Monday, February 25, 2019

Cabin Vacation and Mission Preparation

So, Chance has 10 DAYS LEFT until he leaves for his mission. He will enter the Missionary Training Center or MTC first to study Mandarin until late spring and then he will actually leave for England after that.  He will leave home though to live in the MTC in 10 days.

So what has Chance been doing lately? Well......we have been buying all of the clothes and supplies he will need for his mission, including water proof shoes. It has been an exciting time, but Chance is not a big shopper so after a few hours, he is ready to be done. Then I have to feed him or something. Or let him drive us to our next destination since he doesn't know if he will be able to drive a car on his mission and is thus trying to get all of the drive time in that he can.

We also went on one last family vacation together to a beautiful cabin about an hour outside of Yellowstone National Park.

We got the moon and the sun during the day.

Swans on the river

There was a lot of snow. That made for good sledding, snow showing and cross country skiing. Chance is a master at making the perfect sled run on the hill next to the cabin. In typical Chance fashion, he studies it out, plots the right path and then gets to work shoveling and moving snow. It is lovely for the rest of us who get to benefit from the perfect sled hill. This year Chance and his brothers and sisters worked on the hill together. 
Chance getting ready to sled down the hill again.

Chance also made a snow cave this year.

 And made roasted tomato soup from scratch.

The vegetables ready to bake before being made into soup.

The happy cook

My goal each time we have gone to the cabin, is to find a puzzle to make Chance work for it.  Chance is a puzzle master and at the cabin during his down time, he likes to work on a puzzle. It is my job to find a puzzle that takes him at least a couple of days to finish. Technically everyone in the family can work on the puzzle at any time, but Chance is by far the most devoted and spends the most time  working on it. This year the puzzle was round and 1000 pieces. Chance finished it in two days. Not the way I had planned it, but Chance just keeps getting better and better at figuring out puzzles. 

Chance works on the puzzle

The finished product

I need to up my game when it comes to finding him puzzles.

Doing puzzles has actually been a great way for Chance to detox and relax for years.  Sometimes when he would get home from work, he would turn his implants off and work on a puzzle for a few minutes. He also works on puzzles during General Conference and during holidays. 
Puzzling is a great way for Chance to rest his ears and take a hearing break for a minute. He doesn't always turn his implants off when he works on puzzles, but it is a good activity that gives him the option if he wants or needs it. 
Talking to deaf and hard of hearing people through the years, they have talked about hearing fatigue and how they sometimes need a break from hearing. Puzzling does that for Chance. Plus, he loves doing it. 
Last week, Chance confided in me that when he is over at other peoples' houses and they have a puzzle out, he has to restrain himself from plopping down and working on their puzzles. 

Chance got a puzzle of a national park in England for Christmas. It is a beautiful scene and Chance says he wants to live there. 
Lucky for him, he will be in England soon.

Until our next family visit to the cabin with Chance:

Monday, February 04, 2019

George Strait

George Strait. We are big fan at our house. Especially Chance.

Before Chance heads over the pond to England for a few years, he wanted to get in one more opportunity to see George Strait since George has been doing concerts in Las Vegas and that is close enough for a visit.

Chance wore his official George Strait shirt. He has a few of those.

Chance wore his wrangler jeans. He has a few of those too.

And Chance wore his cowboy boots of course.

I didn't get a picture. I am still upset about it.

Moving onto more pleasant thoughts, it was fun for the family to enjoy the concert together and to watch Chance singing along to his favorite George Strait songs. Most of Chance's four siblings love George Strait. Chance is the one that takes it to the next level though and dresses like a cowboy almost everyday.  His little sister though, is giving Chance a run for George Straits biggest fan.

I think Chance's devotion to George Strait began when he could actually hear the words of the songs. Chance went through an entire evolution on his hearing journey.

First, he could hear.

Then, he could not hear anymore (professionals think this happened at about 13 months).
Chance's brother Ammon who is also deaf, lost his hearing quickly over a period of about 6 months dropping 5 o 10 decibals of hearing every two weeks. So perhaps Chance's hearing loss began early on in his infancy.

No one knows Chance can't hear, and his hearing loss is not discovered until he is a month away from turning three. At this point, Chance gets hearing aids, but it becomes apparent that they are not working well enough to help him hear the way he wants to.

Then a few days before turning 6, Chance receives his first cochlear implant. He receives his second one about 6 months later.

Throughout Chance's hearing journey, his ability to hear and understand the words in music varied by how well he was hearing, and the clarity of the songs.

George Strait's music is generally easy to understand and the words are more clear than many other artists. Chance's dad really likes George Strait and played his music while Chance was growing up. We think George was an artist that Chance could enjoy and understand even when his hearing was rather volitale.

And now, George has one of his biggest fans ever.  Chance has been with George through thick and thin.

George also stands for things that Chance admires. That helps too.  George stands for God, family and country music.  So does Chance.