance when planning out the school year.

Chance no longer needs graph paper, folders or paper.  I will not see his delight when he gets a new mechanical pencil. He really likes those.

Chance will be attending college, but he has deferred He is working right now to save up some money.

Chance has had a great summer. He has camped in the Teton Mountains, ridden a bike through mountain passes and tunnels up in the panhandle of Idaho and kayaked down rivers. Like most jobs, his work is done indoors so he likes to get out in nature whenever he can during his off time.

Pictures of Chance's adventures are coming. Along with his assessment of his new and improved implants.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

AND......We Have New Upgraded Implants!

Chance had a very exciting visit to the audiologist's office this week. That is not to say that our audiologist is not one of the best at what he does and not always is just that some visits to the audiologists are more exciting than others.

When you just got your new implants in the mail and you are waiting to get them programmed so that you can experience all of the fantastic features you have heard they have, you live in anticipation of the visit to the audiologist.

Chance was in fine form the day we made the 2 hour trip to the audiologist. He had the briefcases that his implants had arrived in and when he took the implants out of their box, they were shiny new and practically glistening.

Chance had his iphone ready. He had his cowboy hat on and was wearing his George Strait shirt. In fact, if you listen closely in the video, you will hear Chance talk about how he wants to hear some "King George" when his implant is synced to his iphone.

The new implants did not disappoint. Chance is still only hours into his new implants, maybe two days when you add up all of the time together. Chance got the new implants programmed on Monday afternoon about 3:00.  On Tuesday morning he left for a scout outing in the Tetons of Wyoming where he DID NOT wear his new implants as the activities included rafting down a river.  Chance already had a close encounter with river water and implants that didn't turn out well in June. So, he wore his new implants for a few hours and then switched back over to the older models.  He actually didn't even wear his older model implants on the river.....he only had the silence of the scenery and the river.   Ironically, four different scout leaders told Chance's dad that they were glad that Chance had gone on the trip with them. They said that he was good leader on the river. So even in his world of silence with no hearing devices, Chance helped lead out. Chance put the new implants back on about 3:00 Saturday afternoon when he got home and then today has been the only day that he has actually worn them full time.

There are some adjustments to be made with the new implants. Chance is talking a bit louder as he adjusts. He also says that the new feature in the implant that causes it to automatically adjust to the noise in your environment makes the music coming out of the car radio really quiet when he is alone in the car. He also can no longer hear the engine of the truck he drives when he is in the cab of the truck. No doubt, Chance will spend the next little bit learning just what his new implants do.

It was really like Christmas morning for Chance when the new implants arrived. Chance made us all swear that we would not open the Cochlear package that the UPS driver delivered while he was at work. We may have tormented him a bit about this. I sent him a text after the UPS left saying that the implants had been delivered and that I didn't know if I could resist not looking at them until he got home. He sent me a text that said, "Don't you dare!"

Then his brother sent a picture of himself holding a knife up to the packaging tape on the box pretending to be opening the package. Chance sent a text to him too saying, "Don't you dare!'

Needless to say, Chance got home from work and his first order of business was to open his prize and take a look at his implants.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Chance's Senior Sunset and the Spider

Chance's high school has a tradition. At the beginning of their senior year, students entering their last year of high school, climb up a mountain trail and watch the sun rise together to symbolize the fact that they are all embarking on the last year of their high school education.

At the end of the year, the students all climb back up a mountain trail and watch the sun go down to symbolize that their senior year is closing and they are ready to move on to the next step in their lives.

As the kids were all coming back down the mountain after the sunset, Chance found himself towards the back of the pack of students.  Suddenly Chance realized that the group was dividing up ahead and walking in two separate lines as if there was something blocking the path.

It turns out that there was a spider in the middle of the path. A tarantula to be precise. Apparently many of the students are not fond of large spiders. Chance however, is one who happens to see the beauty in the eight legged critters. Our family actually had one as a pet for a few months when the kids found it outside of a dance class.  The foothills of our mountains seem to provide a nice habitat for the gentle giants.

