Monday, August 29, 2011

The First - It's Like A Holiday Around Here

It's almost the 1st. Almost time to flip our calendars. In our house, it's celebrated like a major holiday.

A few days before the first, any first, Beth begins to remind us, "Omos time to flip our calendar!" She knows that she gets paid the first of each month. Her money, SSI is deposited directly into her account so she doesn't see it. But she knows it's there! :)

She gets about $600 a month from SSI. (Supplemental Security Income) Each month we have to report her income (Chuck does this) so they can adjust her payments. Did you know she's not allowed to have more than $2000 in the bank? If she does, she looses her SSI payments. I don't know if that's state or federal law, (it's federal) but it doesn't make sense to me. I can understand $30,000 or some huge amount, but $2000? It just seems like a small number. How does she save up for anything? Vacations? Large ticket items like a refrigerator or a TV?

Anyway, Beth does pay rent. We started having her pay rent a few years ago. It's only about $300 a month, but it helps with water, food, electricity, etc.

She used to have a lot more spending money but now that she's not working, we give her $20 each Saturday for breakfast at church on Sundays and bowling on Tuesdays, then the rest she can spend however she wants. Occasionally she'll have enough money left over at the end of the month to take us all bowling or to the movies or wherever. She loves that! We do too, actually. :)

Flipping our calendars also means clipping toe nails, changing her bed. (I know some of you might be grossed out thinking she only changes it once a month, but life gets SO busy and flipping our calendars is just a good marker for us.)

I also try to sit down with Beth and we go over the coming months activies. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. Just so she's not totally surprised by anything. Of course it's also a great opportunity to work on handwriting, speech... do we ever stop parenting?! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011


Beth won her first Special Olympics Medal when she was 9. I've been wanting to display all her medals but wasn't sure how. Over the years we've looked at bulletin boards and special frames. We finally decided on a shadow box!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rewind Wednesday

I've kept a journal for each of my girls since they were just a few months old. I wrote about when they learned to ride a bike, their friends, favorite teachers, etc. This is a journal entry for Beth just before she turned two.

September 2, 1986

Hi Beth,

You are almost two (next month) and really advancing! You love to walk but still won't do it alone. You walk pushing your bike all over the apartment complex. You use furniture, walls, you even walk holding on to just one of our hands! You are learning!

Mommy and Daddy are trying to prepare you for a brother or sister. Mommy is going to have a baby in a couple of weeks. You don't seem real interested, but we're making it an every day thing. We have the bassinet and playpen out all the time. We took you to the hospital yesterday to see all the babies but you seemed more interested in talking to the nurses!
I love you so much!
Love, Mommy

These pictures were taken in August, 1986, the journal entry was in September and Beth began walking regularly on her own in October. She worked at it for months, but finally, when the time was right for her, she did it! It's amazing the celebrations that occur when the milestones are reached. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Rare Night at the Mall

Beth and I went to the mall the other night. I parked by a store that's in the middle of the mall, something I rarely do. (I always park at one end of the mall, the same end every time. There's a parking garage, plus at the end of the shopping spree, I don't have to wonder where I parked!) We went in and walked 1/2 the mall, to Payless Shoe Store and each bought some shoes! She got some black tennis shoes with thick soles and solid sides to them. Beth has flat feet and always needs to wear good, solid shoes that support her feet and ankles. I bought brown flats that are the exact same color as a new pair of pants. I love it when that happens!

She then wanted a CD so we walked the entire length of the mall to FYE. She found a CD that she doesn't have yet (another rare thing - a CD that she doesn't own!) and we started the walk back. Of course we stopped at Auntie Annes for a small root beer. She bought her own and when she ordered, she looked right at the cashier and boldy gave him her order! I was very impressed.

We made a pit stop at the Disney Store. She didn't find anything she wanted. Another rare thing! :)

Finally headed out to the car. Her back hurt from all that walking she but did great! We had a fun night.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Have Ya Ever Noticed....

Have ya ever noticed that when you decide to update the blog, you have to read everyone elses posts first? Before ya know it, two hours have gone by and you haven't even signed in yet?!

Our family is gearing up for a big vacation next month. For those who have been reading a while, you know we love road trips. Well, next month we are driving to Colorado to visit Chucks mom and sister, then to San Diego to visit my family, then stopping at Disneyland on our way home. Except this time, there will be 7 of us... in our 7 passenger van. We've never done that before. There's a 21 month old in a car seat and three of us get car sick. I'm stocking up on the Dramamine.

This last weekend we took a mini trip, all 7 of us up to Camano Island. It was about an hours drive from our house.... and we did great! Stopped at a small park on the way home to let everyone get out and stretch. The entire trip lasted about 4 hours. Now we're even more excited about next month! Only 22 days!!




It was a very cool park and everyone had fun!




Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I took Beth to the doctor on Monday and everything looks good. She heard every sound and the doctor even said she's hearing better then most young adults her age. As we age we lose hearing below the 20 decibel level but Beth even heard at 15. She was very impressed.

