Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Kerwin with his Dune Buggy

Big Blue Christmas!

Abby enjoying the gifts.

Look how I can stand up!

Kerwin loves his new clothes, shoes, googles, and Dune Buggy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ASL Classes

American Sign Language Classes

For beginners (all ages welcomed)
Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:15
January 21- March25

First Alliance Church Family Life Center
2201 Old Higbee Mill Road
Lexington, KY

Cost: $40.00/person
Please pre-register by January 7th
Contact Rebecca Haake at
rebeccahaake@hotmail.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Weekend and Annual Review

We had a wonderful but busy time this weekend. My cousin plays basketball at Lehigh University and her team was playing two games in Nashville this weekend. Additionally, UK (football) played against Vandy Saturday afternoon which was just icing on the cake. A whole host of Haakes and other family members descended on Nashville for a weekend full of fun and sporting events. We ended up 2 and 1 for the weekend. Lehigh beat Lipscomb by a decent margin, UK squeaked by Vandy and then Lehigh lost to Vandy on Sunday. My grandma flew in from Pennsylvania Thursday evening and is staying with us through Thanksgiving. It is wonderful to have her here in addition to my regular host of helpers.

Abby is absolutely adorable right now. She is scooting around backwards (she hasn't quite figured out the forward crawl yet) and trying to figure out how to go from crawling to sitting and back again. She's starting to babble (dada and teetee) and blows lots of raspberries. She also loves to hear herself yell. She is still fascinated with her wrists and does the "princess wave" all the time. She is just a joy to us all. Kerwin continues to have a good year at school. I am so impressed with his teacher this year. She is very no-nonsense. She lets the kids know exactly what is expected of them and she holds them to it. The first week of school Kerwin came home quoting the teacher: "Tina says, 'No socializing, pay attention to the teacher.'" He is making good progress in both his reading and math. Today was his annual review for his Individualized Education Program. It was hard to believe that we are on his third IEP. He has come so far in such a short amount of time.

Mike continues to be busy with taking a good deal of the responsibilities with Kerwin, teaching, coaching softball and leading a high school group on an annual mission trip to Haiti. I am working 2-3 days a week in a preschool. This is my third year there and I love my job. But I am always ready to rush home to the baby after work. It's stressful being a working(and breastfeeding) mom even if it is only part time. Mike and I have found the transition from 1 to 2 kids to be a very big one. As always we are so thankful for our supportive families. Until next time...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back to Blogging

Here are some recent pictures of the kids and I when we went out to LA to visit my sister.





With Abby now 6-months-old I find myself with more time for things like the computer, so I have been feeling the urge to pick the blogging back up again. We recently passed our two-year anniversary of bringing Kerwin home. I got nostalgic and went back to read many of my past blogs. It reminded me how much I loved having an online "diary" to help me remember things in the life of our family that I may otherwise forget with the passing of time. I think it will also be nice for the kids to be able to read when they get a little older.

So...quick update. Kerwin is in second grade. He is really liking his teacher and classmates and is improving his academic skills every day. He just finishd a season of baseball and football starts this weekend. He is walking mostly without his walker but still needs it in crowded places or for long distances. He still wears braces on his ankles and on his legs at night. His sign language is progressing wonderfully. He has long since passed us in his signing abilities. We are still taking classes but it has become a bit tougher with the baby. Speaking of the baby, she is as cute as can be. She is very social and loves to be outside or in busy places. She is a good baby and lots of fun. She is sitting up and tring to grab anything in her reach.

I took the kids out to Los Angeles to visit my sister on our Fall break. They were angels during our travels. It was a little harder once we got there and had to try to function with Abby still on Eastern time but we managed. We got to hang out with some old friends of mine from college which was great. I was so glad we got to see Rachel's new apartment. We also visited the Farmer's Market and Santa Monica pier. That's where the pictures were taken.

Kerwin has had 2 Halloween parties already and has 2 to go. I will try to post pictures after Trick or Treating but I'm having camera issues. Until then, enjoy my favorite season!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Heading home

We are just about to head to the airport here in Port-au-Prince. It has been an eventful last few days, we had VBS in the towns of Chansolme and Ansefoleur. On Wednesday we were supposed to take a boat to the island of Tortuga but the waves were too high so our trip was canceled. Our group instead worked around the mission: playing with babies, painting the new special-needs orphanage, and assisting with some surgeries. Please pray for our team as we travel because we had several people who were sick yesterday.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Sunday in Haiti!