A tarantula that lives in the foothills of our mountains. They can be about the size of an adult hand.

When Chance got up to where the spider was in the path, he stooped down and picked it up. This caused quite a reaction in some of the other students. Spiders tend to have that affect on some people.

He did not bring the spider on the path home as a pet this time.  He just said a quick hello and then let the spider go on its way.

Between the hike with friends and what it symbolizes and the massive spider in the path, this moment will be one that the students will not soon forget.
This is a view up the canyon from the trail to the lookout.

This is the view of the city from the lookout (taken after sunrise) 

This is a view looking west (toward sunset) from the lookout, taken after sunrise.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The End of an Era

It is June. Chance has had a busy few weeks as he has prepared to graduate from high school.  I can not believe that he is old enough to graduate from anything. It really does seem like just yesterday he was a skinny little kid standing up front of the classroom with his preschool classmates singing a song.

Every time Chance did an action, his shirt would rise up and you could see his tummy. I thought to myself, "Who is that child's mother and why doesn't she give him shirts that are long enough to cover his belly?"

Little did I know that that moment in preschool was the start of a challenge that would last throughout Chance's childhood and young adult hood. Many of Chance's shirts would rise up when he lifted his arms because he was destined to be tall. The shirts may fit just right everywhere else, but the length could be a problem. Although the shirts were better than trying to find pants that fit and were long enough. The boy is just long and lengthy.

He is still hard to find pants for although the shirt issue can be resolved by buying a men's medium shirt instead of a small.

Chance's school soccer team made it to the state quarter finals this year. It was the first time the school had gotten that far and a perfect ending to Chance's senior year.

I am going to miss watching Chance play soccer on the high school team. Not as much as he is going to miss playing on the high school team though.  Chance and his friend on the team were having a discussion about how it is really over. All of those practices and bus rides to other cities to play games is officially over.

It's an ending to a major part of Chance's life.  Graduating from high school does ends what you have known for years and sets you up to head off into a future that is waiting with adventure and  the unknown.

Here is a look back at some of the soccer games this year:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Saying goodbye to Coach Brown

How do you say goodbye to one of your main mentors? To a man who taught you about soccer as a coach, but also taught you about life at the same time?

Chance's club soccer coach of about 4 years suddenly died a few weeks ago. This was the man who taught the boys on the soccer field how to play soccer, but also how to be men. He was a guiding force in the boy's lives and very loved by the boys.

Chance was devastated when he found out his club coach had died. Chance plays soccer on the high school team with club coach's son and they are friends. Coach Brown was always on the side lines of the school games cheering his boys on.  Coach Brown was the coach of the competitive league that Chance played on during the off season from high school and during the summer.

Coach Brown knew how to help his players reach their potential and he believed in the boys. For many of the boys he was like a second father. At the funeral, there were many of Coach Brown's soccer boys sitting in the seats. The boys from Chance's high school soccer team sat along the back rows dressed in their school uniforms to show their respects and to support their teammates who had just lost their father.

Chance was a pallbearer and sat with the family. As is typical in our area after a funeral, there was a meal provided for family and friends of Coach Brown by the family's local church. Our family was invited to this meal which was an honor. We were able to talk to some of coach's extended family and sit with his young son who is friends with our younger kids. The kids have played with each other for years at the games as their older brothers played soccer.

Chance sat at a table with members of the soccer team. The boys had a game to play that afternoon and so as soon as they finished eating, they were off to the school soccer field to play a game. They played for Coach Brown.

Chance made a goal during the game and as he ran downfield with everyone cheering, he lifted his head up to the sky and held up his index finger to say number one. "This one is for you coach!" he said.

Coach Brown had a saying of "lift where you stand," meaning help people out wherever you are standing. He was a great example of this, opening up his heart to the boys who played soccer for him, helping neighbors with house repairs or stopping to help people he encountered.

