Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Week!

We have had a VERY busy, very fun week!

Sunday, May 24th we went to the beach, which is something we don't do very often because sand and a motorized wheelchair don't mix very well.  My sister was visiting from Massachusetts as well as my brother's son and his family from Colorado.  So my nephews were having a get together at the beach and we hadn't seen some of them in a very long time, so it was a golden opportunity to get together.

First photo Amanda, Gonzalo and Joseph on the Santa Monica Pier.

We met this family that had the cutest little chihuahua complete with sombrero so I had to take a picture of them!

It started getting cold so Amanda, Joseph and Gonzalo are covered up and watching the beach fun.

We stayed until dark and as we were leaving Amanda and I tried to get a photo of us with the lit up  ferris wheel in the background.


Monday, May 25th we went to my brothers house for a family gathering.   My nieces and nephews prepared a song entitled, "It's Good to be a Geek" for my nephew who was celebrating his 25th birthday.  It was a great time for my brother, sister and me to be together!

Wednesday, May 27th we went to Disneyland with my nephew and his family from Colorado. Here they are around my mother's brick that is between Disneyland and DCA.  Amanda was very mindful of her CI and brought a baggie to put it on when we went on Splash Mountain.

Thursday, May 28th, we went to Disney's California Adventure with same nieces and nephews. Here we are WET after having ridden Grizzly River Run.  And here are the brave souls getting ready to take off on the Maliboomer.  I prefer to stay on the ground and take pictures.

Friday, May 29th we went to Anaheim Convention Center for the annual Abilities Expo.     Joseph mentioned to the Permobil people that his right front tire was making a strange clicking noise.  They replaced BOTH front tires AT NO CHARGE!  We had never seen a wheelchair jack before.  It was fascinating!

And tomorrow, Monday, June 1st Amanda is going to Universal Studios with her 8th grade class for the end of the year trip.  She wrote a new blog entry about it yesterday.

I posted a lot more pictures on facebook.  Go to to sign up.  You can find me by my email:  My ID is jenniferbrunoconde.  

We had a great week!  But we're TIRED!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Amanda and her brother, Joseph

We're well into a gorgeous Southern California spring season!  It's been just over 2 months since I posted my last blog entry.  I've been hanging out a lot on facebook lately and have many photos posted there.  Take a look if you get a chance.  Just click on the facebook icon or go to  It's free and easy to join.

So what's Amanda been up to since March?  She's finishing up 8th grade and getting ready to promote from middle school to high school in the fall.  So are these photos of her graduation cap?  Nope!  The cap actually belongs to her brother, Joseph. 

We've been involved in several festivities related to Joseph receiving his Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Certificate from San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC.)   

First event was Karaoke night at the Korean Restaurant, Myung Ga, with the New Visions Club. This is a club that advocates for SBVC students with disabilities.  Since Amanda and Joseph's dad, Gonzalo and I are also SBVC students, we belong to the club along with Joseph.

Did Amanda attempt to sing along?  No way!  Here she is in the background chatting away on her Sidekick with various friends.  Joseph was belting out a tune along with his fellow graduate, Sam.  The next photo is Gonzalo and Joseph "gracing us" with their singing voices.  Sam and New Visions club advisor and favorite SBVC history teacher Ed, both surprised us with their vocal abilities.  They were GOOD!

This one is of Joseph, Goldy and Amanda before we left for the next pre-graduation event. The next one is of Joseph, "Rose" and Amanda at a special recognition ceremony for disabled students receiving certificates and degrees.

And finally, May 21, 2009 arrived - the day of Joseph's college graduation.   My sister, Kathryn was visiting from Waltham, Massachusetts so we were pleased that she was able to witness Joseph receiving his CSI Certificate.

Joseph has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Amanda does a lot to help him..and it's mostly positive.  (It's tempting to poke and torment your brother when he can't poke back.) Amanda had another brother, Chris who died 3 years ago on 06/06/06 at the age of 14.  Chris also had DMD.  As Amanda enters high school as a freshman in the fall, Chris would have been a senior.

I'll post a blog entry of Amanda's June 8th grade promotion.  She is very excited right now because the 8th graders are going on an end of the year class trip to Universal Studios June 1st and she can't wait because she is tall enough to ride everything this time.  She's planning on how to effectively care for her cochlear implant processor on the water rides.  She continues to do a great job of being responsible with her CI and still wants a second one to become bilateral.