Brooks is something else. He is doing great in school.
Yesterday he had a spelling test which were are all proud
to find out that he made a 100 on it. He’s very smart. You
may recall we spoke of his prowess in math. Well, that
seems to be a running theme in all his subjects. On the
wall next to the kitchen Melisa hung up a story he wrote
about his pet monster It’s a very cute story. He has such
a great imagination.

Oh, for Christmas he received what every blind child
should receive…..a Playstation game system. Yes, the boy
wanted a video game system for Christmas. And the funny
thing is, he plays the darned thing.
OK, back to updates.
Nothing really special took place on New Year’s. We did our usual
stay at home, watch whatever on TV and then drink our sparkling cider
as we rang in the year. Then to bed.
The boys have been doing great. Griffin has done pretty well, for the
most part, in school. He has had 2 report cards and he has made honor
roll both times. Math is a bit of a challenge but he generally works
through it. He just needs confidence in his ability and to pay attention
to his work.
He has now been playing the trombone for 7 months and we have heard
him get better and better. He hates the practice but it has been
paying off. So far they have had one concert with another set for
later this Spring.
So, since the last update Christmas did happen, New Years, Valentine’s and a
vacation. So let’s talk about these things, shall we?
I know I say it every year but, Christmas was great, as it always is. We had
our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with GG and Buddy. We ate good food
and talked and had a great time. We did our GG and Buddy gift giving and
there were some nice things. Brooks got this crazy big remote control Jeep
that, I swear, could drive most anywhere.

Oh, funny comment intermission……
Brooks has started asking questions about “things”.  Yes, he’s asking baby
questions. Some are things like “how do babies come out” and where do they
come from. He has even asked if they are “pooped out”. Lovely, I know. But
then he asked about his specific situation. He knows he is adopted so his
question also include things like  “Does it cost” and “How much did you pay
for me”.
Griffin doesn’t do this yet so maybe we should either count on a career in
medicine or financial planning for Brooks or just plain be worried about his
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R.A. & Melisa -
Melisa just left to take the boys to school so I’m sitting here with weather
channel music playing in a loop. I have a habit of that. Whatever is on when
she leaves will stay on till she gets home, even if she’s gone for several hours.
“Just change the channel, dummy!” But have you ever heard that catchy TWC
music? C’mon, it’s catchy!
But anyway, when I began writing this it was St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
Now I don’t go for all that because I may be many things but Irish is
definitely not one of them. But Melisa and the boys all headed out with their
green on in an effort to avoid being pinched. I guess that means I should
prepare for some pinching when everyone gets home. I’m just so stubborn.
And, of course, Brooks is doing his weeks at CVI. He really does look forward to
going each week and doing the cool stuff. He gets to work in the kitchen and do other
general life skill stuff. Melisa, however, gets kind of bored. She ends up sitting all
alone for hours while the other parents do other things. Thank goodness for Angry
Brooks, as you know, has started Cub Scouts. He has a good time, in general. He does
seem to fall asleep every week, though. It’s funny, we’ll be sitting there preparing
for a meeting and the next thing you know his head is back with his mouth hanging
open or he is head forward with drool pouring out. But when he wakes up he has a
good time. And, I was so proud of him because, at his first official meeting he earned
his very first rank, his Bobcat badge.
He’s made some friends and been to a birthday party and, the other week he
participated in his very first official Scout race, the Raingutter Regatta. He didn’t
win but I think he had a good time.
So, it’s Spring and I have what seems to be a quarterly update. I’m sitting at home today, not working, because I had a week of
vacation that I needed to use up or I would lose it so I figure I can stay home and work on various things getting ready for
Spring. It’s wet today and doesn’t look like it’s going to get a lot better so today will have to be indoor day: folding clothes,
straighten the shop….things like that.
The R.A., Melisa, Griffin and Brooks Fraker
"All About Us"
Brooks recently ran his very first official Pinewood Derby. He has a car previously when Griffin was a Cub Scout but this
was his Derby. He wanted a race car. Now over the years we have made tanks and ships and X-wing fighters but this was our
first car. It turned out pretty good. He won “Best in Show” which was pretty neat. It wasn’t the fastest cat out there and, in
fact, lost every race it had but, by golly, it looked good.
Oh, and Brooks earned his Bobcat and Tiger ranks in Scouts.

He has finished this year’s round of Stars, which is the next step up at CVI. They teach social skills and things there but
Melisa and I have asked each other what he really gets out of it. I know he has made pizza, which he loves, but more than
anything I guess he gets to hang around other blind children.
This past February we decided to take another stab at
Disney. It had been 2 years since we last went to the parks
and it was time to go back.
We ended up doing a split stay between the Animal Kingdom
Lodge and Saratoga Springs, both nice places. But we
remembered why we had taken so long between trips. The
place is so stupid expensive! I swear, we at counter service in
the Land and it cost over $50. COUNTER SERVICE!!!! Add
the food prices to the already crazy ticket prices and it will
end up costing over $3000 for 5 nights. We know a way to
get cheaper rooms but if that failed there is no way we would
do that.
He has advanced to Star rank in Scouts. That is 2 steps away from Eagle and we’re very proud of him. He’s nowhere near ready
for the Eagle rank, and he knows it, but getting to this point is a really great accomplishment.
The big thing with Griffin now is Minecraft. Now we may know what it is today but years later when we read this I may have
no clue what it is. Basically, it is kind of like online Legos. He builds worlds with people, buildings, animals and such. I like
watching his creativity because some of the stuff is just neat. Yesterday he built a ship that flies with balloons. He then
proceeded to blow it up with a cannon that he devised.  Brooks calls it boring but Griffin is fascinated with it.
They changed the Fastpass system to the most ridiculous, stupidest process ever. You now have to reserve no more than 3 a day
and all in the same park. Luckily (this would sound bad if you didn’t know) we had a special pass that actually made it not a bad
trip at all and, honestly, our most productive in a very long time. Thanks B!
We had a great time and are glad we went but next year it’s back to Universal.
Well, we're coming to the end of the school year and
are looking forward to a fun summer. I plan to
update this before then because I’m realizing how
hard it is to recount 4 months worth of things so I’m
going to close now. This is a lesson I hope I don’t
But, there you have it. We are coming close to Melisa’
s birthday, summer, no school and more stuff. I will
be back soon(er).
Griffin finished a quarter of French, which he loved. He ended the class with a 100 average. I have no idea how the grading is
done but that’s pretty darned good in my book. And now he is all about French, including wanting French orange drinks. Melisa
says if he learns it enough we will go to France. I think the jury is still out on that.