Wednesday, February 29, 2012


At our all night prayer meeting last Friday, we'd pray for an hour, then break for 30 minutes, then pray for an hour. Each pastor took one hour and would focus on a certain topic like families, government or our community. Microphones were set up so we could pray out loud if we wanted to and everyone could hear and agree with us in prayer.

Around the 3:00 hour one lady got up to pray and she was articulate and the inflection in her voice was amazing. I could have listened to L pray all night! During the break I got bold and went up to her and introduced myself. Something I rarely do.

I asked her if she had any kids and she said yes. She has a son with cerebral palsy.


L asked if I volunteered anywhere at church and I told her I taught a class for kids with special needs.


L told me that she's a single mom. She told me about when her son was diagnosed.

She asked if I had any kids and I told her my oldest has Down Syndrome.


Then her eyes got wide, "You understand!! You u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d!!"

We were definitely bonded by now. Then I told her about my second daughter Sharaya. L said she knew Sharaya.


L is good friends with Ryan's mom and they spent July 4th with L and her family.

Really?? (Sharaya showed us their July 4 pictures.)

Then L's eyes got wide again. "Beth is Sharaya's sister!!! Sharaya has talked about special needs and written about it on her blog but I never made the connection!"

I hope I've been able to portray the moment. It was just one of those meetings. Those 'chance' meetings that change your life. At the end of the prayer meeting, they served us breakfast and we sat with L and her mom. I've been thinking about L a lot. We're now friends on facebook and are talking about when we can get together again. She's such an amazing lady and I can't wait to get to know her better.

Monday, February 27, 2012

An Extra Day of Disney

Diana leaves tomorrow. Her plane takes off in just 10 hours. I can't believe this day is here already. She's been talking about it for quite a while now. She's planning to be gone for a couple weeks, or a couple months, she hasn't decided yet. She is however, spending the first 4 days in Florida, at Disney World.

For the first time in it's history, the Magic Kingdom will be open for 24 hours. And Diana plans to be there for every single one of them!! It's Leap Day and they're promoting it as an 'extra day of Disney to make all your dreams come true!'

I'm so jealous. Four glorious days at Disney World. Not to mention the heat and humidity of Florida. We were all there back in 2004 and we actually loved it. Not sure I'd like living in the humidity but for a week, it was heaven.

We have to be up at 3:00 AM so I should publish this post and get ready for bed! I'll keep you updated on her travels. I'd tell you about them now, but even she doesn't know. This is the first time she hasn't made reservations any where. On day 4 she'll wake up in Florida, then decide where she's going next!

I am going to miss her SO much! It's definitely not going to be the same around here without her. She really is the life of this house.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thirty Eight

Our church held a week of prayer and fasting this week. It began Monday and ended this morning. Chuck fasted food for the week but I didn't know what I was going to fast until Monday morning. I had the day off and was walking to the computer when I felt impressed that I was to fast the internet.

No blogging, no facebook, no pinterest, no For a week! I didn't realize just how many hours I spent on the internet each week.... until I stopped. It's been rather eye opening.

Last night our church ended the week with an all night prayer meeting. It began at 9 PM and ended at 6:00 this morning. We'd pray for an hour, then take a 30 minute break. They served juice, coffee, tea and water in the Commons (our gym), then it was back to the Sanctuary for prayer. At 6:00 we had breakfast, then headed home.

Most Saturdays are quiet for us, but today -
Chuck's Bible study at 9AM
Beth's choir rehearsal at 10:00
Bible study ended at 11:00
Chuck's doctor appt at 11:30
Choir rehearsal ended at 12:00

As long as I stayed busy today I was fine. But the minute I sat down, to eat or watch TV or get on the internet, I'd start to doze off. As of this writing, I've been awake for 38 hours. Staying awake all night gets harder as I get older!

I have so much to tell you:
Beth's job interview update
Visitors next month!
Fun packages in the mail!
A new friend I met today

But I can barely keep my eyes open so I'm going to bed. Of all the things I gave up this week, I missed all of you the most. I kept thinking about you and your kids and the milestones and hospital visits and broken hearts and I really had a hard time not logging on to find out how you were all doing.

I've missed you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Retired at 27

Beth had a working job interview on Thursday. I asked her how it went and she said, "Okay."