They put some wax softening drops in her ear then used a syringe to wash out her ear. They had a book called The Body in the room so I was able to show Beth a picture of her ear, along with the inner ear and explain exactly what they were doing. It helped tremendously.

I've been really concerned with Beth's weight lately. She's put on 20 pounds since Christmas!! We're trying to change her eating habits, talking to her about snacking too much. She told me, "I know. I talk to myself about it. No more snack." "Great Beth! That's a very good decision!" We're buying lots of fruit this summer and we always have yogurt, bananas and oranges in the house. Year round. She loves grapes so I try to keep some in the fridge and she knows if she does have a snack, that's what she eats. She used to eat frozen waffles or pancakes for breakfast every morning, with lots of syrup but now she has cheerios almost every day. With no sugar. This morning she was nervous about missing her bus so she just had a yogurt and a cheese stick. She's doing better in  alot of areas, but when she was at the doctor on Monday, she had gained 4 pounds!
One piece of good news, the social group she's a part of, All Aboard was offering an adaptive P.E. class and when I called to sign her up, was told that the teacher had to back out. But then yesterday Beth brought home a paper that said they've found a new P.E. teacher and the class is on again, beginning next month. Thank you Jesus.
Before puberty Beth was as skinny as a rail! But then the weight began to increase. Even though she stayed active, she easily gained weight.
I've been trying to give her things to do at home. She's busy every day this week with bowling or meetings with her job class, the doctor appointment, job hunting. But when she is home, I usually ask her to vacuum, empty the dishwasher or even just walk on the treadmill. I make a list for her and put it on the counter. I came home from work one day and found everything crossed off the list, but none of it done!! I was a stay-at-home mom for 18 years and loved it. Since I've gone back to work, I can't monitor her as much as I'd like.

She wants to sit and write and watch tv. She loves to write. She writes when she's not watching tv. She writes lists of names over and over and over. Dozens of pieces of paper. She no longer throws them on the floor thank goodness and is now at least putting them in the trash, but I'm afraid of what her future is going to look like if we don't get her weight under control.

Chuck's side of the family is obese. His dad died when he was 3 and his mom developed agoraphobia. She didn't get off the couch for 10 years. And my side is all overweight so Beth needs to work harder to just maintain an average weight. She does have hyperthyroidism but that usually means weight loss, not weight gain.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In the Middle of Our Timeline

This was the front of our wedding invitation. Chuck and I met on July 4, 1981. We had been hanging out in the same young singles group but hadn't really noticed each other. Then on July 4th we were invited to a party and across the room Chuck was talking about the songs he wanted in his wedding. I thought, 'Hmm, that song would be nice in a wedding.' 

We started dating that night. About 6 weeks later he proposed. But it wasn't a romantic, down on one knee kind of proposal. We were standing out on the porch of my apartment. (I lived with my mom.) It was 3 in the morning. And as I remember it, it was a ,"Sooo, you wanna get married?" kind of question.

I told him I had to think about it. Ouch, I know.  But it was all happening too soon! I had only known him for a few weeks and he was already asking me to spend the rest of my life with him! He called the next day and my official answer was "I guess so." I know, I know! But it wasn't a 'I guess I'll marry you', it was a "I guess I'll marry you now." Everything was happening so fast!

I knew we were supposed to be married. I felt the Lord speak to me about Chuck a few weeks prior. He had come over to our house and we sat at the kitchen table talking. And talking. For hours we talked about our childhoods, our families and our futures. At the end of that evening when he left I told my mom, "Thats the man I'm gonna marry!" When Chuck left, his impression was, "Well, she's cute." :)

 August 14, 1982 we said "I do." We celebrate 29 years tomorrow. Some days it seems like I'm still getting to know him. But most of the time I can't remember my life without him. We've had our ups and downs for sure but have stayed strong through it all. We've made a choice to be married. We only made that choice once. It's not something we decide to do today, then change our minds tomorrow. We believe marriage is for life.

I've always seen marriage as a timeline. At the beginning is the wedding and the end of the marriage only comes with death. In between there are lots of things that will happen during that marriage. Babies, moving, buying cars, yard work, friendships, car accidents, flat tires, broken washing machines.... lots of things will happen during the marriage. But under no circumstances should you let anything happen TO the marriage. Go through it all together, holding hands or standing with arms crossed. Do it together. The fighting, the mourning, the laughing. Do it together. You won't find a better ally than your spouse. Some days you may not feel that way but those days pass. They always pass.

Twenty nine years. You always hear people say, "I love him more now than I did when we first got married." But it's really true for me. I loved him then because I knew he was the one the Lord created for me. I love him now because I've gotten to know him. His gentle spirit, his faithfulness and his kind heart. (He bought me these flowers yesterday.) He's an amazing man.


Happy Anniversary Chuck! I love you!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Sharaya's at work and Allie is taking a nap so I thought it would be a good time to update the blog.

A few months ago I had Beth into the doctor for a physical. The doctor did a quick hearing test and it wasn't good. At first she (the nurse) did Beth's left ear. "Raise your hand every time you hear a sound." After a few seconds Beth started raising her hand.

