Archives for the month of: December, 2012

Hoover Harris here, no one else is doing it so, I figured that it’s time to take pen to paw to update you on the household happenings.

I have had a great year! Once school started in August I have been free to do whatever I like all day long with no one to interfere- I have the house all to myself! Mostly I take naps, lay in the sun, and occasionally decide to snuggle with my stuffed giraffe. It’s important to rest up, because you would not believe the noise and commotion that happens when the rest of the family gets home…sometimes I just have to walk away and find a quiet place for myself!

Graham is the main source of noise. He’s the newest member of the family…but I’m getting the feeling he already outranks me. I like the little guy. He loves to sit with me on my pad, he pets me (sometimes a little rougher than I like) and every now and then he feeds me whatever he’s having! Silly boy, I‘ve talked to him about doing this quietly so we can get away with it, but he giggles while he tosses me the food – and then Kevin and Joy know what’s going on. At that point I’m asked to go to my pad…far way from the morsels Graham is so generously offering to share. He’s so giving…why aren’t they supporting that? He’s starting to walk, and man can he make noise! It’ll be fun to be outside with him in the spring!

Grace has started kindergarten…thus the long naps I’ve been able to take. She too is getting a little noisier, I think Graham is rubbing off on her! She does seem to like school. I watch for the bus for her and bark when it arrives. Two days a weeks she has therapy at Childserve (which is a organization very close to our home that provides services to children with special needs). On those days the nurses take her to school so I don’t get to bark at the big yellow bus but I try to make up for it on the days she does! Grace has made some friends and they seem to work her hard at school, some nights she is tired. Grace was invited to her first birthday party this year, it was a princess party! Grace went as Cinderella and had a great time. She’ll be seven in January…my little girl, she’s growing up! She’ll never catch me of course as I age seven times faster than she does.

With Grace being in school all day it has meant less treats for me…that is totally the downside. Don’t worry I’m not wasting away, recently I have begun to sucker the parental units out of a treat each time they send me to my pad after Graham attempts to feed me. Making lemonade out of lemons, my work here is never done!

Grace continues to dance in ballet with her Big Ballerinas Chloe & Jacque and and Ballet Engineer Jill. When it’s warm out Grace plays baseball with the Miracle League, she signed with the A’s. In between Grace continues to ride Sterling the horse at Wesley Woods in Indianola.

Kevin continues to work at Iowa Health System, this year has brought some long hours and large projects it does not sounds like his work life will be slowing down any time soon. Kevin went to see the President speak and Bruce Springsteen perform the night before election day. He stood for six hours waiting for the event to begin, seriously I don’t know if I’m even awake six hours a day, whew!

Joy keeps working at the Iowa Department of Public Health. She’s not only the Modernization coordinator these days, she’s also taking a crack at quality improvement coordination. Luckily she hasn’t started flow charting any of my daily activities!

Joy also attended a conference this year to Portland, Oregon. Kevin flew out a couple days later and they managed to get away for a few days and had a great time. This was Joy’s first trip to the west coast; they enjoyed the good food, forests and beaches. If they win the lottery they would like to build an accessible vacation home in Seaside, Oregon to rent out to families like ours.

After many years of anticipation Children’s Hospital of Minnesota will begin construction in 2013 of the new Pediatric Epilepsy Unit. This hospital, their staff, and doctors have provided amazing treatment for Grace over the years. We wanted to do our part in making this a reality so we held a fundraiser and raised $4,295 which will be used to commission two ballerina paintings in Grace’s honor and provide a few furnishings for a rooftop garden. As part of this they had some people over to see the house, can you believe they didn’t let me stay for the party? While we hope Grace does not have to go inpatient, we also look forward to the being in a hospital where the facilities will be at par with the level of care received.

If I really thought about it there is probably more I could tell you about 2012, but typing makes me sleepy, so it’s time for me to sign off.

From all of us here to all of you out there, have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Kevin, Joy, Grace, Graham and HOOVER Harris



Grace had PE at school today.  The activity was a relay – run across the gym, grab a bean bag, run back to the line.  Grace’s helper today was the birthday princess from the princess birthday party.  She assured our nurse that she could handle Grace during the race.  So, when it was her turn she pushed Grace across the gym to the bean bags – she stopped- picked up three bean bags- and gave Grace a choice…”Grace do you want the red one, the green one, or the blue one?”  Grace chose her bean bag by putting her hand on it.  She put the bean bag of Grace’s choice in her lap, and pushed Grace back across the gym.

She gave Grace the choice – completely unprompted.  She did all of this in the middle of kids rushing around her, not having to take the time to help Grace.  Calm under pressure… definitely princess material!DSC03203