Now, I've read some of your blogs where you talk about your kids giving speeches or acting in plays. Beth is not like that at all. There are many days when she rarely speaks. When it comes to true conversation, it's difficult for her. You really have to coax it out of her, ask the right questions and be very patient for the answer.

So with an answer like 'okay', I began to ask her questions. We've also learned that Beth will answer with the last thing she heard. She's done this her entire life. I remember when she was really small and we'd ask her what she wanted to drink, milk or juice, "Juice." Juice or milk, "Milk." Just to be sure I once asked her if she wanted to go to the moon or go shopping, "Shopping." Shopping or the moon, "Moon."

So we have to be careful not to 'lead the witness' as they say. I asked her if she'd want to work at Marshalls and she said, "Maybe." If I ask her why, she just shrugs her shoulders. If I suggest something, like, did you like the person who trained you, she'll automatically say yes. I have to phrase the question in a way that forces her to think of an answer on her own. So the conversation went like this:

"Beth what was it about the store that makes you not want to work there?"

She thinks for a few minutes. "The people."

I think for a minute. "The people you worked with or the people who were shopping?"


"What didn't you like about the people who were shopping?"

After a while of this, I finally learned that she doesn't want to work at Marshalls because the shoppers get in the way of her doing her job. Okaaay. Hmm. Then she said she wants to work with books and music. I told her that she wouldn't be able to read the books or listen to the music, she'd have to orgainze them and clean them and work. She said that was okay.

She's been out of work for almost a year and actually seems to be doing okay. She stays busy during the week, her SSI each month covers her expenses, she probably doesn't need to work. I certainly wish I was in her shoes!!

But she says she wants to work. I think I'll talk to her job coach about the library. It has books and music!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


You might think that once your child becomes an adult and graduates from high school that the days of reaching milestones are over.


Recently Beth has mastered walking down stairs without holding on to the handrail. And not just 3 or 4 stairs at a time. I'm talkin' an entire flight of stairs, no hands.

I don't know when she started practicing this but I've noticed recently she'll pause at the top of the stairs. She instinctively raises her elbows for balance and away she goes!

Thump, thump, thump, thump all the way down! My heart races cause she gets faster and faster toward the bottom. I remind her to 'hang on' but she won't. You can tell she's proud of herself for this major accomplishment too! Scares me half to death!

Oh, and something else she recently started doing. When she laughs? She snorts. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cha Cha Cha Changes

I'm still having blogger issues as you can see. One day it will all come together. One day.

Diana leaves in about 2 weeks. She's going to Disney World for 4 days and then.... who knows? She's saved a good chunk of money, quit both of her jobs and is gonna travel. Maybe London, maybe Thailand, perhaps Africa.... she hasn't made up her mind yet. I'm just a little nervous not knowing where she'll be. She said she'll text me when she decides. :) She's so much more determined than I ever was. She says she gets nervous, but just faces it and achieves her goals. Amazing.

Sharaya and Ryan bought a new car. Their old car was on it's last legs and they were desperate for something better. This car is an automatic so now Sharaya can drive it. Ryan has been the sole driver for more than a year because their car was a stick shift and Sharaya didn't want to learn on such a poor vehicle. She could have burned the clutch pretty quickly. Their new car is a Ford Explorer.

Beth has a working interview on Thursday at Marshalls. Instead of sitting down to a traditional interview and answering questions about yourself (something Beth wouldn't be good at) she'll actually perform the duties and depending on how well she does, she'll be hired. Her interview is at 10:30 PST so if any of you are thinking about her around that time, please pray for her. She really wants to work.

Chuck filled out the Jury form telling them that she wouldn't be able to serve due to her having Down Syndrome. We received a post card in the mail today telling us that they have postponed her jury service date to give us time to get a note from her doctor.  Then we'll mail the docs to the courthouse. I may also include a copy of her WA State ID card.

Our church is going through some restructuring. Some of our departments are being eliminated and the work loads will be decreased. We're moving from a programmatic system to groups. We'll be creating multigenerational groups that build relationships and help disciple people into the church body. Right now we have about 2000 people on a Sunday and it's hard to make friends in a setting like that. With the groups, we'll become closer and be able to assist each other when the need arises. If someone in my group is moving, we'll be more likely to help rather than someone randomly calling the church office and asking if there is anyone willing to help.