So in honor of coach we all plan to "lift where we stand," and keep his memory alive by following his example.

Thank you Coach Brown for the time you put in as a soccer coach and for the kind of man you were. We will see you again on the other side.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Snuggling For Warmth With the Pup

The second night she was home, Ammon climbed into the dog igloo on the deck and slept with her.
He didn't seem to mind the nip in the air at night. 
His devotion to cuddling the dog came first........before any trivial thing like the warmth of being in the house.
The pup is used to sleeping outside as that is where she stayed with her momma. She comes from a city that is 6,486 above sea level in the mountains.
Our elevation is 4,623 in the shadow of the mountains so our nights are warmer than what she has been experiencing at her place of birth.
She did have her momma that she would snuggle with though, so Ammon elected to take the snuggle role to help the pup keep warm.
Ammon is hanging out of the igloo a bit, but it seems to be working out well for both parties involved.

It looks like everyone is comfy cozy in their igloo home sharing body heat. I think they both have found their pack. And since Ammon has his implant and hearing aid off, he should sleep well no matter what kind of noises the puppy may make in the night.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Boy and His Dog

Chance has always wanted a dog. He has dreamed about his truck having a dog in the backseat or bed just to make everything complete.
This is Chance curled up with his dog by the back door. If you look real close, you can see the little white paw in Chance's hand.
You may recall that Chance is moving in on being 6'2. The doggy pillow that he is sharing with the dog is 4 feet long. 
Chance doesn't seem to mind the confining space.
He now has a dog so life is good.

We had a dog when Chance was little. In fact, we had two dogs. The last one died about 9 years ago.

Cramped or not, Chance is willing to snuggle in, helping the pup feel at ease her first night home.

I am not sure exactly what happened, but at some point during the night, Chance moved out of the cage and made his bed on the wood floor next to the dog's bed. Apparently, the puppy's whining woke up many people in the household early this morning. She didn't wake up Chance though. He can withstand noises like whining in the morning since without his implants, his world is very peaceful and quiet.

The cowboy now has his dog to ride in the back of his truck. I think they are both going to be very happy.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Cowboy in a tree

 We went down to the lake to watch the sunset as a family one evening this week.  It was a beautiful sunset and as we stood on the shore of the lake, the croaking of frogs rang out like a song. The kids went exploring in the reeds while the frogs croaked and a gentle breeze rustled the dry plants.
 You may think that this looks like a cowboy in a tree.......and you would be right in that assumption. Chance shimmied up this tree in cowboy boots. It was rather impressive. The quality of the picture is lacking, but the tree climbing skills were fabulous.

Chance also went exploring in the reeds. which were at times tall enough to hide even his almost 6 foot 2 frame. Chance is a kid at heart and not one to just sit and watch the view. He can watch the view too, but he also wants to get out and experience the world hands on.
He likes wide open spaces and being out in the natural world.
Yep, I think we're going to keep him.

Monday, April 02, 2018

When April Fool's Day and Easter mix

At our house, Easter is a special holiday. It is a day of rebirth, a day to remember our Savior.

This year, Easter also fell on April Fool's Day.  Our kids have enjoyed the opportunity to play tricks each year, but for some reason this year Chance was feeling especially tricky. He must have stayed up half the night arranging tricks for us to wake up to.
Perhaps the fact that Chance has the next week off of school for Spring Break made him feel a bit more jovial and fun loving.
One of the first things we noticed this morning was that our milk was apparently holding us up when we opened the fridge and found our normally docile milk holding an airsoft gun and wearing a  bandana. The milk does look quite dangerous.

Chance also made sure that his sister was not left out of the holiday fun. He went into her room after she fell asleep and turned all of the things on her wall and dresser upside down.

There were many surprises for us when we woke up courtesy of Chance and his flair for April Fool's Day tricks. Chance had a good laugh many times today as we found the various tricks he had waiting for us.

He better be ready for next year as I believe his brothers and sisters will be ready for some payback. I have to admit though, between Chance's cleaver tricks and his good natured laughing when we found another way he had tricked us, today was quite humorous.