Hello everyone! We had a great Sunday in Haiti. This morning we went to the mission church across the street. During Sunday school, everyone from our team shared a brief testimony or verse with the Haitians at church. Then half our team stayed in the church while I preached and then half our team lead children's church. Brenda from our group also interpreted for a group of deaf people from the community. The deaf people were very excited as this is the first time many of them have been able to come to church and understand what's going on. In the afternoon, we took the special-needs orphanage kids on a ride around the courtyard in a "train" here at the mission. They had a great time! And then later in the afternoon a group of Americans (including many from our group) here along with a few Haitians who work at the mission played an exhibition soccer game against a local professional soccer team. We were excited to only lose 4-1. Tomorrow we will be traveling to the city of Chansolme to do a VBS and deliver food.

Friday, July 24, 2009

the last couple days

We have had an eventful last couple days. We visited the mission's orphanage, held a VBS for the deaf students, delivered food up in the mountains, worked in the baby and special-needs orphanage among many other things. Tomorrow we will be hiking to a waterfall to swim and then we will be going to church on Sunday. Everyone is healthy, doing well, and having a great time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hello from Haiti!

Hello from Haiti! Everyone is doing well so far. Yesterday we rode the bus in and arrived at supper time. It rained very hard last night, but everyone got a good night's rest after a long day of travel. Today the group was involved in a variety of ministries at the baby orphanage, special-needs orphanage, and elderly home. Tomorrow we will be traveling to the mission's orphanage a few hours away. We had a great time at team devotion and everyone seems to be growing spiritually and getting plugged into the ministries here in Haiti. We will spending the night there tomorrow night and will return to the mission Thursday morning. The Internet has been sporadically working, but I will try to update when possible.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pictures of the kids

When my sister was in, she took beautiful pictures of the kids. I don't have time to upload them all here at the moment but you can see them on her blog at www.tylerandrachelhisel.blogspot.com. They are just adorable. Thanks, Rachel!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Abigail

Abigail was born this morning at 1:30 A.M. weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz. Mom and baby are doing fine and recovering. We will try to post some pictures soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Change of Plans

I'm now scheduled to be induced tonight at 9:00. We'll accept any prayers you can give for us. Mike will update the blog soon. Maybe even with some pictures (hopefully none that are too embarrassing).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby News!

I am scheudled to be induced Wednesday morning at 6:00 am. So we should have a baby by tax day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quick Kerwin Story

Kerwin has continued to change, grow, and challenge us since the last time we blogged. But here is a cute story about how much he is learning. Because American Sign Language is not just English put to hand movements, it is a separate language with it's own syntax (sentence structure), it is difficult for deaf children to learn to read becuase they have to learn an entirely new language. So at school, Kerwin is learning ASL for communicating and English for reading/writing. He is learning how to write sentences with all thouse little words like articles and helping verbs. The other day, he got out of the shower and was putting on his clothes and looked at me with his look how smart I am look and signed: "I...is...cold." It was so cute. I praised him for making such a good English sentence and then correted his grammar. He is very proud of himself for learning so much. And so are his mom and dad!

In other news

I had a doctor's appointment with ultrasound today. Everything looks fine. I'm still officially due in two and a half weeks and Abigail weighs about 6 lbs. 13 oz. So everything is looking good. So far I've had a smooth time of things. I now have extremely swollen feet and ankles but besides that am feeling pretty good.

I want to also say a big thank you to everyone who has thrown a baby shower for us, attended a baby shower or just given us wonderful gifts. We have received such a strong show of love and support from our friends and family. Of course, if you've been reading this blog for any time you would expect nothing different. We are so blessed and truly appreciative.

Random Writing

This is a brief essay I wrote for a YMCA fundraising kickoff. The director of Kerwin's baseball league asked if I could come and speak but because it was right in the middle of a work day, there was no way I could make it work. So I wrote this instead. The event was eventually cancelled due to the ice storm so I thought I'd share the essay here:

