Wednesday, September 21, 2016


We've been watching Born This Way on Tuesday nights and I can't help compare Beth to the actors on the show. I think the one thing I'm noticing most is the language.

I don't know if you've seen the show but when some of the actors are talking, there are subtitles at the bottom of the screen so you can fully understand what's being said. And now that we're coming to the end of season two, I realize how nice it would be if we could have some subtitles for Beth.

Chuck and I have wondered if some of the show is scripted or if the actors are all speaking their own words but we know Beth wouldn't know half the words they use. I wrote down some examples last night:

"They use explicit language."

"I'm feeling a vibe in this place."

I'm so anxious for you to hear it."

Another place I've noticed a difference in language is when I call DART to schedule or cancel rides for Beth. One of the things they say on their recording is, "We are experiencing higher than normal call volumes." She wouldn't be able to tell you what that sentence means.

 She had speech therapy up until she turned 18 and even though I begged them to continue it they said, "Sorry. You'll have to find someone yourself and pay for it out of pocket or see if your insurance will pay for it." Since Beth was still technically in school (students with special needs leave the school system here in WA at the age of 21) and we still had two more kids at home, we just never did it. I'm not blaming them, it's just that life was busy and sometimes things fall through the cracks and that was one of those things.

Beth's sentences are usually 4-6 words long. I think she would know the word 'anxious' but not 'vibe' and definitely not 'explicit'! I've wondered if it's because we don't use many complicated words here at home? And that could be because we've tried to use words Beth will understand. But maybe she'd understand more difficult words if we used them?

She will often talk too fast for us to understand her and her words are all smashed together. We have to be looking at her when she speaks.

She does know how to read and I'm so thankful for that. She can read a menu, read the signs at the grocery store... in fact while we were shopping for her Seahawks shirt I decided to stop leading her through the store and I casually got behind her while we looked for the dressing room. She headed off like she knew where she was going, except she didn't! After we got lost, she just stopped dead in her tracks and said, "I going the wrong way." Then she looked up and began reading all the signs that hung around the store. And sure enough, she found the one that read "Fitting Room" and headed in that direction.

I've tried to get her to read chapter books but she never showed any interest in those. But she does read a few times a week.

So, back to the show. There are so many similarities to Beth's life but their speech patterns are not one of them. It amazes me how well they speak and the complex words they use. Again, I don't know if they're coached or if they rehearse what they're going to say, but no matter what, it is such a great show and Chuck and I love watching it! We highly recommend it!

Now, can you tell me what aisle the subtitles are on? I'd like to pick up a few.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bowling, Boyfriends and Football!

We've had a fun couple of weeks. We went shopping and Beth finally bought herself a Seahawks shirt! It was so funny, you should have heard her giving herself catcalls in the dressing room!

Special Olympics has started again! You know it's Fall when the bowling alley is filled every Saturday!

 And guess who came to dinner today? It was the first time they've hung out together in a while. I offered to take them to the beach or anywhere, but they didn't want to go. They just hung out in Beth's apartment downstairs and watched TV. But they had a great time. I loved hearing them talk and sing and laugh together. 
 We hope you had a great weekend too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Deception Falls Photos

Sharaya suggested this place on our way home from Leavenworth and it was beautiful! It was a very short walk to the falls and they didn't disappoint!

We continued across the bridge, up some stairs and under the highway overpass!


 Going back down we crossed back over the bridge and
spotted another bridge farther down the river so we had to go check it out!

Down here it was quiet and much more secluded. We walked out on the rocks and were able to explore a little more.

They found a caterpillar!

It was such a great day!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Day In The Swiss Alps

Sharaya couldn't decide what we should do on Labor Day and Diana suggested Leavenworth. It's a small, Bavarian style town in the Cascade Mountains just east of here. Unfortunately Chuck had to work and Diana, well, she still lives on the East Coast so Sharaya, Allie, Beth and I went. 

It had been years since I was there and I had forgotten how quaint it was!

It's so beautiful, nestled right in the mountains. And we had great weather! One store Sharaya said we just had to go into was the hat store! The place was packed, but we still had room to have a little fun!

Next was the antique store. Oh, I could have spent a lot of money in there! Look at this ferris wheel!

We definitely couldn't miss the Christmas Store! Oh my goodness that place was amazing! Two stories tall and the best Christmas decorations you could ever hope for!

 At church we've been singing a song called Lion and the Lamb that has really touched my heart lately so when I saw this ornament

I knew I had to buy it! 

