Thursday May 13, 2010

Art for Autism

My sister in law (Angel), who serves on the board of Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), had a great idea for their annual fund raising event "Autism Angels Gala".  Proceeds from this annual event go to benefit families affected by and living with autism by providing a variety of services, education, and most importantly advocacy for dealing with everyone and everything (especially things like school district IEP's).   Angel's idea was to have Bellamy paint a picture and put it up for auction at the event.  She brought over a large canvas, some paint and over several nights we let Bellamy paint.

One destroyed kitchen table later and we had a masterpiece. ;)

Now the special part of the story is who the high bidder was.  It was Vince Neil, front man of the legendary rock band Mötley Crüe

It's not that Vince is a celebrity, or that his band provided much of the soundtrack to people like me who grew up in the 80's that makes the story.  It's the fact that he was touched seeing Bellamy's Story (a photo and bio accompanied the painting).  And for her story to touch someone who lost his own daughter to cancer in 1995,  well, that's what makes this story extra special to me. 

Thursday Oct 30, 2008

Boo! 2008

Kids have school off tomorrow for Nevada Day, so today was costume day.  No face makeup allowed according to the school district though, so not as fun as they will be tomorrow.  I prefer cute to scary anyways.

Here's Laney as a Scary Fairy

Scary Fairy

Mags as a Ghost Bride

Ghost Bride

Cami as a Pretty Witch

Pretty WItch

And Bellamy as her favorite thing in the whole world.  A strawberry!



Cami and Bell

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

First Day of School for Bellamy

First Day Of School!

Bellamy starts school today, a little more than a week after she turned 3 years old.  This is a picture of me saying goodbye as we have a bit (read "a lot") of separation anxiety even when I leave the room, so we felt it best for Mom to take her alone.   Bellamy is entering the program for kids with Autism in the Clark County School District.  She'll be going from 9 AM until 3 PM, 5 days a week.  My wife talked to the mother of a child that went through the program and now he's a "typical" kid (by standardized tests) that is actually in my 7 year old daughters class.  You'd never guess that when he started the program he was diagnosed with Autism and had zero speech.  We will also continue with the private occupational, behavioral, and speech therapies that we've been doing since about March.  She's going to be one busy 3 year old.

We are hopeful, excited, and scared all at the same time.  We've seen great progress over the last 6 month, and can't wait to see how she will grow.  Maybe in a couple years you'll be reading this blog and the topic will be about coaching her soccer team and how she scored her first goal.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday Jun 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day

Belly Swin

It's been said that adversity does not build character, rather it reveals character.

All I can say is that our adventures in autism have made me a different person.  Hopefully for the better.

Happy Fathers Day! 

Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

The worrisome sound of silence

Bad things are often afoot when normally noisy kids go quiet.

What are these?

Lincoln Logs?

Like a good dad, I sprung to action (i.e. grabbed the nearest camera) after hearing her starting to hum the Barney Cleanup song.

And when you take away the "toys", you can get the tantrum to stop by letting them play with computer games on the computer...desk.

Her new perch

Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

Future Debate Team Members

Overheard this evening while my daughters were discussing all things Disney

9 Year Old:  There's only a few characters that I think are real.  Basically I only think the princesses are real.

7 Year Old: What!?? You don't think Mickey Mouse is real?

9 Year Old: He's a guy in a costume.  He was invented by Walt Disney.

7 Year Old: If he's not real, how does he shoot fireworks out of his fingers?

4 Year Old:  Yeah!

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

Salsa del dos hermanas


Tonight was burger night.  As I sliced up some tomatoes for the burgers, I noticed that I had quite a few tomatoes that needed to be used in rather quick fashion.  What a better opportunity then this to get the girls in the kitchen with me?  Well 2 out of 5 ain't bad.  At least when it comes to kitchen help!

  • 6 Tomatoes, diced (I used Roma)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Anahiem Chiles, deviened and seeded, diced
  • 2 Jalapeno's, deviened and seeded, diced
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 - 3 TBSP Chili Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 - 5 cups of water

In a frying pan with olive oil, get the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and onions to a really soft state.  Add the salt, lime juice, and chili powder.  Add 1/2 cup of water at a time and keep cooking it down.  Add more spices and water as required.  I probably used about four cups of water.  The more you cook it down the more the flavors will marry and the better your salsa will be.  Take your time, have a glass or two of wine and enjoy the aromas and experience.

Action shots of my girls in the kitchen

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

Sister Salsa

 Watch for a body building recipe for Huevos Rancherosñana!

Thursday Feb 21, 2008


Playing with Food

Monday Feb 18, 2008

Typical Tween

All Gone?

Apparently the above is enough ice cream to save in a twelve year old girls mind.  Same goes for a box a cereal with one of two pieces left in it or an empty 12 pack of soda.  I'm still debating if she's just too lazy to take it to the trash or it's a mental thing about not being the one who "finished" it.  Seems the latter as 1/2 the time she goes through the effort to put the empties back.

Update:  My wife says this time it's probably the work of a 9 year old and her BFF.


Monday Feb 11, 2008



Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

The Aftermath

Of hurricane Bellamy.

The Aftermath

Friday Jan 25, 2008

Naked Enthusiasm

When was the last time you were this excited to be naked?  Did you catch air?  I think she thought she was going swimming.  Sorry kid, it's just bath time.


Silly Socks

It's "Silly Sock Day" at Campbell's school.  Maggie has the day off for Teacher in-service, so she's going in to be a "helper".

Silly Socks

Thursday Jan 17, 2008

History Brush Fun

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

Christmas Cuteness Redux

In Christmas Cuteness Part I, the world saw a little glimpse into the world of Campbell.  She's back for an encore, this time it takes her a bit to get warmed up but then she cooks.  For a little "attitude" watch for the "You ain't ready for this Jelly" head shake at about 1:28 in.

Tuesday Nov 20, 2007

Parental Puzzler

What do you get when you combine these 3 things?





Bingo if you said "Art"!


Friday Sep 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Bellamy!

Two years ago this evening, Bellamy Bliss Bender was born.  She's never liked sweet things, so we got her a Birthday Pretzel!

Monday Aug 27, 2007

Back to School


I had my wife and daughter in tears (the laughing variety) this morning telling my version of the "walking to school 10 miles both ways uphill in the snow" story.  All the girls look like fashion plates this morning so I told them when I went into 7th grade (like my oldest is today) my mom dressed me in bought me off-brand wide leg jeans and a t-shirt that said "I'd rather be sailing" to wear the first day.  I know a lot of folks out there are saying, wide legs?  So what?  Well this was 1982.  Levi 501's were what the cool kids were wearing.  I wasn't cool.

To say I was clueless about a lot of things would be an understatement.  Clothes, girls, mean people, etc.  7th grade was an eye opener in a lot of ways.  Especially the mean people.  And they still suck as much as they did back in 1982.  I did get some cooler clothes a few weeks later, but I still wasn't cool.

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Birthday Season Solstice

Today is something of a solstice in the Bender girls birthday season.  Tomorrow Maggie turns seven, and then the season closes out at the end of summer with Bellamy turning two in September.  Campbell is the only one of the five girls with a birthday that falls outside of Summer. 

My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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