Just another way that Chance keeps our lives interesting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Waking the dead

Waking Chance has always been a bit like waking the dead.  That kid can sleep through anything. A couple of year ago we tried a shaker alarm.  It didn't work.  He tried a deaf friend's shaking alarm clock and it didn't do the job. Chance could sleep through it.

I was at a the National Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference (EHDI) and came across this little beauty....

Well friends, we may have found a product that works in waking the other words Chance.
Chance tried it the first night and we all waited in anticipation to see if this little Timeshaker Wow had the power to get the job done.

Chance slept through it.

BUT the reason he slept through it, is because the little round part that goes under his pillow and does the shaking, is wireless and Chance didn't charge it long enough at first. So it didn't have a big enough charge to last through the entire night.

When the little shaker had been properly charged and the alarm level had been tuned onto earthquake level shaking,  it did indeed wake Chance up.

It was an exciting day that Chance will always remember.  He says he now understands why people want to push the snooze button as it is annoying to have something wake you up that you can't escape from. 

For years while most of the rest of us have been shaking our fists at the annoying sound of an alarm every morning, Chance has been missing out on that daily ritual. He can't escape it anymore.

The alarm is literally set at the "earthquake" level.......the highest one. This seems to be the level that is best for Chance.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

College Roadtrip

Image result for wyoming open road

Chance and one of his good friends did a road trip to check out a college they are interested in attending. The college arranged for them to spend two nights in the dorms and attend some classes.

Chance's friend is sold and plans to attend the school in the fall. Chance is still in the decision making process. He has a few schools to choose from.

Chance and his friend attended classes, cooked for themselves and played soccer. I am sure they also stayed within the speed limit each time they drove, including on the road trip to and from the school.

Chance's high school gives the seniors one excused absence for checking out colleges. Regardless of whether Chane ends up attending the school or not,  he says the experience was a good one. His friend of course thinks it would be fabulous if they both ended up attending the school together.  The boys could be roomies and embark on college life together. Chance thinks it would be fabulous as well, but it will depend on money.  Chance is waiting to see if there will be a scholarship offered.

Meanwhile, whatever he ends up choosing, Chance is excited for his future. He plans to work during the summer to put away some cash in his bank account.  College students can always use a bit of cash.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Entertaininment via Chance

Having deaf children around the house sometimes makes for humorous situations. Yesterday, as we were cleaning the house, Chance' s brother was going through a pile of papers.

As he was sifting through the papers, Chance's brother found two mailing envelopes he had bought at the post office so he could send t-shirts through the mail and figure out which one had cheaper postage and offered the best protection for the contents inside.

"These are mine," he said lifting the envelopes out of the pile. "I bought two envelopes to test."

Chance stopped what he was doing across the room and said, 'WHAT?"

"I bought two envelopes to test." His brother repeated holding them up for Chance to see.

" I thought you said, "I bought a pregnancy test!" Chance said as he started to laugh.

I do believe that this situation will be one that the family laughs about for years to come. Chance helped bring humor to the rather boring task of going through papers.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The cabin where Chance cooked, skied and went sledding

Our family headed up for a cabin vacation last week. It was truly lovely. Chance was in his element being out in nature and being able to spend lots of time outdoors.

The sledding hill went through these trees and onto the frozen lake in the background.

Chance made a killer sledding hill by shaping the snow on the hill next to the cabin by using his hands and a shovel.  He always takes care of us that way....making sure we have a proper place to sled. There was a jump in the middle of the sled run where one would get airborne for a bit before landing and sliding out onto the frozen lake.

There was also cross country skiing, and snow shoeing. Oh, and the hot tub. Even though the temperature was about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, Chance preferred being outside to the hot tub. He would go out first thing in the morning and then come in all covered with snow.

