10.8.14 Dedication – Jack

Hey Jack, my man! I hope to meet you some day and we can play Legos. Jake like Legos too so maybe he can join us? Of course you 2 will have to teach me more about firetrucks, I surely do not know as much as you do. Tell your Mom and Dad Thanks for their Service! Call us when you come back to Baltimore!

Jack

Hi! Jack is Mr. Sunshine. He is 4 years old. Jack loves meeting people and playing with his friends. Jack loves building spaceships with his legos. He will brighten anyone’s day with a big smile! He loves to learn about trains and fire trucks. Even though things can be a challenge for him, he never gives up and inspires us every day to try a little harder. He never let’s anything stop him, he will just do things a little differently then kids his age. We are so blessed to have him.

He sees guys riding bikes and asks if they are riding across America too.

Good luck and thank you for spreading awareness!

10.7.14 Stats

A little sore in the morning so we got a late start. The pannier rack on the bike, the post that connects to the bike snapped. We thought we re-inforced it well enough with a rod and hose clamps but that only was a temp fix.

We were getting ready to take off, all loaded and ready and the fix just would not hold the weight for another day. So we were on the side of the road taking everything off the bike and some guy asked if we needed help. We told him what was happening and he took us to his shop right across the street. He welded the post for us. SUPER SUPER nice!

By the time that was all said and done it was getting later in the afternoon. He asked where we were staying but of course we didn’t know where we would be that night. He said the Motel 20 sometimes offers a free room to “foot/bike” travelers. So we went there. Room 4 was free!

It was so nice to sleep in a bed and watch tv! You have NO idea how nice that is.

I am kinda stressing about what I will do when I get back home. Mom says to enjoy the rest of the adventure and the future will figure itself out in due time. Suppose so, but I like to plan. She wants me to take the Dale Carnegie courses in sales and a couple others, that those will help no matter what I do. Maybe I will. Dunno yet. I know I want to build a tiny house. Have you see those? VERY cool! 500 sf tops, built on a trailer bed so it is movable but not a camper. So many ideas!!!

Thank you very much Jay for helping us out! Looking forward to seeing you again.

To catch up on pics from the last few days…

University of SD - "At the heart of the USD campus, historic Old Main is the University's oldest building. Originally built in 1883 as University Hall, Old Main was destroyed by fire in 1893 and was immediately rebuilt. An assortment of materials and adornments from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair were used in the rebuilding, but not necessarily the iconic spires as often suggested by folklore.The building was completely renovated from 1993 to 1997 and now serves as the home to classrooms, USD's honors program, the Center for Academic Engagement, Farber Hall and the Oscar Howe Gallery."

University of SD – “At the heart of the USD campus, historic Old Main is the University’s oldest building. Originally built in 1883 as University Hall, Old Main was destroyed by fire in 1893 and was immediately rebuilt. An assortment of materials and adornments from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair were used in the rebuilding, but not necessarily the iconic spires as often suggested by folklore.The building was completely renovated from 1993 to 1997 and now serves as the home to classrooms, USD’s honors program, the Center for Academic Engagement, Farber Hall and the Oscar Howe Gallery.”

Getting Pannier rack repaired in Moville, IA  10.7

Getting Pannier rack repaired in Moville, IA 10.7

Moville, IA 10.7

Moville, IA 10.7

Thank God for nice people who help us along the way!  Here Dan is taking gear off so Pannier rack can be repaired 10.7

Thank God for nice people who help us along the way! Here Dan is taking gear off so Pannier rack can be repaired 10.7

Hitch is wondering what is going on!!!!  Why is traffic so slow?  Back in Sioux City , IA 10.5

Hitch is wondering what is going on!!!! Why is traffic so slow? Back in Sioux City , IA 10.5

Oh the traffic!  How are we gonna get through? No worries, we did, just took a little longer.  10.6

Oh the traffic! How are we gonna get through? No worries, we did, just took a little longer. 10.6

All the fuss up close  10.7

All the fuss up close 10.7

garage

Motel 20

10.7.14 Dedication – Nicole

Today is all about Nicole. I have known her and her family since before I could walk. Nicole and Jake are very good friends and they love seeing each other. Her parents are great, always love hearing about Andy, her Dad, and all his training and races (triathlete).

Great seeing Nicole.  So pretty!

