Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Into The Woods. Not the Movie, We Really Did Go Into The Woods!

Diana wants to go walking or hiking every Monday and she asked me to come with her this week. There is a park near our house that we drive by all the time, but have never gone walking there.

Some good friends of ours nicknamed them The Woods Between the Worlds from Chronicles of Narnia. You drive through a residential area and then all of the sudden, you're right in the middle of the forest! It's truly beautiful, especially in the Spring when all the trees are getting new leaves. So on Monday we parked the car and walked along the trail.

It was so pretty. And quiet.

At one point, a smaller trail veered off the main path so we ended up following it to see if we could get to the river that we could hear. There's a creek or something at the bottom. It seemed SO close but the trail sort of ended. Well, it actually just dropped off and Diana started down but began to slide and we weren't sure where it would take us... and neither of us were really dressed for that kind of hike.

One of Diana's friends told her later that there is a rope swing at the bottom! Now we're determined to go back and make it down that hill!



Saturday, April 18, 2015

What We've Done... Or Haven't Done

I'm trying to remember what we've done since Easter.

Beth is still enjoying her new job. Well, same job, different location.

We bought a second car from some old friends. When I say old, I mean a couple in their 90s. V can't drive anymore and her van has just been sitting in the driveway for over a year. V's husband (also V) knew we were looking for a car (I've been sometimes walking back and forth to work lately - about a mile each way - if I wasn't able to get rides from Diana or co-workers) so Chuck and I bought their van. It's a 1993 and not much to look at but it gets me back and forth to work! I thank the Lord every time I drive it!

So in the last couple months we've gone from a 3 driver / one car family to a 3 driver / 3 car family. It's made a huge difference in our freedoms around here! :)

No new pictures to show you. We haven't really done much in the last couple of weeks. The weather has been gorgeous lately so we're trying to get outside more. Working in the yard, taking walks. I have Allie today so maybe we'll go do something outside... and I'll try to remember to take some pictures!

Friday, April 10, 2015

More Than Just Window Shopping

Beth and I spent a lot of time shopping over Easter. She wanted a new dress and needed new shoes so we went to JC Penny's and Target and Payless...

She found the dress right away. I was looking in one area and turned around to see her holding it up. I told her it was really cute and she said she wanted to try it on.

The first one... and it fit her really well! Too often it's too big in the chest or the sleeves are too long or it drags on the ground... it's really hard to get clothes to fit her. But this fit AND looked so cute on her! She was thrilled! In the dressing room she'll get this look on her face where she scrunches up her shoulders and turns her head and gets a big smile on her face, you know that's when she likes it!

 
 
 

 
 
Sharaya and Allie came over for dinner on Sunday, we played some board games and just hung out together. We really had a great Easter.
 
By the way, Beth is enjoying her new job! She had been at the old place for over two years and was able to work without her job coach C, but because this was a new location, C made sure she was there the entire first night. About 1 hour into Beth's shift, I got a text from C, "Beth is doing amazing and she's ready for me to go home." She really did adjust quickly and was actually home last week at 7:30 PM! Almost 3 hours earlier than normal! Woohoo!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's Becoming a Tradition

We went to the tulip fields last weekend. It was cool and very windy in some spots but it wasn't raining and the flowers were beautiful!

I think it was a little early cause the main field was still daffodils and the tulip fields were further back. Sharaya, Diana and Allie took the walk back there, but Chuck, Beth and I stayed in the garden areas where it wasn't so windy.

It's sorta becoming a tradition for us and I love it when we do things together. The whole family doesn't get out very often, but when it do, it's always so much fun!


Sharaya took these two on their walk out to the tulip fields.

 
A re-creation from a couple years ago.
Allie was not liking the wind this year.
 
 
 
 
On their way back from the tulip fields.
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Beth took this one of us. 

 
 
 
 
Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

She Might Cry Tonight But The Change Will Be Good

Beth works at Little Caesars two evenings a week. She folds boxes, sometimes 300-400 in a three hour span. She loves her job and the people she works with. The problem though, is that her job is about 45 minutes from our house. And that's on a good day.

There is usually SO much traffic, it's known as a bottleneck here in Seattle. When people hear you have to take that route to get somewhere, you'll hear moans and groans. It's a long, grueling trip and no one likes it.

Well, Beth has been taking that trip (riding the DART bus each way) for more than 2 years. Sometimes she's on the bus for 2 and a half hours each way which means she's gone from the house for sometimes 8 hours... for a 3 hour shift.

And the poor DART drivers! One night they dropped her off at home at 10:20! I asked the driver if he was headed home and he still had one more person to drop off! It makes for a long day for everyone.

Beth's job coach has been searching for a store closer to our home that would hire her to do the same job. Some stores are franchises and they don't have a position of 'box folder'; others don't have the hours to spare.

But today she found a store willing and able to take Beth! The same woman owns both stores, the one Beth is at now and the one she'll be going to and she was willing to hire her at this new place! She heard how beneficial Beth was and what great job she did, so she was willing to let her switch!

And... the new store is only about 15 minutes from our house. I'm so relieved.

I told Beth about it this morning over breakfast and she was sad at first. I could see her starting to tear up, but the more we talked about it, the more excited she got! She met this new manager a few weeks ago and when I told her K would be her new boss, she smiled and her eyes lit up.

She ended up making a card for everyone at the store tonight, then I printed off a picture of her in her uniform and we put it on the front. She wrote a beautiful sentiment inside and I expect she might cry as she leaves work for the last time.

But I know she's gonna love this new place. We plan to take her by the store tomorrow so she can see where it is and it won't be a big shock to her come next weekend. It's such a relief knowing she won't be so far away and she won't have to spend 6 hours on the bus!


 

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!