Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ooops. I Forgot To Explain What It's Like To Be Old

A few months back I asked if you remembered the phrase Pounding The Pavement but I realized I never explained what it meant! Raise your hand if you've heard it before... okay, a few of you, that's good.

It used to be that when you needed a job you looked through the classifieds in the newspaper, found stores or companies that were hiring, then dressed in your nicest clothes and walked from place to place. That's where 'pounding the pavement' came from. All that walking.


If they were hiring, they would hand you an application and you'd sit there and fill it out. With a pen. Then you'd go home and sit by the phone. Literally, because it was attached to the wall. And you'd wait.


If you didn't get a call, often times you would go back to the store and ask them if they had filled the position. It was important back then to be face to face, to let them see you. That proved to an employer that you really were interested in the job. If you didn't bother to come in, they didn't bother to hire you.

Nowadays it's all done on-line. You go on-line to see if they're hiring. The applications are on-line. You submit them on-line. The employer will contact you on-line...

Times, they are a changin'! 

As far as my girls, both Sharaya and Diana are working 2 jobs and Beth is still 'pounding the pavement'. Her job coach is looking into jobs at hospitals, churches, the school district... no openings yet, but she continues to look.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When Was The Last Time?

This poor blog. I think about it when I'm driving the car. Or crawling into bed at 11:30 at night. I really want to do a better job at posting more often.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy but I managed to capture a few shots of Beth...

Carrying Bibles back to the CRC after our Sunday school class 


She is such a great help in our class; bringing and returning the Bibles; she fills a pitcher with water for us, then empties and returns in back to the office; she really has a servants heart.


Nick joined us on January 7 and Beth was so excited! She talked about it for days. He came over after church and had lunch, then we played a little Mexican Train.

 
Then a few days ago Beth asked to get her hair cut. She told me what she wanted and I thought she would change her mind but she didn't! I told the stylist and...



Taa Daa! She absolutely loves it! All one length with an undercut. We've spent some time every morning curling the ends under and she is thrilled with it! 

When was the last time you got your hair cut? Were you happy with the results?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Every Single Thing Every Single Day

Beth loves to go to the grocery store. She walks around filling her cart with all kinds of... well, actually, with all the same things every single time. She brings her list and struts through the store like she's just won the lottery!


We like to snack at our house. We buy things like fruit cups, cheese sticks, bananas, granola bars. Rather than making a burrito or having chips and dip, we're more likely to just grab a quick item that's easy to eat.

Some of the things on Beth's list -
Jello cups
Cheese-Its
Yogurt
Fruit cups
Cheese Sticks
Granola Bars
Bananas
Salad Kits
Frozen Dinners...

She buys the same thing every single time. Which, okay, I do too, to an extent. The same bread, same milk, I know where it is and how much it costs so I don't have to think too much about it. 

But here is where the issue is with Beth: if she's home all day and lunch time rolls around, she has:

some cheese-its
a yogurt
a fruit cup
one banana
a salad
a granola bar
jello
a cheese stick...

You see where I'm going with this? She eats everything. Every day. 

We all went to the grocery store a couple weeks ago and after just 4 days (I'm not exaggerating!) Beth came upstairs and said she was completely out of food. 

'What?!? You just bought all that food! How could you be out already?!' Her food is all hers. She takes it downstairs and we don't even see it so I know we didn't eat it!

The jello comes in 6 small cups (although she buys the large ones.) The fruit cups come with 8 in a container, the granola bars have 6 or 8... we were just shocked that she had eaten so much in just a few days.


So now I'm trying to get her to only eat some of the things each day. Have a yogurt on Monday and a fruit cup on Tuesday. The food will last longer and she'll get more of a variety. We'll see how she does.

What about you? Do you tend to buy and eat the same things? Is there an item that you just have to have each week? (For me it's chocolate. A small bag of M&Ms, a few truffles... I just can't stay away from the chocolate!)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Golden

Diana turned 27 this year, on December 27th.