Nicole

Nicole Courtney is a family friend of the Paynes, who lives in Camp Hill, PA. Nicole graduated from Cedar Cliff High School in June 2013 at 18 years of age. Nicole has a loving and supportive family which has participated, encouraged and helped her learn from the beginning. Mother Brenda, Father Andy, brother Max and devoted pet Lizzie the wheaten terrier, make up her family. Fortunate enough to live near to both sets of grandparents and an aunt and Uncle, she has a support system which reaches to extended family whom Nicole refers to as her family. She was diagnosed at 2 years of age at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. An affectious smile, sparkling blue eyes and a heart of gold characterizes Nicole and are the endearing trademarks which those who meet her for the first time, remember always. As is often mentioned with Williams Syndrome, music is a part of her life. On a daily basis she sings to every genre of music available during her down time. In school, she participated in the Marching Band as an honorary member of the prop team. She traveled to football games and National level competitions with her school’s band and competed in large arena venue’s such as Rutgers University in New Jersey and the Marine Corps stadium at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. She loves to watch and listen to Marching Band’s play from across the country.

Nicole has been to several WSA National Conventions with her family and looking forward to participating in the WSA Camp for the 5th year, in Grand Rapids, MI this summer. In July of 2013, Nicole became a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, fulfilling a dream which started early in High School. Talking to people is her passion and she has found a way to combine that with her love of beauty, skin care and make up! Finding the perfect person to encourage and challenge her, she was blessed to meet her direct up line, Senior Sales Director Doreen Helm, as well as the new Mary Kay friends that have developed since that.

Nicole is amazed by the physical aspects of what Kevin is accomplishing by riding across the country on his bike. The fact that he is doing it to raise money and awareness for Williams Syndrome, is by all accounts a miracle! The entire Courtney family wishes to congratulate Kevin on his progress thus far, encourage him to stay on track for reaching daily goals and pray for continued good physical and emotional health. The blessings of friendships with other family’s like the Paynes and so many others we have met over the years at fun and uniting picnics at the Paynes farm, have been the glue that binds us together. The Human experience for us, raising a daughter with Williams Syndrome and a son without it, has clearly been participation in events that are meaningful in ways that allow us to share knowledge that others need as well as make connections with other families doing remarkable things for their children.

10.6.14 Status

10.6

10.6 chart

Nice running / riding day yesterday. Breezy tailwind make us very happy campers! There are a lot of warm showers hosts ahead of us, not every day but even some days to get warm showers and sleep inside would be great!

Promise to get some more pics soon.

Camping in parks in these little towns is great, free and a bathroom, no shower here, that’s ok.

moville

10.5.14 Stats

So we did it. We left University of SD for good. We will really miss all the friends we made there. Had a GREAT time. Cannot thank them enough.
On this round back the dogs stayed with us, we kind of missed not having them last time. Hitch was pretty good about remembering to be housebroken. However… CB got his butt “tapped” a couple of times. He is better at riding in the crate on the back of the bike now. He has not jumped out the last couple of times. Between not liking the landing then another butt tap he is staying put. So CB is riding with Dan and Hitch with me. The nights are getting cooler so Hitch is getting in the sleeping bag earlier than normal.

Dans pic - AWESOME right?!??!?!

Dans pic – AWESOME right?!??!?! Thanks Hanna!

A special THANK YOU to an anonymous donor who sent $100 for a pair of running shoes. I have gone 1800 miles on 2 pair. Should be on the 6th at this point. Romer and Bowman (our HS XC and track coaches) would be shaking their heads if they knew.

We heard that the O’s swept the Tigers! GOOOO O O O O OOOOOO. A great start to the post season and a great weekend in Baltimore. Even Cheerio’s is cheering for the O’s. hahahaha

O1

O

Funny story about O’s…. With my little cousin Sylvia on a playground when she was maybe 5-6 and playing with another little girl she just met. The girl asked Sylvia is she liked the “O WEE O’s” Sylvia stops, thinks and says “Yes, I like the white insides”. The little girl stops and thinks and says “Oh, not the O WEE O’s, I meant the O WEE OOOOOOOOO’s, you know, baseball” Sylvia said no, she likes the Steelers. hahahahaha (Syl went to an O’s game a week or so ago and IS in fact an O’s fan)

Sending out a prayer for Tyler’s parents. Tyler is a good friend of Jake’s and Tyler graduated this year from Hereford. Mr Scott (dad) and Tyler’s mom we cruising on Sunday on their motorcycle. A ground hog ran out on the road and when they swerved to avoid it… They were flown to shock trauma and his mom needed urgent surgery for a traumatic head injury.

