Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ask Your Mother

Nick texted me earlier this week and mentioned about him and Beth going to see Star Wars on Friday. I told him I thought it was a great idea and we began to set it up. He told me the name of the theater, what time it was playing, he even sent me the address!

He texted a couple of times asking if I had texted his mom and I said no. He said his mom would text me. "Have you got her text yet?" "No I haven't." 

That should have been a red flag.

Beth and I got to the theater and waited.

And waited.

He texted and said we were NOT to buy the tickets because he was going to buy them. "The boyfriend always buys for the girlfriend." I told him we wouldn't buy them but they might be sold out. The movie started in just 15 minutes.

Then he texts, "As soon as my mom gets home, we're on our way."

"What?!?" I have to tell you they live about 15-30 minutes away, depending on traffic. And his mom wasn't even at home!

I ended up texting her and no, she hadn't realized he had made plans with us. But she got home and her, Nick and Dad all jumped in the car and flew to the theater! They ended up seeing Jumanji instead (both Beth and Nick had seen Star Wars with family members anyway) and they loved it and said it was really funny.

I certainly learned a lesson in all this: ask his mom. No matter what texts I get, I need to confirm it with his mom before we set our alarms, get dressed, drive to the theater and stand around for 30 minutes.

He called me later that evening and asked if I was mad at him. I told him I had been but that it all worked out and I wasn't angry anymore. He apologized and we talked about what we need to do differently next time. 

As crazy as the day was, he really was a gentleman.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Rare Day

 We had Christmas at Sharaya's house this year

We flew Diana in from Pennsylvania

 And for only the third time in 29 years, we had a white Christmas!

I love our house when it snows!

Now our yard looks as good as the neighbors! 😁

 Whether you spent it with friends or family or were missing family this year, I hope you had a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Do You Mind?

When Beth was born we had to teach her e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The physical therapist that came to our house each week showed us how to manipulate her fingers so she would eventually learn to grasp a toy. We worked her legs so she'd feel the movements of crawling. We showed her again and again how to roll over. Each new milestone was preceded with weeks, even months of strengthening exercises.

Beth with her physical therapist

We taught Beth every little detail about sitting up and walking, swimming and running. 

But something I wish I could go back and do over is the mental aspect of life. Now, you're probably thinking, "Well duh, of course you'd have to teach her the mental things." And we did. She attended good schools, we even home schooled our girls for a couple years. 
Beth and my mom

But I'm talking about those tiny, day-to-day things that you just don't think about. At least I didn't think about 'teaching' them to Beth. I didn't teach them to Sharaya or Diana but they understand the concepts. For instance:

"How much money do ya have on you?" 

If you or I were asked that question, we would grab our back pocket where we keep our wallets or clutch our purses and then give you an approximate number. But when Beth is asked that question she looks down and never answers. She's completely  silent. I've learned instead to ask her,

"How much money do you have in your wallet?"

Then without hesitation she'll answer, "A five and some ones." Then I explain to her what 'have on you' means. A quirky little phrase when you think about it.

  Another one is:

"Do you mind if I borrow your colored pencils?" 

For a long time she just looked down and wouldn't answer. So instead I would ask, "Is it okay if I borrow...?" That one she answers immediately, "Yep!"

The whole 'do you mind' question is tricky because you have to answer 'no' in order to say yes. I even find myself answering twice when someone asks me that question, "Sure. I mean no!"

Are there any phrases that have you scratching your head?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Lights and Chocolate and A Dragon

We all met at the church and had pizza and salad for dinner. The tables were covered with butcher paper so we could draw and color while we waited. Beth drew this perfect little snowman, I couldn't believe how perfect her circles were! This girl is so good at art.

The centerpieces were so cute! We have some very creative people at our church. I could go out, buy these items and recreate this centerpiece but I would not have thought of this all on my own. I just don't have that creative gene.