We had this in mind when we flew her out for Christmas so we got to celebrate them both with her!



Sharaya asked if we would buy a plain cake so she could decorate the top. I was thinking of a sweet sentiment telling Diana how much we loved her and how important she was to us... 
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 Ahh, sisters. Can you feel the love?! 😀
Happy Birthday Diana!!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ask Your Mother

Nick texted me earlier this week and mentioned about him and Beth going to see Star Wars on Friday. I told him I thought it was a great idea and we began to set it up. He told me the name of the theater, what time it was playing, he even sent me the address!

He texted a couple of times asking if I had texted his mom and I said no. He said his mom would text me. "Have you got her text yet?" "No I haven't." 

That should have been a red flag.

Beth and I got to the theater and waited.

And waited.

He texted and said we were NOT to buy the tickets because he was going to buy them. "The boyfriend always buys for the girlfriend." I told him we wouldn't buy them but they might be sold out. The movie started in just 15 minutes.

Then he texts, "As soon as my mom gets home, we're on our way."

"What?!?" I have to tell you they live about 15-30 minutes away, depending on traffic. And his mom wasn't even at home!

I ended up texting her and no, she hadn't realized he had made plans with us. But she got home and her, Nick and Dad all jumped in the car and flew to the theater! They ended up seeing Jumanji instead (both Beth and Nick had seen Star Wars with family members anyway) and they loved it and said it was really funny.

I certainly learned a lesson in all this: ask his mom. No matter what texts I get, I need to confirm it with his mom before we set our alarms, get dressed, drive to the theater and stand around for 30 minutes.

He called me later that evening and asked if I was mad at him. I told him I had been but that it all worked out and I wasn't angry anymore. He apologized and we talked about what we need to do differently next time. 

As crazy as the day was, he really was a gentleman.


Monday, December 25, 2017

A Rare Day

 We had Christmas at Sharaya's house this year




We flew Diana in from Pennsylvania


 And for only the third time in 29 years, we had a white Christmas!



I love our house when it snows!


Now our yard looks as good as the neighbors! 😁

 Whether you spent it with friends or family or were missing family this year, I hope you had a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Do You Mind?

When Beth was born we had to teach her e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The physical therapist that came to our house each week showed us how to manipulate her fingers so she would eventually learn to grasp a toy. We worked her legs so she'd feel the movements of crawling. We showed her again and again how to roll over. Each new milestone was preceded with weeks, even months of strengthening exercises.

Beth with her physical therapist


We taught Beth every little detail about sitting up and walking, swimming and running. 

But something I wish I could go back and do over is the mental aspect of life. Now, you're probably thinking, "Well duh, of course you'd have to teach her the mental things." And we did. She attended good schools, we even home schooled our girls for a couple years. 
Beth and my mom

But I'm talking about those tiny, day-to-day things that you just don't think about. At least I didn't think about 'teaching' them to Beth. I didn't teach them to Sharaya or Diana but they understand the concepts. For instance:

"How much money do ya have on you?" 

If you or I were asked that question, we would grab our back pocket where we keep our wallets or clutch our purses and then give you an approximate number. But when Beth is asked that question she looks down and never answers. She's completely  silent. I've learned instead to ask her,

"How much money do you have in your wallet?"

Then without hesitation she'll answer, "A five and some ones." Then I explain to her what 'have on you' means. A quirky little phrase when you think about it.

  Another one is:

"Do you mind if I borrow your colored pencils?" 

For a long time she just looked down and wouldn't answer. So instead I would ask, "Is it okay if I borrow...?" That one she answers immediately, "Yep!"

The whole 'do you mind' question is tricky because you have to answer 'no' in order to say yes. I even find myself answering twice when someone asks me that question, "Sure. I mean no!"

Are there any phrases that have you scratching your head?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Lights and Chocolate and A Dragon

We all met at the church and had pizza and salad for dinner. The tables were covered with butcher paper so we could draw and color while we waited. Beth drew this perfect little snowman, I couldn't believe how perfect her circles were! This girl is so good at art.


