The day finally came and we headed to Barnes and Noble in Winston. To her surprise we met up with a puppy raiser and the puppy she is training. To make a long story short, Lindy is obsessed with guide dogs and service dogs. She researches and watches videos on YouTube kids anytime she is allowed. We went to the JDRF walk in April and we met a service dog in training and started following the dog on Instagram. I figured out how to get in touch with the puppy raiser who is actually a student attending Wake Forest. She happily agreed to meet up with us and a plan was born. We met up with Marcie and her sister and they had not one, but two guide dogs in training. Marcie is training Daisy, but she was also puppy-sitting for a friend and so she also had Deacon with her. Lindy was so surprised! For an hour she got to watch Marcie train and then she got to help train. She was in heaven! I planned the perfect activity for her! It was really sweet to watch her as well. She was a puppy raiser for an hour and couldn't have been happier! At the end of our visit Marcie took the vests off the dogs and we got to pet and hug them.
The kids had three days of school the week before Christmas. I went and ate lunch with Lindy on Monday, her actual special day. She chose her friend, Camryn, to eat with her. Not all her choice though - Camryn basically invited herself to eat with us and Lindy didn't say no. We still had a nice lunch.
The last day of school, Wednesday, the kids had a super easy day. They went with the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to a women's basketball game at Wake Forest. They were so excited to get out and do something fun. Lindy got to sit up front with a few other visually impaired students and her class. They each took some of their own money from their birthday and they both bought some refreshments. They got back to school and ate lunch in their classrooms and then they were done with school for the year!
Wednesday evening we went with some of our church friends to deliver presents to the three UMAR houses in WS. These are adults with developmental disabilities. Our family has gotten to know them over the last 15 years but we haven't seen nearly as much since we moved. It was nice to get to visit with the folks and deliver some presents!
After we were done there we had some Christmas fun with a family from church. We had dinner, KK doughnuts and then we took them to the Pilot Mountain Christmas lights for their first time. Sadly it will be their last time too because they are closing it down. This was the last year. They have been doing it a long time and they decided it was enough. I would have decided that a long time ago. They let people traipse through their backyard for 1.5 months every year. It is amazing to see how it has grown over the years. The kids have always enjoyed it and it was tradition to go. We will miss our annual trip to Pilot Mountain!
The Xmas fun continued on Thursday when the kids and I had a baking day. We made four different kinds of cookies. Lindy loves to help in the kitchen. Three were brand new for us and we made a couple little packages to give to a few neighbors. Each kid helped me with a set of cookies. They were super easy to make and turned out pretty and yummy. My parents arrived in the afternoon and they helped with annual Xmas cookies decorating. It is one of my least favorite Xmas activities we do every year. It's a long process of making the dough, chilling it, rolling it, decorating and cleaning up. It was awesome to have my parents here since they basically did it with the kids! The cookies are cute and tasty and we leave them for Santa but again - not my favorite activity.
I can't remember what we did during the day Friday but Friday night we had our annual Christmas tree camping night. We watched a Christmas movie and made beds on the floor for the kids. Drew slept on the couch and I slept in the recliner. All was going really well until about 12:30am when Lindy sat up and coughed. I could tell something was off and I said, "Is she going to throw up?" Of course she did. She started puking. I have never jumped up so fast to go get a bucket. She spent the next few hours puking. Will slept through the entire thing. It was no fun and not the way we planned to start Christmas Eve.
Daisy, Marcie and Lindy
She warmed right up to Ms. Marcie
Vests off - loving on Daisy!
Lindy's Special Day - Dec. 19th
This boy had his 2nd birthday on Dec. 20th. He got a special treat!
Pilot Mountain Christmas with the Macks
Lindy was helping with Ollie
Pilot Mountain Lights through the years. I forgot my camera in 2009 and couldn't find pics from 2014.
Christmas Baking Day
Christmas tree camping!