Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Competing With Bees

Back at work this week. Things are a little slow and I'm okay with that.

Beth takes an art class on Wednesdays and last week she came home with a cake. Yep, a real cake! When she said she had a cake, I asked her if she had painted it but nope. A real one, with eggs and flour and frosting! I guess everyone got to mix their own ingredients, then someone took the cakes, went and baked them (they don't have an oven on site) and brought them back for everyone to take home! What an amazing amount of work!

 


Diana bought a new car. It was a big decision but she finally did it! This thing has a sun roof, heated seats, side mirror defrost... it's gorgeous!

 
 
 
 
I babysat Allie on Saturday and it was cold and rainy for most of the day here. Of course. It IS Seattle after all. :) So we stayed in and made forts, worked on our reading and played with bubbles!
 


 
 
 
Today I was able to get outside and work in the yard a little. I cut back some blackberry bushes and started to pull some weeds when I could hear these huge bees. They were black and yellow bumblebees and were so big! I was pulling weeds around some bluebonnets and I certainly wasn't gonna compete with them so I let them have the flowers! I ended up pulling out a chair and just sat on the patio enjoying my backyard.
 
 
I hope you all have an opportunity to enjoy some flowers this week!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Animation at the Grocery Store Checkout

For those of you who know Beth, you know she's very shy. If you say hi to her, she puts her head down and barely says, "Hey". When her bus drivers drop her off, they walk her toward the porch and usually wave and yell, "Bye Beth!" as they had back to the bus. She'll continue to the door and without looking back, say, "bye" but it sounds more like a grunt than a friendly goodbye. She's quiet and reserved and introverted.

Unless we're at the grocery store.

Beth and I went the other night and she was a completely different person! She stopped in front of the granola bars, pointed to them and said, "I can't decide if I get some or not." So we looked at the different kinds they had and checked the prices and she finally decided to buy some.

In the produce section she reminded me that we needed bananas. I grabbed a couple of oranges and she quickly got a plastic bag for me. She talked to me about Chuck liking oranges and what kind of apples we would buy.

Then we got to the cashier and she told me I could go first. She helped me unload my groceries and she pointed out Chuck's favorite gum, told me she was low on batteries, asked me if she could get cash back... she was talking up a storm!

When I paid, the change dropped into the little change bowl and she yelled, I mean, really loud for Beth, "Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee!" and then she laughed! I told her, "No way! This money is mine, chick!" And she laughed again.

The cashier said hi to her and she responded appropriately. Loud and clear. When her change dropped in, she reached for it and said, "Come to mama!" Seriously??! Who ARE you?!?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Aaaand, It's Over

It's been a good week.

Daylight Saving Time, I stepped outside early this morning and was immediately brought back to my childhood. The smell of the pine trees, the birds chirping, the crisp cool air, overwhelmed my senses and reminded me of camping at Green Valley Falls in the mountains east of San Diego.





 
Anyway, I just stood outside for a while, breathing in the cool air and smiling at the sights and sounds. So grateful I could get this just by stepping out my back door.
 
 
 
Diana and I took walks along the marina.
 

 
 
I forced myself to relax this week. I got bored but I embraced it. :) I got tired of sitting around but I made myself do it. IT. WAS. WONDERFUL!!
 
I spent some time in prayer, pouring my heart out to the Lord about our circumstances. I cried at times, I actually laughed myself to sleep one night! (I'm unique, I know. Don't judge.) :)
 
It was a good week but tomorrow I head back to work. To be honest, I've kinda missed it. It will be good to get back to my usual routine, see my friends and coworkers.
 
I hope you all have a very blessed week. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sound of Silence

Rest.

That's the agenda for the week.

There's been so much stress in my life lately, the last 6 - 8 months have been overwhelming to say the least. Not everything affects me directly, but it still takes a toll emotionally. I've even noticed some physical effects from all the stress.

Chuck's job
Our finances
Sharaya & Ryan
Ministry
My niece
Grief...

And that's just the short list.

