Wednesday, July 25, 2012


There hasn't been a lot happening around here this week.

Work has been crazy for both Chuck and I. We come home exhausted and dazed but thankfully Diana has been doing all the cooking lately! Last night we had chicken strips rolled in croissant biscuits, roasted potatos and baby carrots with this amazing glaze of brown sugar and... I forget what all's in it but it was SO good! Thank you Diana!

Ryan and Sharaya celebrate their 4th Anniversary this week. They are going to Leavenworth, a small Bavarian type town not far from us. We'll keep Allie overnight, then Ryan's mom will take her the next day. Doesn't seem like all that wedding planning was 4 years ago! Today they're just another typical American family. Congratulations Sharaya and Ryan! We love you guys!

Beth... I'm seriously wondering if she might be color blind. Today Beth wore the most interesting outfit to karaoke and art class. I took her shopping a few weeks ago and she got some new pants and shirts. I've seen her wear one shirt one time. The rest of the time she wears the same 3 or 4 outfits. Old outfits. This morning I asked her why she wasn't wearing her new clothes and she gave me the answer she always gives to every question, a shoulder shrug and "I dunno." "Yes you do Beth, why haven't you been wearing your new clothes?" (I'm racking my brain trying to remember what she said and for the life of me I can't remember.)

She decided to go downstairs and change. I was wondering what she was going to wear, maybe the gray pants and red shirt? Or the orange pants and brown shirt... then she came around the corner. She was wearing the orange pants, a purple shirt and a neon pink jacket.


I mentioned to her that it was supposed to be 80 degrees out today and she probably wouldn't need the jacket. So back downstairs she went. Came back up - still wearing the jacket - but under it she had changed into a dark purple polo with no sleeves. I love my daughter but she looked like a bowl of sherbet!

It's times like this I don't know if I should put my foot down and dress her myself or just let her go as is.

Today she went as is. I hope she doesn't melt.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fun Photo Friday - Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

This is Diana's dog, Sugar. She loves to ride in the car! All you have to do is jiggle your keys and she beats you to the door!

Have a great weekend!
Hope you get a chance to let your fur fly!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Both Sides of the Door

She took a breath, looked at her son across the room and asked, "Is this a class for kids with special needs?"

When everybody comes, we have 8 kids in our Sunday school class. Six of them are boys, all with autism. One of the kids has been coming for almost a year and his dad brings him each week. His son, A, has adapted well to our class and is making friends with the other boys.

A few weeks ago mom brought him to church. As they came to the door, mom asked why A was in this room. Why wasn't he in his regular classroom? I was caught off guard and stumbled over my words. I tried to explain that our room allowed for more one on one interaction with the kids. She said she wanted her son to be with a lot of other kids and I told her that her son had made friends in here.

She said she wanted her son in worship time with the large group and I mentioned that we occasionally go to worship. She said our class wasn't acceptable and she took her son out.

I was stunned and way out of my element. That afternoon I confessed to the Lord, "I have no idea what I'm doing!!"

Then I saw myself standing at the door of Beth's classroom when she was in school. I didn't like the classroom the school had put her in. I wanted more for her. I fought for Beth to have what was best for her. That's all A's mom was doing. She was just fighting for him.

She wasn't being difficult. She was fighting for her son. The exact same place I'd been in so many times in my life. I've stood on that side of the door and asked those same questions.

I saw myself on both sides of that door. Wanting to explain how her son was thriving in our class yet knowing she wanted so much more for him. Her mother's heart was stunned to learn we had placed her son in a class for kids with special needs. She stood there, shocked at this new revelation.

They're from another country and English is their second language. It's difficult to communicate with them and I don't know what their home life is like. I felt for her though. I had flashbacks to when I was standing at the door talking with the teacher. Yet here I was, the teacher, trying to explain our decision to place him here.

For a couple of weeks, mom brought him to worship and sat with him in the other class. Because of my interaction with her, I knew I wanted to make some changes in our room. So yesterday when his dad dropped him off, I remembered his moms heart. I took him into worship. We arrived a few minutes early and hung out in the main room with the other kids. There were probably 50 kids playing foosball, doing puzzles and A just walked back and forth by himself. He didn't talk to anyone and no one talked to him.