The centerpieces were so cute! We have some very creative people at our church. I could go out, buy these items and recreate this centerpiece but I would not have thought of this all on my own. I just don't have that creative gene.



(This has nothing to do with this post, except that it's another centerpiece made by another co-worker. I'm so in awe of their talent!)


Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, the Christmas party. After dinner we all climbed into our cars and headed to the Woodland Park Zoo. This time of year they have what they call WildLights. Parts of the zoo are blocked off and completely covered in lights!





We had never done this before and had so much fun! It's been so cold in Seattle this week with temps in the 30s and 40s so we got some hot chocolate to keep us warm!


Beth was a little unsure about seeing the Komodo Dragon until she saw a picture of it and realized it wasn't a fire-breathing kind of dragon. Being behind glass helped too, I'm sure. 


We watched kids - and adults! - have snowball fights with big balls of yarn; we listened to carolers; watched everyone on the carousel, such a fun night out!

 
 Have you done any holiday activities yet this season?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Reunited

Beth and I drove to Bellingham on Friday - about an hour and a half from our house - so she could see Nick. His parents have been on vacation and he's been staying at an... I guess it's like an assisted living place, but for adults who have special needs.

He gave us a tour of his place and it was pretty nice! Each client has their own space and a staff member lives in a different part of the house. It was fun to see where he's been staying the last few weeks. 

But before the tour, Beth and I picked him up and we went to Red Robin for lunch. It had been more than 2 weeks since they'd seen each other and they were so happy to be together again!


After Red Robin we went to Bellis Fair Mall and walked around there for a while.


We walked by some of those massage chairs and Nick said he wanted these in their living room when they get married so I offered to pay for them to use them for a few minutes.


Oh my gosh you should have heard them! They both kept talking about how good it felt and how they wanted one in their rooms. At one point Nick puts his head back and very slowly says, "H-a-v-e m-e-r-c-y!!


 At the other end of the mall we found Target and you just can't go into Target without checking out the electronics department! Here he is telling her about one of his favorite movies.



We even stopped to take a Christmas photo! 


 We dropped him back off and headed for home. After a little while I needed to stop and pulled off at a rest stop.


 I expected her to wake up when I turned off the engine, but nope! I actually had to shake her a little to wake her up. 


She came with me and then we spent the rest of the ride home singing Christmas carols that came on the radio!

Have you reunited with loved ones this year?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

17,716

According to my fitbit, that's how many steps I took on Thanksgiving Day.

Chuck drives one of the shuttles that picks people up from around the community and Beth rode along as a Greeter on the bus.

I lead the Busser and Server teams and for that reason, I also oversee the dining room.

Five days before Thanksgiving, our kitchen team began cooking the 28 turkeys (our church has a commercial kitchen) so they'd have time to cool before they carve them and put them on serving trays.

Three days before, we set up and place all the tables, trying to make sure there is enough room for the servers to get around, enough room to get the food carts in and out, access for wheelchairs, emergency exits... It's harder than it sounds and it took me hours to finish!

Thanksgiving day began early with the kitchen team preparing mashed potatoes, corn, yams, gravy and stuffing.


We have a Translator team who assists those who are deaf or English is their second language or even if they don't speak English at all! There are 14 teams I think: those who take the family photos, Reception Team, Table Hosts, Parking lot, Decorators...




 And it's all completely free.
 
Some of the servers preparing for the day.



The Table Hosts ready to welcome their guests



 Dinner is served!


After everyone had finished eating and was gone, we cleaned all the tables, re-set them and did it all again!


And then we did it a third time. Three different seatings where we serve a total of 1200 people. It's amazing to see the Lord work - how our feet don't hurt as much as you'd expect, how our backs remain strong even while lifting chairs and moving tables, how our spirits are joyful despite the controlled chaos! :)

At around 7:00 I headed out to the far parking lot to head home. I'll admit I was a little relieved that it was over but I couldn't get the smile off my face.


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!