So I took this week off from work and I'm staying home. Sleeping in. Spending time with the Lord. Getting quiet. Reading. Praying.

I need some time just to quiet my thoughts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snoqualmie Falls

We all had President's Day off (Sharaya worked a couple hours) so we drove up to Snoqualmie Falls. It had been such a long time since we'd been there! I think Sharaya was about 8. It's changed so much! We remember it being way out in the middle of the mountains, but we were there pretty quick on Monday. It's not far from the heart of the city of Snoqualmie now, mainly because it's been built up so much. Chuck dropped us off, then went to park the car, it was so crowded! Course, it was a holiday and sunny out, so I guess we weren't the only ones with this idea. :)

The falls are fairly close to the highway so the walk is easy. Down a few steps and you have this gorgeous view! Usually during February there's snow on the ground up here, but we've had such a mild winter (here on the west coast, anyway) this year, our mountains have very little snow at all. The ski resorts opened for about 2 weeks but then had to close again. People who did go up ended up ruining their skis and boards from hitting too many rocks.

It was a gorgeous day and I hope we don't wait another 10 years before going again!


 
 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Glad It's Over

We had Beth's annual assessment with DDA today. They want to make sure she should still be receiving SSI each month so every year they come out and ask about her abilities.

Can she use household appliances?

Does she get out into the community?

Is she able to take a shower on her own?

Does she know what to do in an emergency?

Can she schedule and keep doctor's appointments?

At the end, her case manager was pleased with how independent she is. Then he asked us about respite care and I always hesitate because Beth goes places all the time so it's not like we really need a break from her. But then he mentioned about her bowling and going to art classes and said that respite care can pay for that.

Wait, what??

All Aboard is a contracted respite provider and the state will pay them for us! It's not much each month, but it's somethin'!! Yes, please!

So he moved on to another part of the assessment, a part he does if we want the respite care. He's never done this part before and it really kind of stung. He began asking Beth questions:

"What year is it?" She didn't say anything.

"What day of the week is it?" She hung her head. "Is it Monday or Tuesday..." Then she responded, "Is Friday."

"What city are we in?" No comment.

"What season are we in right now?" No answer. "Is it Spring or Winter..." No answer.

"What building are we in?" Silence.

It was SO hard not to reword the question like I do so many times a day! Just a few minutes earlier she was signing papers and wrote the date, 2/20/15 but I don't think she realized he was wanting her to say, "2015." And this morning she asked if summer was coming (It took me a second to realize she wasn't talking about a person) because she wants it to be warm and sunny. So she knows the seasons. And after he asked her if we were at her house, she said yes. Chuck then said, "We've never really referred to this as a building before, huh?"

I mean, she knows she's at home, come on! She knows what a building is. She knows her address.  It was hard to sit there and watch her struggle with the meanings of these sentences when they were worded like this. Of course, I began to wonder if I had done enough to teach her while she was growing up... you know, all that mom-doubt stuff. Ugh. It just was so hard to sit there and watch her. BUT, because of the way she answered, it means the state will pay for a respite provider, whether that be All Aboard or others (he's going to send us a list) so I guess it's good.

But I'm sure glad that meeting is over!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Taking It to the Extreme

Beth tends to take things to the extreme.

She always puts too much toothpaste on her toothbrush.
She puts food in the microwave for much longer than needed.
She uses way too much laundry soap for each load.
She uses too much shampoo when she washes her hair.
She puts 4 or 5 dryer sheets in the dryer each time.
When she washes a dish or two, there is soap on the sponge for days.

Beth uses a lot, and I mean a lot, of everything. I don't know if it makes her feel like an adult while she's pouring the laundry soap into the lid or pulling the dryer sheets out of the box, but I can't get her to only use the recommended amount. Of anything.

I'm usually grateful that she's able to do all these things on her own: laundry, hygiene, etc. but sometimes I get frustrated that we're out of soap. Again.

So I make her buy her own. And she loves it because she feels so grown up pulling that laundry soap off the shelf at the grocery store and putting it in her own cart.

She's 30. She knows she's 30. She tells people she's 30. But I think she still feels like a kid.