When we brought our son Kerwin home from Haiti in October of 2007, we already knew he loved sports. On my very first trip to Haiti a year and a half earlier, I played a form of soccer with him as I held him up, dangling his atrophied legs over a ball so he could take a flailing kick at it. When we played with him at the mission where he lived from the ages of two to six, he would always head back to the storage closet to rummage through the box where they had a collection of balls and other sports equipment. He would search for the hand pump and begin to blow up a flat, second-hand basketball. As we waited in Haiti’s capitol Port-au-Prince for his passport to be granted, one of the first movies he learned to love was Air Bud.
Just through observing, Kerwin quickly taught himself to imitate the proper technique for shooting a basketball, swinging a bat, throwing a spiral, and diving to dig out a spike. He is a very athletic child and has great eye hand coordination. He also has spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy which mainly affects his muscle strength and control from the trunk down. He uses a rolling walker to get around most of the time. Kerwin also has severe to profound hearing loss.
When Kerwin was two years old, he weighed nine pounds and suffered from severe malnourishment and neglect. At five years old he was just beginning to pull himself up like a toddler beside tables and railings. Today he is a three-sport superstar in the Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League, the NFL Flag Football League, and the Jump Start Basketball League. Kerwin began playing baseball last spring and to say he loved it would be an understatement. It was the highlight of every week. Every night before bed we would talk about what the next day would bring. Kerwin quickly learned the signs for each day of the week and would say, “Monday, school. Tuesday, school. Wednesday, school. Thursday, school. Friday, school.” And then with great excitement, “Saturday, BASEBALL!”
We have been thrilled with the addition of the fall baseball league, the flag football league and the basketball league. Kerwin has been equally excited about each one. It is wonderful for us as well, his parents, grandparents, family and friends, to get to watch him participate in something he loves so much that we do not have to initiate, assist in, or make sure that appropriate accommodations are made. As a parent of a special needs child, you spend so much of your time and energy advocating for your child. What a blessing it has been for us to participate in these adapted programs that are well-organized, well-thought out, and well-run. From our whole family, we would like to say a huge thank you to the YMCA for its support of athletic opportunities for children with special needs.

Rebecca Haake
January 24, 2009

We're back!

First, let me make my feeble excuse as to why I haven't blogged in, oh let's just say a few weeks. After the ice storm, the wireless internet that was so freely coming to our home stopped coming and we have had to seek out other places to use the internet. This means I check my email and things like that at work and at my parents but don't really have the ability to sit down in the evening and write these high-quality posts that you are so accustomed to. Surely, I jest. Point is, I've been too busy (lazy) and cheap to actually get internet access permanently installed at our house. So anyway, my sister has been bugging me to put up some pictures from Kerwin's birthday which was back in February so here goes.

These are from our family party at my parent's house.






Pictures from his birthday party at the "Fun Center"




Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Storm 2009

School has been off here since Monday so Mike and I both have been off work. Kerwin's school technically never closes because they have residential students who are there on campus so the teachers have to come in for those kids. So Monday we drove Kerwin down to school since his bus wasn't running. He ended up having a good time. We came and visited his classroom for the last hour of the day. He was excited to have us there. We knew Tuesday would be worse weather-wise and it was so we all stayed home together all day yesterday and didn't go anywhere.

Well, last night during the first half of the UK game, we were all snuggled up on the couch under blankets watching the Cats lose to Ole Miss and then our lights flickered on and off several times and then went completely off. We had a feeling it might happen because we had seen the green glow of an electrical box blowing earlier in the evening and we had a heavy coat of ice on everything. So I had gotten the candle lighter out and ready and sure enough, we needed. So we lit every candle in the house and set about packing to head to the place were the power never goes out: my parents' house. Even in the great ice storm of 2003 when Mike and I lost power for 5 days, my parents' house was toasty and warm the whole time. Well just getting packed was a challenge and then getting our car de-iced all while sliding around on a skating rink and getting rained on. Plus Mike's started having really bad back pain yesterday so he is doing all this while barely able to move. So here are some pictures from the icy part.






We spent the night at my parents' house and got up this morning to find that even UK was closed today. So my mom took the day off and we all stayed home together. Then around 9:50 the second round of winter precipitation hit but this time it was big beautiful snowflakes. So here are pictures from the snowy part.









Check out the sled Kerwin is using. It was my dad's when he was a little boy. It actually worked pretty well because we had the right combination of ice covered by snow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When I Grow Up

On the way home from physical therapy, Kerwin began to tell me all the things that he was going to do when he grew up. He has recently been interested in how old Daddy is and talking about being 29. His ideas were so cute. I told him when we got home we should write his ideas down in a story. So this is what we came up with. I wrote the text below the pictures in case you can't read them.





When I am 29, the same age as Daddy, I will coach basketball. Mommy and Daddy will sit up in the stands and watch me coach and they will cheer. My job will be a teacher.



I will drive a red truck and my dog will sit in the back with the tailgate up. The red truck will be big. Also I will be a farmer. The farm will be close by. It will have horses, cows and cute baby horses, girls and boys. The cows wil be named JK and IK.



When I grow up, I will have a big bed to sleep in, a TV, a chair, a couch, and big shoes. I will visit Uncle Tyler and Aunt Rachel.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Harlem Globetrotters

Grandma and "Grandpa Fishing" got us tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters for Christmas. We went tonight after Kerwin's basketball game. He really enjoyed the show and we had a great time. Thanks Mom and Dad!