Then the right ear. We sat there for a full minute when the nurse asked, "You really don't hear any of that?" I made an appointment for a hearing test. The doctor wants to see Beth again first to make sure it's not just a wax buildup. That appointment is next week.

Do any of you watch the show Switched at Birth? It's about two families that had their babies on the same day but the hospital sent them home with the other families child. Now, 17 years later the mistake is revealed and the two families are trying to cope with it all. One child, however developed a fever as a 3 year old and is deaf.

Sharaya and Diana both took American Sign Language in school and Diana even hung around the 'deafies' (as she calls them) for a while. Switched has a lot of deaf culture in it and has even referred to them as 'deafies'. We love how the show is made because when two or more people who are deaf are having a conversation, all sound stops. You don't hear the cars or the other people. They try to put you in their world, so to speak.

All of that to say, one of the main actors is deaf, but she does talk. And her speech.... reminds me a lot of Beth's speech. Sort of nasaly and doesn't pronounce every letter. (No disrespect intended, just trying my best to describe it.) Anyway, with watching Switched every week and hearing the nurses concern about Beth's hearing, I'm a little anxious to get this test done!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

'Bird' Watching

Every once in a while I'll go out to the backyard, settle into my lawn chair and do a little 'bird' watching. We happen to have Seatac Airport to the South and the Boeing Manufacturing plant to the North. There are always planes flying over our house. Here in Seattle you always see float planes. Their sputtering sound is a dead giveaway.

There are helicopters and private jets.

And every once in a while, you get that spectacular look at the amazing! This weekend was Seafair. Hydroplane races, the Blue Angels, wakeboarding contests. This afternoon I heard that familiar low rumble. I grabbed my camera.... and suddenly a huge 747-8 flew overhead. Barely overhead!! This thing was so low, it was incredible!! And there was a tracer plane taking publicity shots! This is the brand new 747-8 series! It's beautiful! 

It circled over our house a couple times (the first time, my adrenalin was pumping so hard I didn't get the settings correct on the camera!) then I heard that low rumble again. I don't know why I get so excited about low flying planes. I think it's their size and the fact that they're in the air. Just amazing! They were doing fly overs for Seafair, giving everyone a good look at the newest plane. 

One time while we still lived in San Diego, Chuck and I bought sub sandwiches, then he drove to Lindberg Field and we sat in the car and ate at the end of the runway! Heaven!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

As Far as Beth is Concerned, It's Etched in Stone

Beth, Diana and Allison were in the back yard writing with chalk.
Hmm, I wonder what Beth drew? :)

Nick Jonas, of course!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This Can't Be Good... Or Can It?

Beth goes bowling every Tuesday from 10:00 - 12:00. She's gone from the house from about 9 AM - 1 PM. I work on Tuesdays and am home for lunch around noon. While I was home today, Beth called.

"Mom. It happen again."

(Oh no, this can't be good.)
"What happened Beth?"

"I step on my glasses."

"Oh no! Did they break?"


One Mississippi
Two Mississippi
Three Mississippi....
Seven Mississippi

"Are you still able to wear them Beth?"


Well, she was at the bowling alley and I was at home so there was nothing I could do until later. When I got home she explained how she had put them on the arm of the couch when she went in to wash her face. When she came back out, she didn't see that they had fallen on the floor, obviously because... she wasn't... wearing her.... anyway, crunch. She stepped on them.


She then picked up the two pieces, got the scotch tape (lots of scotch tape) and 'repaired' her glasses! Woohoo!! She wore them to the bowling alley and was just fine! When I got home from work, we went back to the eyeglass store and he reattached the arm and they were good as new!

As we were walking back to the car, she flipped her hair back like she was a famous celebrity walking the red carpet and said, "Whew! That much better!"

I love this girl!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sometimes There's Nothing Worth Buying

While my sisters were here in June (I can't believe it's August already!) we did some shopping at a thrift store. I love thrift store shopping! Sometimes there's nothing worth buying and other times... well let me show you what I bought!

I walked by it once, ran my fingers over the fabric and looked at the lines of the wood. The fabric reminded me of some furniture my grandma used to own.

I kept browsing but couldn't stop thinking about it. My sister came over and when I showed her she told me if I didn't buy it she would. I looked at the price but thought it was probably wrong. I knew an employee was coming by any minute to put on the correct price. We asked someone about it and he told us they had just put it out on the floor and he didn't expect it to stay there long.

So I bought it. My sister stood guard while I searched for an employee. He took it to the back room to hold it for me until we could come back with a bigger vehicle.

Wanna see it?

I absolutely love the fabric. And it's in great condition!

I did have to use some wood glue on a couple of the connecting ends. I still haven't polished it or cleaned the wood yet. But it's strong, I've sat on it a few times.

I am so in love with this bench!! Still not sure where I'm going to put it. Right now it's just sort of in the corner of the livingroom. You know how much I paid for it? Only $15!!