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!