During worship he sat by himself and didn't sing. Part way through, one of our teachers and a few of the other kids from our class came in and after worship the 5 of us left. As we walked down the hallway, one of the boys J, put his arm around A and they walked together to our class.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can You Hear the People Sing?

We've been so busy lately I haven't had a chance to update. I finally got a few minutes this afternoon and realized I had never even uploaded the pictures from my camera! Yes, my phone is that old. I still take pictures with a camera! Remember those?! :)

July Fourth - we dropped Beth off at All Aboard. Did I tell you they were in the Everett parade again this year? They arrived early to decorate the truck.

Like most parades, there were nice cars, old tractors and drill teams.




But the best part.... was All Aboard!!

The audience clapped and cheered for those kids! Made me cry happy tears!

Beth is in the center of the picture with a red shirt around her waist.


Later that afternoon, Ryan and Sharaya came over so Allie could play with popits, those little white firecracker things that pop when you throw them on the ground. Do you guys have those? Anyway, Allie loves her popits!!


We then walked onto the Edmonds Ferry so we could see the fireworks up and down Puget Sound. It was a beautiful night, extreemly cold but beautiful! The moon rose and was so huge it seemed like it could be a super moon. People were taking pictures of that, rather than the fireworks!

The Olympic Mountains. These are west of where we live.


Mount Baker is about 120 miles to the north.

And then on July 5th.....



It was such a great production. And I'm proud to say, Beth didn't sing out loud this time! She did do some of the motions from the 10th Anniversary concert we have on video, but no loud singing! At least until we got into the car. Then she put on her headphones and belted out the songs at the top of her lungs!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - Faith and Down Syndrome

This is my first Blog Hop! The question to answer is:

How has your faith influenced the framework within which you view / experience disability? How has that faith lens affected your perspective?

A great question. For me, my faith is everything. Websters Dictionary defines faith as: trust; confidence; to remain loyal; the virtue by which a Christian believes in the revealed truths of God. (Wow! Websters says that?!)

I am a Christian and I believe in the truths of God. I believe the little baby in the manger that we celebrate each December 25 was (is) the Son of God. I believe He was born of the virgin Mary, suffered, and died on a cross to redeem mankind. I believe God created a perfect world. He created man to have fellowship with Himself.

When Adam and Eve sinned, it changed the world God had created. It separated us from God. The world as we now know it is corrupt, evil and greedy. Everything God is not. I have faith in God because He has proven Himself faithful. When this world throws the worst at me, God has been there to comfort me and bring joy back into my life. When I'm the one messing up, God is there to forgive and accept me, just as I am. He never gives up on me. He loves me so much, He was willing to be flogged, beaten and hung on a cross just to reconcile me to the Father.

I am no longer separated from God but can come directly to Him, speak to Him, pray to Him. I believe He wants the very best for me. For all of us. That's why He created us, to have a relationship with Him.

When we found out Beth had Down Syndrome, we were in shock. We were overwhelmed. I was trying to remember what I had learned about chromosomes in biology class. When Chuck went home that first night he layed in bed and asked the Lord, "Did I do something wrong?? Why is this happening to us??" Then John 9:1 came to mind. Chuck wasn't thinking about what scripture would work in this situation, he was a little angry! He was stunned! He wanted answers! So when this verse came to mind, he knew it was the Lord speaking to him.

John 9:1 - As he (Jesus) went along he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be revealed in his life."

Chuck shared this with me the next morning at the hospital and we both knew that the Lord had a plan for Beth. We didn't have a plan! Not even close! Beth having Down Syndrome was from out of left field. No one in either of our families had a disability. But we had faith in the Lord and HE said, this happened so God could be revealed.

He had been faithful to us every single day before the day Beth was born so we could trust His promise that He would be revealed through Beth. And God has been revealed. The Lord has shown me so much of His character through Beth. He has shown me that Beth looks at the heart of a person, just like the Lord does. Beth doesn't care about your shoes and neither does the Lord. But she does care if you're kind, if you're respectful. She notices your heart, exactly like the Lord.

And He's been faithful every day since. Has it all been perfume and roses? Not even close!! But on those days that I'm at the end; when I just don't want to do it anymore, He's there for me. He uses my family, the Bible, His creation to bring me joy and contentment.

How has my faith, my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ influenced the way I view disability?

It has brought me peace. It has reminded me that there is a plan and that everything's going to be okay.