Allie bought a gorgeous white, sparkling butterfly. 
This is the one Beth bought - Anna with a snowball in her hand. 
I think Beth actually gasped when she saw it!

And of course we had to stop for ice cream before heading home! Cold Stone Creamery! Yum! On our way to Leavenworth we passed some signs for Deception Falls so we stopped there on our way back. It was so beautiful! I'll write about that in my next post!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Oh To Have The Energy of a 6 Year Old Again!

Gosh, I thought I was doing well in keeping up with this blog! But now an entire week has passed! And there hasn't been that much going on. You'd think that would make the time go very slowly but it hasn't. Maybe it's my age. I think the older I get the faster it goes!

Beth had a dentist appointment on Tuesday. Nothing major, just a couple of fillings. She doesn't really listen to me when I try to show her how to do a better job brushing her teeth but the dentist has been encouraging her. So then we go home and together we brush our teeth and together we follow the dentist's suggestions. It seems to be working!

Diana started her second job and really seems to like it. She's realized she's working at the same two jobs today - but on the other side of the country -  that she did when she graduated from high school. She's not super excited about that.

I watched Allie the other night so Sharaya could go out with some friends. I took Allie to the park but there was a huge private party going on so we went to a neighborhood elementary school and played there. I forget how much this girl likes to climb! Oh my goodness!

It was kind of funny. She climbed up on the outside of the play area, moved along the outside of the steps, the walkway, etc. and I'm under her the entire way, spotting her, holding my arms out just in case she falls. Then a while later a mom with her two young sons - around Allie's age - came and they did the exact same thing, climbed up on the outside of everything. Mom is sitting in a different part of the playground and she yells over at 'em, "You two be careful!"

You can definitely tell I raised girls! :) 

Friday, August 26, 2016

No Cancer

Beth had her follow up appointment at Harborview this week and everything is fine. No cancer. She had just a little pain for a couple days but then it was gone. The stitches came out just a few days later and it was so clean I couldn't even tell where they had done the surgery. 

A few days ago she went to the dentist (a different location from the oral surgeon) and had two fillings so she was on soft foods for 24 hours. Again, no pain and all was back to normal in no time.

On Wednesday we had our annual staff picnic at Marina Beach. The weather was beautiful and it's always fun to hang out with co-workers and not talk about work! :)

I don't have permission to post pics of everyone, so the sail boats will have to do!

Beth came with us and of course texted Nick most of the afternoon and even sent him pictures. Via text! No one showed her how to do it, she just figured it out on her own. That girl amazes me sometimes.

I've been trying to do things that I love but don't do on a regular basis. Like swimming. Today I went - by myself I might add - to a local pool and swam laps for about a half hour. I was so nervous going somewhere I've never been but I did it. And I had such a great time being in the water!

(Thanks Google)

I've also been spending time down at the beach. There have been some beautiful sunsets this summer!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

You Have to be Smarter Than They Are

You know how it is with life, sometimes there is SO much going on and other times, hmmm not so much. This week has been a 'not so much' week.

We have seen some seeds of healing in a family relationship. That's been such a blessing and an answer to prayer!

Sharaya and Diana saw the same movie, at the exact same time, 3000 miles apart! I think about what it took to accomplish this: first deciding on which movie to see, then checking show times to make sure they matched with the different time zones, then they were actually able to pull it off! I think this is such a clever idea! I absolutely love these two that they would think of doing this!

I've been feeding the birds and squirrels this summer but the crows have been taking all the food! I've seen people posting pictures of large, open containers filled with shelled peanuts and the squirrels are all over them. But when I put them out, the crows eat everything!

 When my sister was here we found this cute little bird shop that had squirrel feeders that looked like this one.

 So I got the idea to make something like that myself. At first I got a big square vase but found the crows could get into it! Here is one trying to bite through the glass.

 Then I saw one just stick his head right in and grab a peanut! Before I knew it they were all gone.
(You can see his tail feathers sticking up on the left.)

So then I found a round vase with a unique shape that was big enough for the squirrels but I knew the crows wouldn't be able to get through. I put it in a clear bin and filled it with rocks so it wouldn't move or roll around. Then I put in the peanuts and waited.

The peanuts were still there this afternoon so I know the crows couldn't get to them. (I do put some out for the crows in a separate bowl, but I also want some exclusively for the squirrels.) Then this afternoon...

Yay!! He ran across the driveway and buried it near some trees. :)