I've been helping her with her hair lately and she will always ask me, "You on your tippy toes?" "Yep, I had to get on my tippy toes."

"I'n growing tall!"

I don't know how many times I've gently told her that she's stopped growing. That she probably won't grow any taller than she is right now. But every time I do her hair...

Every time...

"You on your tippy toes?"

There's just something about being an adult. About feeling like you're an adult.

And if all it takes is a little extra laundry soap, well, so be it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Just Stuff

We've all been sick around here. First Chuck got the flu (influenza), then me and Diana. Thank goodness Beth lives downstairs and isn't around all the germs up here!

When Chuck first got sick I spent days de-germing (is that a word?) with changing beds, doing laundry, spraying everything with Lysol... but it got us anyway.

Yesterday Allie came over and spent the night so Sharaya could have an evening out with friends and this morning, she woke up with a sore throat. :( Ugh. She's spent the day on the couch moaning and drinking water. I can't get her to eat anything. I've even tried fixing her some toast but she just doesn't want it.

Yesterday was Chuck's birthday but we plan to celebrate it tomorrow. With everyone's schedule, it's been hard to get everyone together! Plus, he's been working a lot for Starline lately and I know he's glad to finally have work. I think he worked every day this week. He still hasn't heard about any of the full time jobs he's applied for, well, except for Metro. He's hoping to be hired by them in the next few weeks.

We've had so much rain here this week, and the temps have been SO warm! We've kind of decided we won't be having any snow this year. It was so warm last week we were all in short sleeves. Very unusual for Seattle this time of year.

Well, not too much else happening today. I'll include a couple pictures from last weekend when Allie was feeling better.

Playing Bingo


Sunday, February 1, 2015

I Didn't Choose This

I didn't choose this. This special needs ministry. I've never daydreamed about what it would be like to one day be a part of a ministry like this.

God chose me.

Have you ever heard the theme to Gilligan's Island? In the first year, it only listed a few names, "...the millionaire and his wife. The movie star, and the rest! Here on Gilligan's Isle!" I'm one of 'the rest.' On TV last week, they were announcing the Seahawks and said, "Lynch, Wilson, and others..." I'm 'the others.' Very few people know my name. I don't light up a room when I enter. People don't wait for me before starting the party.

Still, God chose me.

This special needs ministry is growing. It's expanding and changing and maturing.

I'm just trying to follow Him. Step by step. Each day. The next thing. I try not to look beyond the next thing.

I'm afraid of what I might find.



(Our old room. Today we moved to a room twice this size.)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's Hard To Be Patient

I babysat Allie last weekend and we had so much fun! We built a fort in the living room and she played with our LED light. We kicked the ball around the backyard, she hung out with Beth for a while and they drew pictures and watched a little TV. I'm SO tired when she goes home, but man, I sure love having her come play!

 
 


 
 
On Monday Beth and I went to Home Depot so she could buy a kitchen cabinet to put her stuff in. She's got her microwave, plus she buys her own napkins, plastic ware, food. She's needed a place to put all this stuff, it's just been on a bookcase while she saved the money to buy the cupboard. She doesn't have enough yet to buy the countertop, but hopefully that will come soon. We also bought a small piece of plywood to put on the top until she gets it. The door needs a little tweak so they gave us a good discount. As the clerk was taking it to the front of the store, Beth actually squealed, "I got it!" It was cute to see her so excited. :)
 
 
 
All of the stuff in our classroom has been moved. It took me more than 3 hours to get it all to the new room but it's there! Now Chuck, Allie and I will go over this Saturday and get it all set up. I'm getting more excited the closer it gets! I took some pictures of our old room before I took it all down.
 
 
 
 
Okay, so actually, these walls are pretty bare. I guess I did take quite a bit off the walls, family photos, some posters. And the tree at one point was covered in leaves. I'm looking forward to having more room. I wanna buy a nice rug for the reading area, we're bringing in more adult furniture, I just have this certain vision for what this room will look like. It's hard to be patient while it evolves. :)