Friday, November 15, 2019

I Was Sure I Had Killed It

Chuck and I finally went and saw Downton Abbey the other day. There were only about 8 of us in the theater cause it's been out for so long already but it was really good! We love those characters! As we were walking to the car he asked if I noticed they left the ending open for another movie. 😊

Sharaya and Allie come over for lunch on Sundays and Sharaya sometimes goes grocery shopping while we watch Allie. One Sunday recently we all went outside and cleaned up the driveway. I was told evergreen trees don't lose their leaves, they stay green all year so our first winter in Washington I saw our huge cedar trees needles (not sure you can call them leaves?) turn orange! What?! I started to panic! I was sure I had killed this 50 year old tree! But no, some of the older 'leaves' turn orange and fall off, covering your driveway and front porch and sidewalk and they get in your car and your house...

So you have to go out and clean up. We got the leaf blower and brooms and got to work. It's not as fun as jumping in a huge pile of maple leaves but it's family time!

After the yard work we went in and played Mexican Train. It's such a fun game! Look at that concentration! If I remember right, Beth won. Of course. She's so good at this game!

Work is still very busy but my boss and I are trying to come up with a solution to lessen my workload. Honestly I'm not sure his idea will work but I'm willing to give it a try. I'll let you know after the changes have been made. I had another meeting with my team today. With our Thanksgiving outreach right around the corner things are about to get even busier!

Are you already prepping for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Family and Surgery

Sorry, I didn't realize it had been that long since I posted! 

Chuck had weight loss surgery last week. What an ordeal that was! The surgery went well but it took him a while to come out of the anesthesia. Not that he slept a long time but when they called me back he was dressed and walking his laps around the nurses station but he was still really groggy. I stayed longer than I planned to and when I left he was still out of it. But by the time I picked him up the next morning he was doing much better

This was in 2001                                            This was last week

This is how much weight he's lost on his own! For the last 18 years he's changed habits and worked so hard to lose the weight and keep it off! And now this surgery is the help he needs to take off the last of it! I'm so excited for him and what this means for his future. So many things are going to change for him! For the better!

Allie spent the night last weekend. Did I remember to take any pictures? Of course not. We played bingo and battleship... I love hanging out with her.

My sister has been trying to figure out all of my dads paperwork, his accounts and insurance policies. I called her today and she's so overwhelmed. She didn't sleep well last night and was up early this morning so she could get to the bank right when they opened... We prayed over the phone and she'll go to the bank again tomorrow when it's not a holiday. 

As I write this Chuck and I are watching the Seahawks game and he yells, "Why didn't their guy get called for that?!" And from down the hallway we hear Beth say, "I dunno." She's such a goof! 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Thankful Thursday Becomes Forgetful Friday

(I wrote this a couple days ago so I'd be ready to post on Thursday. Only to wake up on Friday and remember that I had forgotten!)

 Linking up with Knit By God's Hand

I have so much to be thankful for this week! 
In fact this month, this year!

We've had beautiful sunshine this week!
I've hired two new custodians this week

Chuck is doing SO well with his pre-surgery weight loss!

Sharaya had a great time traveling in the midwest

The chaos at work is beginning to calm down
(I wrote this on Thursday. I take it back on Friday)

I read some scripture this week that the Lord used to encourage me and my joy is returning

Even though work is still crazy, I've got a confidence that can only come from the Lord

I know that no matter what happens in my life, the Lord is in charge of my life and it's going to be okay

I hope you have a wonderful day my friends!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


I was thinking about my dad today. 

As my dad got older he fell in love with trains and he donated financially to the Pacific Southwest Railway and Museum. So when my sister asked me to plan the train ride as part of our memorial/celebration, that's the one she wanted to go to but it was an hour away and it was kind of expensive.

So I made the decision to just ride the commuter train up the coast of San Diego and back again. It would be quick and inexpensive.

But no. My sister insisted we go to the Pacific Southwest Railway and Museum. She said our dad volunteered there over the years and she wanted to ride that train. So we all piled in our cars and drove the hour out to Campo, CA. 

I had read on-line that we could buy a brick in honor of him and they'd put it in the walkway leading to the station. We all talked about doing that, it could be nice!

When we got there, we all headed toward the office and what did we see?


He had already purchased bricks for himself and for me and my sisters!! I'm so, so glad we followed my sisters advice and took the time to go out to that train! It really made us feel like he was there, like he bought them knowing one day we'd go out to ride that train.

 I bet he smiled as we darted about the walkway searching for bricks! "Here's another one!"

I miss you dad. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Random Stuff

Sharaya took a trip to New Orleans this weekend. As a single mom she tries to get away one time a year for just a little 'me' time. 

So Allie spent the night on Friday! I took her to her school's Halloween dance. Allie and her friends hung out in the center of the gym and danced a little, they ran around outside, there was pizza and cookies... I'm glad I got to take her. It was fun to watch her in her element.

Afterwards I was showing her all the pictures I took and in this one she said they were pretending they were jumping off the titanic. 😊 

 Saturday morning I took her to gymnastics. 
Now she's staying at a friends house for a few nights.

Look at this face!! 💖

Saturday night was our Harvest Party at church. The theme was Candy Land and there were games in every classroom: laser tag, cookie decorating, ring toss, bowling, a lot like you'd see at a carnival. 

Then the gym was set up with  large inflatables and there were hotdogs and chips... it's always so much fun! We ended up having more than 1500 people come through!

