Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Shocked and Surprised!

Beth loves to buy fruit in a bowl. You can get watermelon or cantaloupe or sometimes you can get different kinds together. 

Beth bought some cantaloupe the other day and the other night she came upstairs and was kind of crying and between the mumbling and the tears I heard the words "not right" and "bad."

I took a look at it and figured out the problem. It actually hadn't gone bad...

She bought Butternut Squash! I guess they put some vegetables out for Thanksgiving, where they usually put the fruit. Sure looks like cantaloupe to me too!

I bought her some cantaloupe tonight and she was much happier!


Friday, November 23, 2018

It's Worth It

We have our first Leaders Meeting in August. 
We begin contacting last years volunteers.
We start sign ups the first of October.

But the Monday before Thanksgiving is when all the hard work really begins.

The kitchen begins prep work to feed more than 1200 people.

 The decorations go up all throughout the building

The dining room is filled with tables and it's my job to make sure they're spaced well enough for the servers to get through. Plus there has to be room for the giant food carts to get through, and people in wheel chairs, and service animals...

Once that's done we put all the chairs around and volunteers come in to decorate all the tables. 

 Then there's all the little details like making sure each serving station has brooms and gloves, water pitchers, serving utensils, rolling trashcans and anything they might need throughout the day.

When Thursday morning arrives everything kicks into high gear.

The teams of volunteers begin to arrive -

The Transportation Team shuttles people to and from the church and Beth rides along with Chuck as a greeter

This is the pastor who oversees the entire event and his wife who does all the work. 😁 During the Thanksgiving season she's known as 'Mumsy Pumpkin'. One of these days I'll have to find out how she got that name! They both give so much and they make you feel truly loved. Sincerely two of the best people I know.

This is the third year I've been in charge of the Busers and Servers which means I oversee the entire dining room.

Room set up
Serving stations
Section leaders 
All 120 Busers and Servers
Delivery of the food 
The guests

Just some of the Busers and Servers

Once all the teams are in place, we open the doors and the guests start pouring in!

Then the food is brought out on 4 large carts, one for each section. We deliver it to the tables and the table host serves everyone family-style.

 Mumsy always gets an incredible speaker who does puppets and balloon animals and entertains the kids while sharing the gospel. We had over 80 people raise their hands for prayer on Thursday.

After everyone leaves, we clean the tables and do it all again!

And again!

 We have three seatings every year and boy are we exhausted by the end of the day! Then the clean up crew shows up and before you know it, everything is put away and it's time to go home.

Being my first year as head of the custodial department (my day job) I had to stay until the very last person left. I made sure all the doors were locked and the lights turned out and then I set the alarm and headed to my car. I locked the parking lot gates and headed home. 

(I will admit, I'm glad it's over!)
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Beth and I went to Burlington to get some snow boots the other day. Seattle doesn't get huge amounts of snow but it's one of those things that you just really need to have and they'll probably last for the rest of our lives!

We also went and got her hair cut again. She's really liking the shorter look. Every morning I put it up in a small pony tail and then curl the ends under. After I leave the bathroom, she spends a few minutes admiring herself in the mirror! She is pretty cute!

We went to a Christmas Bazaar this year. I always hear people talk about them and I wish I had gone... after they were over of course! But this year I put it on the calendar and we went! It was actually pretty fun, lots of stuff to buy and a friend of ours was cooking - and serving - bbq chicken and rice, it was so good! We ate first, then walked around all the booths.

Beth bought a small key chain with the letter B on it, we both bought some weighted lap pads that you put in the microwave and they keep you warm! I'm planning to take mine to my Sunday school class. We won't put them in the microwave there, but we'll be able to use them like weighted blankets. 

Then I was walking around the area that has all the homemade signs. You know the kind that are wood slats, or just decorative wood with sayings on them. I saw one that literally stopped me in my tracks and right there in the middle of the Christmas Bazaar, I started crying. It was the world map and it had been put on a large piece of wood and it had the words, "Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander" scrolled over the map.

Oh my word. 

It's from the song Oceans by Hillsong. All the traveling we've done over the years, the memories made, the adventures we've had... but the very most important thing in my life is knowing God. As much fun as I've had traveling, nothing compares with spending time with the Lord. 

Well come to find out, the booth belonged to C (a friend from church) and she actually made the print! The one she had hanging there had been sold so she's going to make me another one. I just can't stop thinking about it! Boy am I glad we went this year!

(Next week is Thanksgiving and is gearing up to be The. Busiest. Week. for me this year. You might not hear from me, so let me say now, I hope your Thanksgiving turns out to be the best one you've ever had!)

Monday, November 12, 2018

They Were Happy He Didn't Have Down Syndrome

Beth is our oldest and when I got pregnant with Sharaya a lot of people asked me if that was the wisest choice since we had Beth to take care of. What if this baby has Down Syndrome too? I had never really thought it but but we just told them that if this baby had Down Syndrome, then we'd know what to expect. We really weren't concerned about it either way. 

Now, I will admit that when Sharaya was born, the first thing I asked Chuck was, "Does she have Down Syndrome?" When he said no, it was such a huge relief. But we didn't live our lives like that, thinking Beth was a burden and she made our lives so hard... she was just Beth. One of our three girls. (How Chuck survived all those years I'll never know!)