(This has nothing to do with this post, except that it's another centerpiece made by another co-worker. I'm so in awe of their talent!)

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, the Christmas party. After dinner we all climbed into our cars and headed to the Woodland Park Zoo. This time of year they have what they call WildLights. Parts of the zoo are blocked off and completely covered in lights!

We had never done this before and had so much fun! It's been so cold in Seattle this week with temps in the 30s and 40s so we got some hot chocolate to keep us warm!

Beth was a little unsure about seeing the Komodo Dragon until she saw a picture of it and realized it wasn't a fire-breathing kind of dragon. Being behind glass helped too, I'm sure. 

We watched kids - and adults! - have snowball fights with big balls of yarn; we listened to carolers; watched everyone on the carousel, such a fun night out!

 Have you done any holiday activities yet this season?

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Beth and I drove to Bellingham on Friday - about an hour and a half from our house - so she could see Nick. His parents have been on vacation and he's been staying at an... I guess it's like an assisted living place, but for adults who have special needs.

He gave us a tour of his place and it was pretty nice! Each client has their own space and a staff member lives in a different part of the house. It was fun to see where he's been staying the last few weeks. 

But before the tour, Beth and I picked him up and we went to Red Robin for lunch. It had been more than 2 weeks since they'd seen each other and they were so happy to be together again!

After Red Robin we went to Bellis Fair Mall and walked around there for a while.

We walked by some of those massage chairs and Nick said he wanted these in their living room when they get married so I offered to pay for them to use them for a few minutes.

Oh my gosh you should have heard them! They both kept talking about how good it felt and how they wanted one in their rooms. At one point Nick puts his head back and very slowly says, "H-a-v-e m-e-r-c-y!!

 At the other end of the mall we found Target and you just can't go into Target without checking out the electronics department! Here he is telling her about one of his favorite movies.

We even stopped to take a Christmas photo! 

 We dropped him back off and headed for home. After a little while I needed to stop and pulled off at a rest stop.

 I expected her to wake up when I turned off the engine, but nope! I actually had to shake her a little to wake her up. 

She came with me and then we spent the rest of the ride home singing Christmas carols that came on the radio!

Have you reunited with loved ones this year?

Saturday, November 25, 2017


According to my fitbit, that's how many steps I took on Thanksgiving Day.

Chuck drives one of the shuttles that picks people up from around the community and Beth rode along as a Greeter on the bus.

I lead the Busser and Server teams and for that reason, I also oversee the dining room.

Five days before Thanksgiving, our kitchen team began cooking the 28 turkeys (our church has a commercial kitchen) so they'd have time to cool before they carve them and put them on serving trays.

Three days before, we set up and place all the tables, trying to make sure there is enough room for the servers to get around, enough room to get the food carts in and out, access for wheelchairs, emergency exits... It's harder than it sounds and it took me hours to finish!

Thanksgiving day began early with the kitchen team preparing mashed potatoes, corn, yams, gravy and stuffing.

We have a Translator team who assists those who are deaf or English is their second language or even if they don't speak English at all! There are 14 teams I think: those who take the family photos, Reception Team, Table Hosts, Parking lot, Decorators...

 And it's all completely free.
Some of the servers preparing for the day.

The Table Hosts ready to welcome their guests

 Dinner is served!

After everyone had finished eating and was gone, we cleaned all the tables, re-set them and did it all again!

And then we did it a third time. Three different seatings where we serve a total of 1200 people. It's amazing to see the Lord work - how our feet don't hurt as much as you'd expect, how our backs remain strong even while lifting chairs and moving tables, how our spirits are joyful despite the controlled chaos! :)

At around 7:00 I headed out to the far parking lot to head home. I'll admit I was a little relieved that it was over but I couldn't get the smile off my face.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Have You Seen It?