All the volunteers stayed to help clean up and by the time my crew and I cleaned and restocked the bathrooms, vacuumed, mopped, set the alarm and headed home, it was 10:30!

We gave away a LOT of candy!

One of the photo spots

When it was all over...

I just spent a couple hours creating gift bags for my crew. They work incredibly hard throughout the year and I can't thank them enough!

 Just a few of the 8 custodians on my staff
(FYI - he's 6'10")

I've really been loving fall this year. It's usually not my favorite time of year with summer ending and all the sunshine going away for 5 months... But for some reason this year I just can't get enough of it! The cooler temps, the beautiful colors... I'm loving this!

Do you like fall? What's your favorite season?

Sunday, October 20, 2019


We got home on Tuesday and Chuck had a doctor appointment on Wednesday. Plus we did laundry, sorted through 2 weeks worth of mail...

Thursday at work was packed with people filing by my desk telling me all the things that didn't get done while I was gone. All the things the custodians missed or just didn't bother doing. 

I forgot to order dinner napkins before I left and we just about ran out! Thankfully there was a case reserved for our Thanksgiving event so we used those this weekend and I'll be able to order more tomorrow.

Our main coffee maker broke Thursday night and we came to work to find the floor flooded. I called the company and the repair guy didn't see the request so he showed up on Friday, just 3 hours before a huge event!

Thankfully he was able to fix it. Or so we thought. We were able to use the coffee maker Friday night but the floor was flooded again when we came in Saturday morning. 

Saturday afternoon we had a large memorial. 
Sunday morning we had a huge Missions Lunch. 

We spent this weekend making coffee downstairs, putting the large cambros on carts, wheeling them into the elevator and bringing them into the Commons. (That's the room where we have our biggest events. The broken coffee maker is just feet from the Commons.) 

And there were a hundred other little things that happened that could turn into major issues if not taken care of. Sigh.

Also on Friday Chuck had an endoscopy. He was put completely out and they put a probe down his throat to check his esophagus, stomach and small intestine. I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here but he's preparing to have weight loss surgery. We've spent the last 3-4 months seeing surgeons and nutritionists and fitness experts... We'll find out the results of the endoscopy on Monday.

While we were on vacation Beth and Sharaya both had birthdays! Beth is two years older but their birthdays are just 4 days apart. The cousins surprised Sharaya when they all went out one night but we decided to wait until we got home to celebrate them.

Surprising Sharaya in San Diego

The girl cousins

Today the 5 of us (Me, Chuck, Beth, Sharaya and Allie) went out to The Olive Garden for lunch and we gave them both a small gift. Beth is now 35 and Sharaya is 33. Oh my word.

 I suddenly feel very old.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Blinding Colors, Yummy Pastries and Bridge Designs

We flew in late Tuesday night and it felt so good to be home! What is it about that feeling you get when you've been away from home for a while and then you walk through that front door?? There really is no place like home!

This will be short as I'm still on east coast time and my body thinks it's 11:15pm but I wanted to share a few pictures with you.

Vermont was spectacular! The colors were so vivid that sometimes when the sun hit the reds or yellows, it was almost blinding!

Look at all that color! Almost every tree is a different shade of red or yellow or orange...! Here in Seattle we have so many evergreens and there are some deciduous trees mixed in but it looks nothing like this!

We went to church in Queens, New York; bought dessert at Mikes Pastries in Boston, Mass; and drove through the beautiful state of Connecticut! The line at Mikes was out the door and down the street, but oh so worth it! I had a Cannoli for the first time, we bought some cookies, everything was SO good!  

That's Diana on the far right. 
(I don't know those other three, but they were headed to church too!)

Driving by Manhattan

Connecticut was so beautiful! Even their bridges, every bridge, every overpass had a different design. It was so pretty there.

Have you ever been to New England in the fall?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What We've Been Doing So Far

We flew into San Diego on October 3rd. For the first time in a long time we didn't have an early morning flight so we didn't have to rush to get to the airport. 

Chuck is better at directions than I am so he always goes first, then I tell Beth to "follow dad" and I follow Beth.

The airport was pretty busy but we made it through security and got to our gate with plenty of time to spare. I'd much rather be early - to anywhere! - than late so I'm a happy camper when we arrive early. 

Chuck prefers the aisle seat and Beth doesn't like to fly so I always get the window seat. She especially doesn't like it when we take off.

Take offs and landings aren't my favorite either but once we're in the air, my phone comes out and I'm glued to the window pane! I love aerial photography! It's a perspective you don't get every day and I've never understood how people can watch movies or play on their phones the whole flight!

Mount Rainier

This is Miramar, the Marine Corp air field where my dad will be interned. (Not sure why Miramar, he was in the Navy.) But anyway, when I saw this I started to cry. This trip was the first time in more than 30 years that I went to San Diego and my dad wouldn't be there. It's a hard thing to accept.

One of the first things we did after getting to San Diego was go to the beach! Our 2 favorites are La Jolla and Mission Beach. This time we went to Mission. We walked along the shore, played corn hole, did some shopping and even had lunch, right there at the ocean. 

For me there's no place like the beach. And I know it's that way for a lot of people. I took a deep breath and smelled that salt water as I walked across the sand and when the water hit my feet I immediately felt a sense of rest and peace. As much as my heart aches knowing my dad is gone, I just knew everything was going to be okay. What is it about the ocean that causes reflection and introspection?