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. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Come, Have a Seat. Would You Like Some Tea?

I'm home alone right now and it sure is quiet in this house. Would you like some tea? I take cream and sugar. You? I prefer tea over coffee. The only time I drink coffee is when I go to the coffee stand at work which isn't very often. Chuck and Diana love Starbucks so sometimes I'll order a double white chocolate mocha. Single shot of coffee, but double the while chocolate! I don't like coffee, but I'll tolerate a little with my chocolate. :)

It's been so quiet around here without Sugar. Before, you would hear her shake when her tail would smack against the couch in a fast rhythm. Then she'd dig at her blankets until they were just right, before settling back down for another nap. Each day without her has gotten a little easier.

I'm getting ready to do my nails. I haven't painted them in months but they're starting to grow again so I thought I'd put on a little polish.

Chuck is still looking for a job. He left Centurylink almost 4 months ago and still, no positive news. He has completed some medical stuff for King County Metro (sleep study, etc.) so he may be starting some training with them next week. He's a little nervous though because the training starts on Superbowl Sunday! Aahhhh! He might miss his beloved Seahawks! Did you see the game against Green Bay? Wow.

Beth may be changing jobs soon. Well, not jobs really, but locations. The store she's at now is about 45 minutes from home. Plus it's in a notorious traffic jam. Everyone around here dreads the commute from Edmonds / Lynnwood up to Marysville. Especially on Friday nights, which is when Beth works up there. A couple weeks ago DART somehow forgot to pick her up. (Did I already tell you this?) They called me in a panic at 9:15 (she gets off work at 8:00) "We're so sorry! We're sending a driver up there now!" She didn't get home that night until almost 10:30. So her job coach is looking into finding her a job closer to home. Same pizza place, just a different location. We're praying!

Well, not too much else to tell you about right now. Have a great weekend!   

Sunday, January 18, 2015

She's Gone

It was 6 years ago that Diana asked us for a dog. We already had Buddy, our black lab, but she found a westie who needed a home. Pleeeaaassse could she have her, she'd be leaving for California in a few months and would take the dog with her, she'd only be with us a short time.

Well, the move to California fell through and Sugar has been a part of our lives ever since. Her and Buddy got along well and having one more dog didn't make that much difference.

Sugar loved the sunshine! She'd sit outside (preferring her own lawn chair, thank you) and soak up the sun. She'd find the only spot in the car, on a log at the beach, didn't matter. If there was sun, she wanted to be in it!

 

 
 
 
She loved to sit on the back of furniture. She was more like a cat than a dog, really. Diana used to always say that and it was true.
 

 
 
But more than the sun and furniture, she loved people the most. She was such a people 'person' always wanting to be touched. She would even jump up on the couch and reach out to just put one paw on your leg. As long as she was touching you, she was okay. But so often, she just HAD to be touching someone.
 
 
 
 
In October 2014 she had her first seizure. Diana had come home late and didn't want to wake us so left her in our room to sleep for the night. Then out of the blue, at 2:30 in the morning she had a full on, gran mal seizure. Scared me so much! She had another one later that morning so we took her to the vet and they believed it was blood clots in her brain that were causing them and told us that she would probably continue to have them. Considering she was already 12 years old, we did some blood work, a urinalysis but opted not to do surgery.
 
She had a few more before Christmas, then went almost a month without one seizure! Just last week I remember thinking that it had been a whole month and I was glad and a little surprised. But then, without any warning she had another one. And another. And another. Then in 3 days time, she had 6 seizures and never really recovered.
 
Diana made the difficult decision to have her put to sleep but knew she couldn't take her to the vet herself. She spent the day on the couch with her, loving on her and saying her goodbyes. Beth came up and was petting her for a few seconds, but then burst into tears. Chuck and I drove her to the vet today and they were so kind, to her and to us. We went into a private room where we got to say our final goodbyes, I cried and kept petting her. She could barely lift her head. The doctor came in and gently took her from me, we paid the bill, walked out to the car and I burst into tears. She's really gone.
 
'Sugar Babe' as we used to call her, will no longer pop her head up as we walk in the door. No more jumping off the couch to come greet us. No more begging for bananas. No more scrambling to get that one little piece of lettuce. That dog loved lettuce! 
 
Our hearts ache. We'll miss you Shug. You were a good girl.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In The Mean Time

Chuck and I took a walk along the waterfront today. It was chilly, but the sun was out and it made for a gorgeous day! He had some money left on his Starbucks gift card so we each bought a drink and it helped to keep our hands warm while we walked! 

 
 
Beth had a doctors appointment yesterday. I took a picture of her at the lab, thinking I would then take one at the doctor so you could see the whole process, but of course, I forgot to take one yesterday. :) The thyroid medicine still isn't strong enough so they raised the dosage and will see her again in 2 months. She also talked about putting her on diabetes medicine because she keeps gaining weight and is right on the verge of being diabetic. I'm not a big fan of taking a lot of medicine so she talked about various snacks that would help; tomatoes with cheese; celery with peanut butter; bananas with yogurt. And she said to eat these foods together because they counteract the bad and enhance the good in each food. Really? I thought eating a banana was good, but she explained how just the banana would cause the sugar to do the wrong things in our bodies but the yogurt would... oh my word. Why does nutrition have to be so hard?!?  
 
But, I'll start having Beth eat combinations of these foods. Anything to help her lose weight. I'm shocked at how much weight she's gained in just the last few years. I'm sure it's a combination of food choices, lack of exercise and thyroid. She's busy every day of the week except Monday, when I give her chores to do around the house. Every other day she's out and about. Last week she came home from her art class with two large candy bars in her backpack. She's 30 years old so I didn't take them out or even say anything about 'em but I know she doesn't always make the best food choices. And when she is home, she's usually sitting in front of her TV. I've tried to get her to exercise, to dance or do some stair stepping. We even took that weight loss class last year! Didn't help. She just doesn't want to do the work to lose weight. So, we'll see what the test results show in 2 months.
 
In the mean time, she's been wanting me to do her hair lately. Usually she just puts it up in a pony tail or a headband but lately she wants it styled. So I pull up the front and let it hang down in the back, sometimes Diana will put it in a fancy braid. It has grown SO much the last few months. It seems like suddenly it's down to the middle of her back! It's so long, people are starting to make comments about it. I took this picture this morning, before she left for art and karaoke. I think she's enjoying the attention. :)