Beth was Beth and that was that. We lived our lives. We've never been easily offended, or hurt when someone said an insensitive comment. We've just never taken that stuff personally.

So I was really surprised the other night when I heard a testimony at church from J who said a friend had been told her unborn baby had Down Syndrome and 2 holes in his heart. But after family and friends prayed, the baby was born perfectly healthy. No holes and no Down Syndrome!

The church exploded in praise and cheers. And I sat there thinking, "Wait a second." I was clapping too but something just wasn't right. For the first time in over 34 years, I felt... Well I don't exactly know what I felt. It was this odd feeling down in my heart.

It was such a real feeling too, kind of a mixture of sadness and isolation and shock. It's really hard to explain it.

Like you've just heard your best friends taking bad about you behind your back.

"Is this what you've thought all this time? Is this how you all really feel?!" 

It was like they were so excited he wasn't gonna be like Beth. But all these years I thought you all liked Beth?!

She's grown up there, attended for 30 years and all that time she's been the only person with Down Syndrome. And at that moment, when everyone cheered because he wouldn't be like Beth, I suddenly felt so isolated.  

But I was telling Chuck it wasn't so much about their reaction to the news about the little baby, but that feeling I had. That very real, first-time-in-my-life isolating feeling.

What was that? And why would I feel that way now, after all these years? Stuff like this has never bothered me before, why now?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Yay!! We Have Internet Again!!

Just before Chuck left for work Monday morning our power went out. I'm SO glad it happened when it did cause just a few minutes later and he would have already gone to work. 

Thankfully he came in and woke me up and when we both went out to the living room we realize it was awfully bright for us having no power! Well there were two utility trucks parked by our house and they were actually blocking our driveway.

 Beth is afraid of the dark so in just a matter of seconds she was coming up the stairs, with a scared, frustrated tone in her voice, "My light went off!" "Yeah, Beth they're working on the power pole out front."

 Chuck headed to work and I got out some candles. Even though it wasn't even 5:00 yet, I knew we were up for the day! Beth crawled into Chuck's chair and ended up falling back asleep while I ate breakfast and got ready for work.

By the time I got ready to leave the sun was coming up. I woke Beth up to tell her goodbye and I know she doesn't like to be home alone in the dark so I opened the blinds to the backyard so she could see it was actually morning. She said a very surprised "Oh!"  so I knew it was okay to leave her.

By the time we got home, a new power pole had been put in and our electricity was back on, but we had no cable or internet. I was kinda shocked that PUD would just cut all those lines, restore their own and then drive away!

When Chuck called to get our internet and cable restored he was told we could make an appointment and they could come out later in the week. Seriously?! So Wednesday the Xfinity tech came out and sat in his truck for the longest time. I had a meeting to go to at work and when I went out to my car, that's when he got out and told me they probably wouldn't restore it that day because our street is just too busy to string lines across. I brought him inside to talk with Chuck and I went to work.

He promised they would come out at 2AM and restore everything then. I happened to wake up at 3:45 (this morning) and they still hadn't been here. Chuck called again and they finally came out this afternoon.

In the meantime, I called PUD and asked them why on earth they would just replace a power pole at 5:00 in the morning with no warning?! She assured me they would never do that and when I told her I had pictures to prove it, she put me on hold. When she came back on she told me that there had been an accident in front of our house early Monday morning and a car had run into the pole. So in an emergency situation, they just replace the pole without any notice.

I accepted her answer, you know of course these things happen but I realize now, they still should have put a note on our door AND let us know all the lines they had disconnected so we knew exactly who we needed to call to get everything restored.

And then this afternoon, while Xfinity was here, the guy insisted our land line was not with them, it had to be with a different carrier, the line hanging down in front of our big picture window was not theirs... when in fact, it IS theirs!! Grrr! Chuck even confirmed it when he got home so I know I wasn't going crazy trying to convince this guy! 

So now we have to call them back out... what a bizarre week this has been!    

Sunday, November 4, 2018

We Voted, Did You?

Whenever there's an election, we always sit down with Beth and help her fill out her ballot.

Now, we don't tell her how to vote, we just help her understand the issues. This week her and I sat down at the kitchen table and she watched me as I opened my envelope, then she copied me exactly. We tore off the tab at the top and I got the Voting Pamphlet. 

I read the issues out loud, then explain it to her in a way she'll understand. Which honestly helps me too! Some of those propositions can be really complicated, "Vote No if you want it to pass, Vote Yes if you want it to fail." Wait, what?! So I read them carefully and try my best to help her understand exactly what's being said.

We were glad to see the new way they have us vote here in WA State, by filling in the circle instead of just making a line. Beth loves to color!

I read the paragraph, then fill in my ballot and she fills in hers, then we move on to the next one. It takes a long time but we want to make sure she really understands what she's voting for or against.

Then we sign our ballots and put them in the envelope! Chuck and I always sign hers as witnesses because one time they let us know hers wouldn't be accepted because her signature wasn't exactly the same as it was the time before. So now we just sign them too and it's always counted. Then we lick the envelopes (Eewww gross! Why can't they make those things taste a little better?) and we're good to go!

And in case you're wondering, she did vote differently than I did on a few issues. 😲 😊