Saturday, September 28, 2013

This Is What You Miss When You Don't Make It To The Fair

Every year the All Aboard program submits art work to the Evergreen State Fair. We've gone a few times and I've shared about them on here.

This year we ended up not going, with sickness and family issues and such, we just didn't make it.

And wouldn't you know it... she won first place!!

I don't know if you can see the texture in this -

Their art teacher S is phenomenal and uses so many mediums with the kids. I guess next year we'll make more of an effort to get to the fair.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Okay, Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Daughter?!

We found out where Beth is thriving! At work!

In Washington State, when your child turns 18 and has completed all the requirements of their IEP they get to graduate, but they don't leave the school system. They leave the high school and move to a transitional program that taught them how to fill out a job application, there were cooking classes, they helped families with guardianship, finding vocational services... it really was a great program. They introduced us to so many government services I didn't realize we would need. Then when they reach 21, they officially leave the school system and everything transfers over to the state.

One of the services we use is Washington Vocational Services. (It's paid for with funding from the state.) They meet with each family and figure out what your child (now young adult!) likes to do and researches job opportunities. They provide each client with a job coach and the two of them go job hunting. It removes the responsibility from mom and dad and I know for Beth, she was more willing to work with someone other than us. :) The job coach goes to work with them, and makes sure they're doing the job correctly. They do this until the client can do the job on their own, then the job coach just occasionally checks in with them. (If the manager has a question or a situation arises with the client, they call the job coach, not mom or dad.) I think it's a wonderful system!

Yesterday we had our annual meeting with her job coach and oh. my. word. I walked out of there SO encouraged!!

Beth started working at Little Caesars Pizza about 5 months ago and her job coach 'K' told me that they adore her there! The employees are protective of her and will get angry at the DART drivers if they happen to come late... they are always asking Beth if she's okay, if she needs anything... and she just eats it up!!

She works 2 nights a week, 3 hours a night and her job is folding boxes. They come flattened in a package of 50. She carries them over to the counter, unwraps the plastic wrapping, puts labels on each box, then folds them. When she first started there, the goal was 2 stacks a night. They told me yesterday that the goal now is 6 stacks!! She unwraps, labels, folds and stacks more than 250 boxes in just 3 hours! That's amazing! When I was telling Chuck and Diana last night, Diana said, "Wow! She really hustles at work! So she's just been fooling us at home, huh?" :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Learning to Embrace It

You've all encouraged me so much with your comments on my post Wall Flower.

"Not everyone can be famous or own their own restaurant." I know this in my heart. The Lord has a purpose for each one of us. He created Beth for a specific reason and we've got to seek Him to find out what that is. I have to remember to not compare my kids with others.

"Some people are introverts." Chuck is the social butterfly in our family. Sharaya can also be pretty social but the rest of us? All introverts. If given a choice of staying home or going out, I always choose home. I usually have to force myself to go out with a group of people. It's not that I don't like people, I just get uncomfortable; what do I do with my hands?? What do I say...?? I'm just nervous around people I don't know very well. And I realize Beth is the same way.

I've read that saying before about 'someone has to sit on the curb and wave as I go by'. :) That really is true. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go 'round.

Beth is happy with her life. She really is. As I write this, I can hear her downstairs laughing loudly at the show she's watching. She's happy and content. I know many people who aren't.

We really have a wonderful life. Nothing extreme, nothing extravagant, but comfortable and happy.

One thing we've been able to do is travel. And when we travel, we like to buy coffee mugs. We have mugs from the Grand Canyon, New York, San Diego, The Canadian Rockies. We even bought mugs when we saw Les Miserables' and Phantom of the Opera in live theater.

And you know which mug Beth has been using lately? The one I got at Kennedy Space Center...

When we make hot tea, she'll grab this cup, say out loud, "I need my space!" then promptly head downstairs. And I'm learning to be okay with that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Falling Apart

I've been fairly healthy my whole life, but since I turned 50, I've been falling apart at the seams. In the last two years I've had pneumonia for the first time; I've had my first migraine, my first biopsy and today, my first MRI. My legs have ached deep inside for more than a year now and my doctor thinks I either have arthritis in my spine... or nerve damage. Getting old is a pain in the butt.

Now for the rest of the family -

Ryan is in detox again. I think this is his 3rd time. From talking to others that have been through this, being in detox numerous times is common. It's really taking a toll on his family and we're all praying that THIS is the key that sets him free from his drug use. Sharaya is under so much stress. Oh Lord we need a miracle.

Chuck and I took Allie to the park last week. She's growing and changing so fast. And she's saying things that surprise us. Her latest is "Shimmy Shakes." It makes me think of the movie Enchanted cause I hear it in Amy Adams voice. :)

Chuck and I also went to a high school football game last Friday. It was actually mild outside and the sunset was gorgeous! Of course, I forgot my camera. Our phones are so old and don't take good pictures. We don't even get the internet. In fact, when I pulled mine out to send a text, our friend M started laughing at us! The ironic part is, Chuck works for the phone company!! We had planned to get new phones last January but then my hours were cut at work... oh well, one of these days we'll upgrade.

Beth starts Special Olympics bowling this weekend. We're having to coordinate her DART bus between bowling and work. I'm not sure how it's gonna work this year, bowling starts at 2:30 and she has to be at work at 5:00. Her job is about 40 minutes north so she may only be able to bowl one game before her bus comes to take her to work. We'll try it this weekend and see how it goes.

There's so much going on. So much more I could write, but Allison will be waking up soon and I still have some housework to do.

I guess I was more nervous about the MRI this morning than I thought because I locked my keys in the car. For the first time. Sharaya and Diana came to my rescue.

To be honest, I'm probably gonna just go read for a while. :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our Very Own Merida!

Sharaya and Allie came over for a while today and Diana got out her bow and arrow. Allie played with it for the longest time and she was getting pretty good at it! We all laughed when she yelled, "Curse this dress!" :)


Monday, September 2, 2013


I just re-read some of my posts and they've been a little sad lately. Sorry about that.

We've had a really good weekend. For the first time in months, Chuck didn't have to work. We had 4 days together and it was awesome! We didn't really do much, but even while we just watched TV, we'd hold hands and talk. It was exactly what I needed. On Sunday we drove down to Federal Way (about 30 minutes from here) to the Black Bear Diner for lunch. We love that place! We usually only go there when we're on vacation but when we found out they opened one near us we knew we were in trouble! Our favorite thing on the menu? Their biscuits! Diana took this picture, these biscuits are huge. At least 5" tall by 4" across. I'm not kidding! SO yummy!

Diana went to a friends cabin over the weekend. When she got home she told us about how they went out on the row boat but no one knew how to row so they kind of got stranded. She talked about how gorgeous the cabin was, how the owner just kept feeding them. Sounds like she really had a good time!

Sharaya, Ryan and Allie went camping with their small group. I think this might have been the first time Allie slept in a tent! They borrowed our blow up mattress but I haven't heard how it went. (I stole these pictures from their facebook pages.) :)

Except for when we went out to lunch on Sunday, Chuck, Beth and I stayed close to home this weekend. Just the way we like it.