Chance also wanted to learn to cook tomato soup at the cabin. Chance's dad is a fabulous cook and he makes tomato soup from scratch. Chance said that he was always enjoying his dads cooking but he didn't know how to cook the meals himself and he wanted to change that. So Chance made tomato soup with his dad and I can tell you that it was absolutely delicious. The warm soup with fresh homemade French bread was just what we needed as we watched the snow fall outside.

Chance makes soup!

We got about 3 feet of snow while we stayed at the cabin. We were hoping to get snowed in on the last day so that we would have to stay longer, but alas the snowplow man came through and dashed all of our hopes.

Our little van buried by the falling snow

Even though the road outside the cabin had been plowed, there was still enough snow that it required us to use chains on the tires to get out.  Luckily, Chance is the outdoorsy sort so he got out and helped his dad put the chains on the tires in the cold and the snow.

Chance putting on chains to help us navigate the snow

Chance helped to take good care of all of us at the cabin by making sled hills, taking his siblings out to play when they wanted to go outside, making yummy soup and just being overall helpful. He makes a great traveling companion.

Winter wonderland

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Chance applies to colleges

Once upon a time there was little boy named Chance. He was a very cute little boy and he loved to play with his older brother who was his best buddy.

Chance and his brother singing together at the Speech Fair

Then suddenly without warning, the little boy grew up. He got bigger and started to wear cowboy hats on a regular basis. 

Chance at home in the mountains in his cowboy hat

Now, the little boy that grew up is in the process of hearing back from colleges that he has applied to. He is deciding which college he wants to attend. 
In the meantime, he will play soccer for his high school team, continue to work at his job each day and do his homework in a timely fashion. 
Chance was a fun little boy who was always playing imaginary games with his brother or exploring outside.
Now he is still fun, and he still likes to go exploring outside, but now he goes to dances with girls too. 
It will be exciting to see where Chance goes next. I have a feeling that great adventure await him and his cowboy hat. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Florida Report

Chance has now decided that he really likes Florida. He was able to do things there that he can't do here. Things like wear shorts in January, see rockets and visit Daytona raceway. Plus, he bunked with friends every night and when he is in our state, his friends all have their own houses to return to each evening.

Chance drank a lot of root beer while he was away. If you know Chance, this is not a surprise. He has a ritual of drinking root beer while he is on vacation. Chance is kind of a root beer snob......he likes to drink the specialty varieties of root beer.  The kind that comes in bottles and costs quite a bit more than the cans that you buy out of the vending machine.

This is what Chance had to say about the trip:

Getting to learn about space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center was a highlight of the trip. I was able to see the Atlantis Space Shuttle, the most recent space shuttle to retire and the end of the Space Shuttle Program. I was able to do some Astronaut training, where I was able to do a micro-gravity ladder, then I was a pilot for a Space Shuttle simulation. I was also able to do the spinning contraption that trains astronauts to control a spacecraft when it is spinning out of control with a joystick.

This whole trip was an absolute experience, ranging from space exploration, to raising a little cain with the boys, to taking a trip to see old cars (my kind of cars),  and seeing the mechanics and facts at Daytona Speedway.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Chance Visits Florida

Chance is on his way!
It has been a long spell since I wrote about Chance and his doings. He has been a busy boy, working, playing soccer and fitting in straight A's this last semester. I will have to do some catch up in the coming weeks, but for now, I will start right where he is at the moment. 

At this very moment, Chance is in an airplane on his way to Florida for a school trip. He will visit The Kennedy Space Center and learn about space science as well as visit Daytona speedway to learn about propulsion along with other field trips. Chance is very excited. Several of his good friends are going on the trip as well and they are planning to have a grand time. 

As we walked out of the airport after dropping Chance off, our breath hung in the air in a cloud in front of us due to the cold.  The wisps of air matched the fog that surrounded the valley. Several flights were delayed due to the weather. Chance's plane was able to take off on time though and he is now somewhere over the mountains heading east.

I think we can state with great confidence that Chance will be experiencing much warmer weather tomorrow morning than those of us he left behind. It should be glorious.