I'm excited about the changes but that also means my job description will be changing. This week my boss asked me for a list of my duties and how long it takes me to do each task. Then he sent me an email saying not to worry, he just needs to know how much time I would have to work on the new database. If I haven't mentioned it before, we're getting a new database. Our 4th one in 6 years. To be honest I'm kind of excited. I absolutely love working with the database. I'm not skilled at creating new databases or reading a manual and figuring it out on my own, but when someone teaches me the basics, I can usually figure out the rest. I just love it.

Then Chuck sent me an email yesterday. He had just gotten out of a meeting where they were told they were going through a restructuring! There will be 47 jobs eliminated. Thank goodness his is not one of them. But it was close. There are about 200 employees in his group. Out of the 47 being eliminated, starting from the newest person hired and going up by seniority, he is number 53. And he's been there almost 17 years!

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meets at our church. One of the leaders stopped me the other day and said she was looking for speakers for one of the MOPS events. My name came to mind. Would I be willing to speak to the moms about special needs? She couldn't give me a topic or any ideas, she just felt I was to speak. I'm only aware of one MOPS mom that has a child with special needs. Never done anything like this before. I said yes. Gulp. I have until April to figure out what I'm going to talk about. I figure I'll open with Beth's birth. And then...... ?

Someone came into the church office yesterday and gave our receptionist a postcard. It's in invitation to a one day conference for people who want to start a ministry for people with special needs. Uh, yea! I'm just at the beginning stages but it consumes my thoughts. It's being hosted by Young Life. On the postcard was a picture of a large group of adults, some with special needs! I did some research and Young Life has a group called Capernaum. It's a Young Life group for, what looks like adults with special needs!! If it is (Young Life is usually just high school) I plan to talk to them when I go to the conference this week. This could be an answer to prayer for us. They meet just a mile from our house and it's biblically based. We love the group Beth is involved with now and she'll probably continue with them, but this will open an opportunity for her to make more friends both with special needs and those without, all worshiping the Lord and doing His work! I'm so excited about this and am hoping and praying it's for 'older' adults.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

You Can Lead A Horse To Water.....

I don't like the look of my blog. I don't know if it's because I put green borders around the pictures (I tried to change it but it wouldn't let me) or if it just looks too boxy, I don't know. I haven't been writing much cause I just don't like it.

I found a new template yesterday that I love and it looked pretty simple to apply. "Copy and paste, it's that easy!" But when I right clicked, I didn't have the 'copy' option. There was a 'select all' so I tried that but it changed the format and wouldn't save. I spent 45 mintues on that thing, but nothing worked. So frustrating.

I thought maybe getting some new pictures of Beth would help. We've had gorgeous weather in Seattle this week, sunny skies and temps in the high 50s. I thought it would be a perfect time to take some pictures. I went downstairs and asked Beth if we could do another photo shoot. She said okay.

I came upstairs and grabbed my camera. Went out to the backyard and set up a couple of places to take pictures. Brought out a chair, cleaned off the bench in the garden.... no Beth. I went back downstairs and she was taking out her headband. Interesting. She always wears a headband. Oh well.

She finally gets to the back door and s.l.o.w.l.y comes down the steps. I asked her if she wants to stand next to the tree or sit on the bench.


She then s.l.o.w.l.y walks over to the bench.

"Okay Beth ready? One, two, three."

"Come on Beth, smile!"

"Beth, come on. Think of Dad's birthday coming up or something fun!"

"You really don't want to do this, do you?"

Sigh. I guess I'll try again another day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

You Passed!

You know Beth is in the youth choir at church. Well, there's a member of the adult choir who comes and helps the kids with tone and pitch and just being able to sing their parts.

He told Chuck and I the other night that he's been teasing Beth. When he's there, he'll make fun comments to her and will joke around with her.

We had no idea. Beth doesn't talk to us about stuff like this!

He told us that on Sunday he was walking through the foyer and Beth was coming the other way. He didn't say anything to her but as they passed each other, she reached out and kind of hit him on the leg with the back of her hand. He said, "Hey!" and looked back at her. She had a huge smile on her face and kind of shrugged in a shy sort of way.

It made his day!

Chuck told him, "Your IN! You have passed the test and you're accepted!"