Chuck, Beth and I saw the movie Wonder last night. We cried, we laughed, we cheered. It was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

 Maybe because I could relate to the mom so much. Her fear over him going to school for the first time. The line mom says as they drop him off, (they've shown it in the trailers) "Oh God please let them be nice to him." I can't tell you how many times I've prayed that same prayer. Except for me it was, "Oh God please let them be nice to her."

Chuck and I were trying to find the word that would best describe the feelings we had while actually watching the movie with Beth. Our very own 'wonder' sitting right next to us. We actually never could really describe it! I kept looking over at her trying to see her reactions to certain parts of the movie. I think at one point she was crying.

It made me think of our other daughters, Sharaya and Diana and what they would think of the movie. I cried at the thought that maybe I treated them the same way the mom in the movie treated her daughter. If I did I didn't mean to. Movie mom didn't do it on purpose. But she found herself one day face to face with the reality that maybe it did happen.

I asked Beth later if any of those things ever happened to her and she said no. I kept getting more specific because both Sharaya and Diana have told us stories of bullying but Beth kept shaking her head and saying no one had ever been mean to her. (Although she kept reminding me of the time I was bullied when I was in Jr. High school. That she remembers.)

Wonder is heartbreaking and uplifting and makes you angry and happy... if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mother-Daughter Day

Beth and I spent the day together on Friday, shopping for fun. We had the whole day planned, shoes shopping, getting our hair done, going out for lunch... we were so excited for Friday!

This is the way my brain works:

We couldn't find any parking at the mall
We had to walk the entire mall, twice
There was a very unsatisified customer at the shoe store
We quietly bought our shoes and left
The stylist at the salon didn't cut my hair the way I wanted
We kind of made a scene because I spoke up about it...

But I'm trying to change the way I think about life. The word tells us to take our thoughts captive, to set our minds on things that are true and just and right. So...

We couldn't find parking on the side of the mall that we wanted so I drove around to the parking garage. There was plenty of parking there and it kept us out of the rain!

Walking through the mall sent us by Bath and Body Works, a store that Diana used to work at so I sent her a photo and told her we were thinking about her.

The clerk at the shoe store was really working her bum off helping all of us, despite that one unhappy customer. I can't imagine what the clerk did to make that lady so angry. Beth found another pair of Kangaroos and she did her usual walk around the store to make sure they fit well. She sure loves those shoes!

It was after 2:00 by that time and we were getting hungry so we stopped to have some pretzels at Auntie Anne's. That's one of our favorite places at the mall! She got a pepperoni pretzel and I got cinnamon bites, warm and soft and full of cinnamon! Yum!

I realized after we left the salon what the stylist had been trying to explain to me. I didn't understand while I was there and kept asking her why she cut it the way she did. She'd explain again and I'd ask more questions. Sigh. Even though we left things okay, I gave her a good tip, etc. I need to go back and apologize. Like ordering a coffee at Starbucks, I need to learn how to ask for a certain hairstyle.

Beth and I went to the bank and to Target... we were out and about for about 6 hours and we had such a good time! We love shopping for fun!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Unemployment Has Lead To Fear And Poor Choices

We came home the other day to find out that Beth had stolen from us. We keep loose change around the house, just like every other person in America and I could tell she had taken some money out of the jar.

She may be sneaky but she hasn't learned to cover her tracks.

We sat her down and asked her why she did it. When she didn't say anything I asked her if she took money from the jar and she nodded yes. So I asked her again why she took it and she said she didn't know. That's what she tells us when she doesn't want to tell the truth. "I dunno." 

We told her that it was stealing and if she did that at the store she'd go to jail. We told her that if she needed some money that all she had to do was ask. We'd gladly give her some money but she was to never steal from us again. (She knows all this. We were really kind of stunned.)

She sat there without saying a word so we had her bring her wallet up and we took back all our money. All the while telling her how wrong it was.  

She quietly got up, picked up her wallet, and about the time she got to the bottom of the stairs, she burst into tears and yelled something about chores. She slammed her door and we could hear her crying all the way upstairs.

