Wednesday, October 30, 2013

She's Taking A Stand

I had a post planned for today but instead I spent the day with Sharaya. We moved Ryan from one shelter to another. He has continued to lie to her and steal from her to buy drugs so she told him to leave.

Tonight he's in a homeless shelter and he's terrified. Of course he called Sharaya and blamed her for it.

The only man she's ever loved has been mentally and emotionally abusive to her and she's taking a stand.

And she's hurting.

Lots of anger today.

Lots of tears.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Bluff

Sharaya and Diana took us to The Bluff last weekend. A beautiful spot overlooking Puget Sound. There were so many leaves! It was cold but we had such a great time. I'd love to go there for every season of the year!




If it seems like we were on the edge of a cliff, it's because we were.
I would get so nervous when they'd get too close to the edge.
You can barely tell from this picture but Sharaya is gripping Allisons leg. :)

It was so beautiful though!!

And so much fun!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Duke and Duchess

All of our girls graduated from the same high school, in 2004, 2005 and 2009, and last night Chuck and I went to the Homecoming football game.

A few years ago they started a program called Sparkles, where some of the girls from the life skills class can try out for and become cheerleaders. Beth was in the Life skills class while she attended there but they never had anything like this! It was great to see all the cheerleaders on the sidelines, then lining up for the team as they ran off the field at halftime. Then all the cheerleaders stood in line and held the giant banner as the team ran back onto the field after halftime. It was just nice to see the school accepting them and including them in their activities.

When Beth attended there, the Life skills class was rarely, if ever, invited to assemblies or class activities. Beth wasn't in the Senior group photo for the yearbook, they didn't take part in Spirit Week, it was really sad. I asked the teacher about it a couple times but was always told that the kids didn't want to do it, or that it was too difficult to take some of the kids out of class and still have enough help in the class... I don't know, I always thought those were just excuses.

Last night they announced the Royal Court and the Homecoming King and Queen. Then the announcer said, "And for the first time ever, we'd like to introduce, from our Life skills class, the Homecoming Duke and Duchess ..." Oh my word! I thought that was amazing!

This school, who for years would barely acknowledge kids who had special needs, is now making changes. They are realizing that people with special needs are people too and they DO want to be included.

The Duke and Duchess. I thought that was awesome.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Did You Expect?

What did you expect after a week of birthdays... except birthday pictures? :)

The day before Sharaya's birthday, while she was at work, Ryan helped us sneak our treadmill over to their house (we never use it) and set it up in their living room. She was very excited! 

She wanted to see the movie Gravity so we all went and saw it in IMAX 3D. Wow! Chuck and I bought a box of Good N Plenty but we never did eat them because there just wasn't a good spot in the movie to open them! The entire thing was so intense and I kept having to remind myself to breathe!

After the movie, we went to their house for cake and presents.

Beth wanted pizza for her birthday dinner, then for all of us to go bowling. It had been a long time since we've been bowling together and I had forgotten how fun it was.

Then back here for her cake and presents.

And now for the pictures...

Sharaya wanted a turn table but didn't expect to get one!

 Beth got her an album of one of her favorite bands.

Chuck putting our names into the computer.

 I have pictures of each of us bowling...
bowling isn't a glamorous sport. :)
So I'll just show you the pictures of Allison.

 This kid's got style!

Waiting for the ball return.

And this is where my camera battery died. 
Beth ended up with some paper and markers, a movie and lots of gift cards. She loves gift cards and asks for them every year. She makes birthday shopping so easy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Back When A Gallon Of Gas Was $1.21

Back when Ronald Reagan was President...
When a postage stamp cost only 20 cents...
When the Dow Jones high was just 1,287...
When the national debt was a mere $1.5 trillion...

Back in 1984...

On October 10...

Chuck and I had our first child.

We named her Elizabeth Meigan.

She was an easy baby. Slept through the night in the hospital; fussed only when she was hungry or wet... listening to other moms I knew I had it good!

Beth was born in the 10th month, on the 10th day, at exactly 10:00 at night. Pretty special, I think! She has taught me so much over the years, most importantly how to care for the really important things. It doesn't matter what you wear, what color hair you have, if your ears are pierced or not. What does matter is your heart and how you treat people. Do you arrive on time? Do you show respect to those around you? Are you helpful? Those things make a difference in our society and I hope I do as good a job as Beth does.

We love you so much Beth! Happy 29th Birthday! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sweety Bear

It was 27 years ago today that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. We already had one baby and to be honest, I didn't know how I could love another one. But then I looked into her sweet, innocent face.

I fell head over heels in love with her! She was perfect. A perfect little nose, a little chin, I adored everything about her. And she was such an easy baby; she slept through the night even while we were still in the hospital; she only fussed if she was hungry or wet. This kid was a breeze!

As she began to grow she learned everything so quickly, was always happy and nothing really bothered her. Except her sisters, of course. One of her key phrases became, "Mom! She's boooothering me!" The more drawn out the bother was, the more they were really bothering her! I guess it's tough being the big sister. :)

When Sharaya was about a year old, I used to play a song called Sweety Bear. It was on a 45 rpm record and I don't remember the whole thing but I do recall something about 'sweet as sugar' and 'a fudge eclair, oh how I love my sweety bear.' I would sing this to her and she would tilt her head almost to the point of falling over! We would all laugh, she was SO cute! And, well, the name stuck. Even today I sometimes find myself referring to her as Sweety Bear.


We've come a long way from those Sweety Bear days. She's a wife now and has a 'sweety bear' of her own.



Sharaya, I still absolutely adore you! You make me smile, you make me proud. You are an amazing wife and mother, and I know God has incredible things for you and your family. Keep your eyes on the Lord and He will direct your paths. I love you! 

Happy Happy Birthday Sharaya!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Just Haven't Thought About It Much

This summer just flew by. We had a great summer with a lot more sunshine and blue skies than we normally get here in Seattle.

There were car shows:

There were fun days at the park:

Then one day, the weather changed. The sky got dark and the rain began to pour. We even had a small tornado touch down just south of us! It's been dark, cold and wet ever since. I can't believe summer is over and it's October already.

Beth has her Special Olympic tournament this month. I have a big meeting for our upcoming Thanksgiving outreach. A few of us need to update our food handlers cards. Diana is planning a big trip for next month.

For us, the year isn't measured in back to school shopping, parent-teacher conferences or Spring break. The kids are grown and life has changed. We don't see the changes in how fast they grow out of their shoes or if they need a new backpack so soon. 

Except for the changes in weather, life goes on pretty much the same week after week, month after month. I've been reading your 31 For 21 posts and to be honest it caught me by surprise this year. I hadn't even considered posting every day for the month of October. At this point, October is just another month. 

Well, sort of.

See, Beth was born on October 10th. What a week that was! I'm sure most of you can relate. :)

Then, two years later on October 6th, beautiful baby Sharaya was born.

So for us, October is a big birthday month. I've posted before about how we celebrated their birthdays together until Sharaya was about 10. She came and asked us if they could start having separate birthday parties. And that's the way it's been (for the most part) ever since.

So this weekend we'll celebrate Sharaya and next week it will be Beth's turn. There's lots of shopping, wrapping and planning going on.

And with my scatterbrained mind, I'll also try to remember that it's Down Syndrome Awareness Month. :)

Happy October!