Sunday, January 25, 2009

GKTW: Day 4, Part 2 (Rest schmest. Who needs it?)

We got back to the village in time for dinner in the Gingerbread House. It was fantastic of-course. Although our plan was to go back to the villa to relax, we were told that tonight's village activity was a life-size candyland game in which the kids are the characters at Matthew's Boundless Playground. This playground was aptly named "boundless", for it's wheelchair accessibility. A playground with a candyland theme, built of accesible ramps is a sight to behold. Because our picture's were taken at night, we were unable to capture the magic of this place.

The older kids asked to spend some time in the gamerooms, and we figured that they needed a break from the parents, so we took the younger boys over to be pawns in the game. We were told later that the older ones had an amazing time.

Over at the playground, the boys were paired with an incredible volunteer, a college student, who told us that this was where she chose to spend all of her Sunday evenings. She had GIANT candy-land cards, with colored squares of single or double, just like the real game. The boys took turns pulling a card, and then they had to go to whatever the card said, by way of whatever the volunteer came up with. Because our boys are physically able, the transportation methods involved dancing, crawling, spinning, crab-walking, etc. They had an amazing time! When they got through the game, in true kid-heaven form, they were rewarded with handfulls of candy, and snow-cones.

After the life-sized candyland game, It was time for a new game, make a life-sized candy cane! The boys were paired with Miss Merry, and another great volunteer, and they proceeded to turn Miss Merry into a candy-cane.

Wrapping Miss Merry in red & white streamers turned her into a candy-cane

Being asked by the emcee "What kind of candy-cane" they turned Miss Merry into.
"Peppermint" duh. Also they were asked if they planned on turning their parents into candy-canes when they got home. Their answer "If they let us".

There were more games (and a dance party) at Matthew's Boundless Playground that night, but we decided it was time to go check on the other kids over at the gamerooms in Amberville. We found them, and since our night of relaxation was not happening, we decided to use the pillow-coupons we had received, and make Andrew's star in the castle of miracles. First though, another ice-cream trip to the ice-cream palace.

The thing that I thought was so cool about the pillow-making, besides the machine itself, and the fact that it spit out un-duplicated, unique pillows for all the kids, were our voluteers that night. We were assisted by a young girl, and her mother. I know that at home, our kids' volunteer opportunities are limited by their age, and I am so greatful to GKTW for allowing people of ALL ages the chance to volunteer. I wish we were closer, so that our kids could volunteer there. It is definately something that will happen though. All of them have mentioned it to me.

Bubbles are cool

They have to turn the knobs and push the buttons to make the perfect pillow. The buttons say things like 'dreams' and 'wishes'.

Can you see the feathers that didn't make it into the pillows? They say Rejects. lol.

Did I mention bubbles are cool? Even Andrew thinks so.

Andrew makes his star.

The ceiling is covered with them, and it was sobering to realize that Andrew's trip was forever memorialized in that moment. For the rest of our lives, we have the opportunity to visit his star there in the Castle of Miracles. It is his, and I pray that he will have the chance to visit it.

When he was done, he had to put it into a box, and the 'Star Fairy' came and took it. The next day, we received the coordinates for his star, pinpointing exactly where it was located. The Star Fairy had put it up overnight!

We went back to the villa, tired, content, excited about what tomorrow may bring, sad that we had reached the half-way point of our trip.

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