Hi, everybody! I hope that you’re having a fabulous month of February, just like the other Arc Participants and me. February is one of my favorite months to be at The Arc. We have so many things to be happy about and to celebrate. I especially have a very special date to celebrate. February is the anniversary month of the first day that I started attending The Arc of San Antonio ten years ago in 2006.
I used my communicator, (with the help of YouTube) to read the books, “A Charlie Brown Valentine” by Charles M. Schulz and “Armadillo Rodeo” by Jan Brett to my fellow Arc Participants, On Friday, February 5th, The Arc Staff Members, the other Arc Participants and I wore our favorite NFL jerseys. I was so proud of my home state team: The Carolina Panthers for making it to the Super Bowl that I bought an “I bleed black, blue, and silver! Go Carolina!” T-shirt to to wear to The Arc.
On Monday, February 8th, some of The other Arc Participants and I made Chinese lanterns and Chinese drums arts and crafts to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year of 2016 (which started on Monday, February 8th.) With the help of an Arc Staff Member named Dahennia S., I made a 3D little Chinese girl paper doll that I named Ming Li.
The year of 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. We learned that the Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a twelve year pattern with each year named after an animal. The story that explains this is that the Jade Emperor invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only twelve animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. I learned that I was born in The Year of the Pig. Unlike in our culture, pigs are thought to be diligent, compassionate, and generous. In the western culture, it’s believed that pigs have great concentration; once they set a goal, they will devote all their energy to achieving it. Though Pigs rarely seek help from others, they will not refuse to give others a hand. The other Participants and I had a great time celebrating The Year of the Monkey.
On Tuesday, February 9th, some of The Arc Participants and I made colorful masks and wore gold, purple, and green clothing and necklaces to celebrate this year’s Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Participants also learned that the Mardi Gras is the French words meaning “Fat Tuesday,” referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Festivities begin at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, and consist of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls. The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice, France, Cologne. Germany and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I really enjoy celebrating Mardi Gras because I get to dress up in my favorite colors which are, purple and gold. This year, I even made my own Mardi Gras mask and picked out a really spectacular picture border to put around the picture of myself wearing my mask. I also watched the 2009 Disney animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog” (which is one of my favorite animated movie) to the celebrate the Mardi Gras parades. The other Arc Participants and I had a magnifique (the French word for “grand”) time having their own Mardi Gras festivities.
On Friday, February 12th, we had our annual Valentine’s Day Dance where some of the Participants wore red and pink clothing. I wore my Valentine’s Day rainbow colored heart shaped pendant and my magenta colored heart shaped antennas that bopped around when I move my head. Also, some of the other Arc Participants and I made Valentine’s Day inspired arts and crafts such as, Heart shaped Rice Krispies Treats and Valentine’s Day “Who’s Loving you?” Paper Plate Owl Arts and Crafts. We had a fabulous time dancing and celebrating Valentine’s Day with our friends. I want to give special acknowledgement to Arc Staff Member, Tiffany V. (A Life Enrichment Instructor) for making such wonderful and beautiful sashes for the King and Queen of Hearts Participants. To my classmates who helped to decorate the crowns for the King and Queen of Hearts Participants. Also, to Ms. Bernardine K. (Director of Curriculum) and Mr. Brian L. (The Arc’s Assistant Director of Day Services at the West Avenue Location) for helping me with getting decoration supplies. It filed my heart with such joy when my friends were crowned. I have never seen them smile so big before.
On Wednesday, February 17th, some of the other Arc Participants and I wore our western clothing to celebrate the start of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and The Arc’s “Rootin’ Tootin’ Western Wear Day.”
This year, I was so excited to celebrate the rodeo by going to the carnival grounds with my family members, because last year I was sick in the hospital (having emergency gallbladder surgeries) that I missed out on going to the carnival. My mom won a giant stuffed giraffe with purple eyes and hooves for me that I named Genevieve.
So, that was my fabulous month of February events at The Arc. I had such a great time celebrating with The Arc Staff Members and my friends. I hope that you had a fabulous February like I had. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.