Chuck and I talked about it and realized that now that she's not working, she doesn't have the same amount of money at her disposal that she used to. I mean, we knew that but it just didn't register with us. And the thing about the chores, I sometimes leave her some ones or a five, as a thank you for helping around the house and I hadn't done that in a while because she's had more than enough money to do what she's wanted. 

So that's something I need to start doing again. Of course I didn't want to reward her for stealing so I waited a week or so, then left her some cash for helping us with the chores.  I've asked her job coach if she's heard anything about the interview at MOD, but she hasn't yet.

Beth is fine now but we're trying to make sure she always has a few bucks in her pocket. 

I've also re-hidden the money jar.

Friday, November 3, 2017

At The Last Minute

We don't celebrate Halloween much around here. When Beth is out with her friends and they're making Halloween crafts, she opts out. When they talk about their costumes, she doesn't join in. We've just never been big on Halloween.

So I was a little surprised when she came to me and said she wanted to dress up this year. After asking a few questions, I found out that she wanted to dress up because.... Nick was dressing up.

Ahh, young love.

So the day before Halloween we were driving all over town, in and out of stores looking for the perfect costume. We bought a skirt and combined it with a few things we had a home and she was absolutely thrilled. I even heard her squeal as she was getting dressed!

At All Aboard on Tuesday they bowled one game instead of the usual two so they could have a party. I'm not sure what all they did but when she got home she told us that she won $10 in the costume contest! Not bad for a last minute find!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Two Years and Four Days

Beth was born on October 10, 1984.
Sharaya was born on October 6, 1986.

Beth had just learned to walk when we brought Sharaya home.

This year we took Sharaya out to Red Robin to celebrate. She's lived through a lot in the last 10 years or so and she's taught us about grace and forgiveness and love. 

You're one of the strongest women we know!
We love you Sharaya!

When we asked Beth where she wanted to go for her birthday she said, "Same place as my sister."

So off to Red Robin! And of course we had to invite Nick! Beth can be so shy but she sure loves a party!

I love that she's looking at the camera in this photo!
(Thank you for taking it Sharaya!)

 It's been a great October.
Did you have any special celebrations this month?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Job Interview

Beth had a job interview last week with MOD Pizza.

(Thanks Google) 

Her job coach had to leave because the manager doing the interview was running late so another coach filled in but she said she thought it went really well.

Beth won't be folding boxes this time. Instead she'd come in in the morning, before the store opened and she'd pull the chairs off the tables from when they mopped the night before. She'd wipe tables, fill napkin holders, and just get the dining area ready for customers. 

 Then when the store opened, she'd head home. It sounds perfect for her but the store is under construction and we won't know for a few more weeks.

Beth has our church's app on her phone and she wrote this prayer request on Sunday:

'Jesus please answer my prayer right now is my new job I really want to get this job because I really need it every day and I am very serious about this prayer right now... I need to speak out loud and we are still waiting for them too call us and you always been there for me Jesus please answer my prayer right now Jesus and I am not kidding about it.'

What have you been praying about this week?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Magnets and Memories

Sharaya and Allie brought back this amazing magnet from their trip to California! I like to collect magnets from all our trips and this has become one of my favorites!

Diana met them in L.A. and they had such a great time!

 I helped at a friends memorial today. He had been ill for quite some time but still died far sooner than expected.


Some of the family in prayer before the memorial.

We celebrated Sharaya's birthday last week. Diana of course, was in PA and Beth was sick so it was a small celebration at Red Robin, but it was good!

Beth's birthday was this week, with Nick... at Red Robin. She's feeling much better.

I came out of the grocery store a few days ago to find this:

Just lovely. I had to crawl through from the passenger side and my gear shift is between the seats! :(

 My sister Debbie is visiting this week! Her and a friend are driving up from San Diego and should be here any minute!

Do you collect things when you travel? 
Do you have any trips planned? 
I hope you have a wonderful week!