10.4.14 Funny Story – Birthdays and Humor

SOOOOOO true!
“I love how Erik thinks the birthdays of his friends and family should be national holidays. He is outraged when he finds out we have to go to work with so many presents to buy, balloons to blow up, songs to sing, and cakes to bake. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! (Erik’s grandfather) We have been celebrating since 5:40 a.m.”

I can PERSONALLY relate to this story.
“We were hell bent on trying to teach Jake humor and sarcasm so we would say the most outrageous things. It was fall and I said we were going to his grandparents to rake leaves. He said, “Oh they will pay me $5.” We said they are his grandparents and he should just do this a a family duty and not get paid, that would be a nice thing to do. He said “oh I get it, humor!” : /

10.3.14 Funny Story, Toothfairy

“While brushing her teeth before bed last night – Ella surprisingly let me pull a tooth out which I (no joke) think has been loose for about a year. She was so brave, and excited for the tooth fairy to come – as I’m tucking her in to bed she asks “Is the tooth fairy real?” Without hesitation I said Yes. This morning after rejoicing over the $1 and the Hello Kitty key chain that the Tooth Fairy left her she wonders aloud if next time the tooth fairy might bring her an iPod touch. Oy.”

Oli will find out tonight what the Tooth Fairy is all about, right no he “Just wants his toof back”

Oli

10.2.14 Little Info, Funny Story & pics

How ’bout them OOOOOO’s!!!!!!! Baltimore we hear is a sea of orange. Kinda sad we are missing all the excitement. Wishing them good luck tomorrow night!

People with WIlliams Syndrome, especially children, have sensory issues. You can see from the pics and stories hyper-acusis (super sensitive hearing) is the biggest. Eating different textures is definitely an issue in some. But even touching things can be an issue – sand, grass etc. Sensory play is a new type of therapy that has been helping little ones.

Sensory Play - Lime scented rice, plastic Halloween cookie cutters, pom poms, plastic cup cake molds

Sensory Play – Lime scented rice, plastic Halloween cookie cutters, pom poms, plastic cup cake molds

Halloween is a time of GREAT celebration in the WS world. Kyle (30) loves doing the online pic things and changing himself to look like a zombie or vampire. Jake was at Field of Screams the very first weekend in September. And Belle, made a new friend in the store… hahahaha

Love Belle!  "She found a new friend in the Halloween store"

Love Belle! “She found a new friend in the Halloween store”

Love this!
be you

Funny story (ok 2, they are HILARIOUS):
“As a parent it’s always such a hard thing. (Son) quite often says inappropriate things (no filter what so ever!) Somethings will just fly out of his mouth and then he will cover his mouth with his hand while wearing that “Oh crap I shouldn’t have said that” expression. It’s always so hard to not laugh. there was a time when I would make him turn around so he so he was not facing me while I scolded him so he could not see me smile or laugh! Often when he says something inappropriate he just says “Woopsie” giggles and moves on…the other day at football practice there was a little girl in a fancy dress he took one look at her smiles and yelled “holy shit!” Oppsie daisy! (I think you meant wow you look pretty)”

“Not to long ago we were eating dinner and of course as usual (son) had to use the restroom (never fails in the middle of a meal) so next thing we know he is standing in the doorway of the bathroom which can be seen from the table and he exclaims “um a little help here guys” so we all turn around to see him standing there pants around his ankles with his hands in the air!”

10.1.14

I am feeling better. A couple of days resting was good

Sooooooo twice this has happened that we make it to Sioux City Nd turn around to go back to USD. It is really hard leaving here and leaving our new friends. 120 miles already and we are back.

The good thing, one of the guys has to do a project, I think for a marketing class that could go viral like the ALS challenge. Our journey is his inspiration and he is thinking about doing a 40 yard dash race with the football team. Still working out the details but that would be very cool!
We are staying here until Sunday. We are using all rest days but one. The next planned rest stop will be in about 950 miles when we get to Slippery Rock for Halloween.

Stay tuned for funny stories for the next couple days.

Peace!