Friday, March 29, 2019

Quiet And Relaxing

When Chuck and I drove up to get Beth when she got back from the aquarium, we stopped at a little park overlooking the Everett Naval Base. It was around 10:00 at night and the views were so pretty.

I love the way this tree looks in the light from the lamppost.

I had a very quiet weekend last weekend. There weren't many activities happening at work which meant I was able to stay home all day! I did a little yard work, cleaned out a few cupboards... it was great to just be home all day!

Allie was in a concert at her school on Wednesday night. It was about the circus and she was a lion. The cutest lion ever!

 I heard back from Beth's case worker and it looks like I can get her a job by myself. So I'm looking into a few opportunities.

It's been a slow week and I've loved every minute of it! 

I hope you've been able to relax and take a deep breath this week too.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thankful Thursday Link Up

I'm linking up with Rebecca over at Knit By God's Hand. Click here to read more Thankful blogs!

I've had a quiet week with lots of down time. Some days have felt almost boring but then I remind myself that it will get busy again so I smile and enjoy it while I can!  😊

I'm so glad spring is here. The flowers are all starting to bloom. I worked out in the yard last weekend and saw my tulips are coming up! Plus the primroses are so vivid!

I'm thankful for a conversation our family had... while texting. We got into some deep discussions, we laughed, reminisced, all while texting! It always makes me feel like we're not living as far apart as we are. I love those moments!

Chuck and I are planning a big trip for this fall. I came home from work the other day and he had pulled up Google Maps and was figuring out our route, what we wanted to be sure to see while we were there... for us the trip sort of begins when we start planning!

Beth and I had a good conversation the other night about "her future." I'm glad she was able to tell me how she felt. I reminded her that she was in charge of her future and I think it gave her peace of mind.

Do you like to plan trips?
Does your family live far away? How do you communicate?
Do you enjoy gardening or is it a chore?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

From Student To Leader

In the fall of 2009 I felt led to start a Sunday school class for students with special needs. It's been slow growing; none of our pastors have kids with special needs so it's not something they even think about.

To be honest, I didn't think about it before Beth was born. The 'world of special needs' didn't really exist for me except when I saw someone at the mall or the grocery store. Then it was just a fleeting thought before I went back to my own little world.

But of course once Beth was born, it changed everything!

I find it interesting that once my girls were grown and our youngest had graduated from high school, that's when the Lord put it on my heart to begin a special needs ministry at my church. Not while I was busy raising them, but after. I hadn't even considered a special needs ministry before, even while Beth and our girls were growing up there. 

The past two weekends we've had a Volunteer Fair and a Serve Catalog that listed all the places you could volunteer at our church. We had a table set up along with all the others and the first weekend we didn't have one single person stop by the table. No one even glanced in our direction!

During the week I had the idea to get some fidgets (toys and gadgets that help calm and focus the students) and I put them on the table. LED lights, a timer that looks like a lava lamp and a fidget spinner. I turned on the LED wand and immediately people were drawn to the table! We had a constant stream of people and had more than 4 express an interest in volunteering in our class!

Beth has been in the class since day one and has always been considered one of the students in our class, even though she helps support the teachers and gets some of our supplies, etc.

She recently started praying with the teachers each week before class and has just changed the way she interacts with the other students. So I made the decision to make her an official leader. Badge and all! We'll give her a few more responsibilities and I'm sure she'll rise to the occasion!

Was there a time you found yourself in a leadership position? 
Were you ready for the challenge?

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why March 21?

The date of March 21 has been chosen as World Down Syndrome Day because people who have Down Syndrome have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. 3/21

WDSD was first observed in 2006 by many countries around the world and in December 2011 the United Nations officially declared March 21 as WDSD.

Beth was born in 1986 so we've spent most of her life not celebrating WDSD so when it comes around I'm kind of at a loss of what to do. Should we do anything? 

There's merchanise you can buy, there's the Lots of Socks campaign (which, socks have nothing to do with Down Syndrome, it's just a fun way to bring awareness to it) where you're supposed to donate socks to a shelter, wear fun, silly socks for the day etc. There's a WDSD Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York... 

But tomorrow for us will look like this: Chuck and I will go to work, Beth will sleep in, then she'll wake up slowly and come upstairs to have some breakfast. Usually a bowl of cheerios and a banana. Or maybe a bagel and cream cheese.

Then she'll do some chores around the house, take a shower, do her laundry and then come sit at the kitchen table when I get home from work.

I'll ask her about her day and she'll tell me what kind of movies she watched, what songs she danced to and if she finished all of her laundry. 

I'll start dinner and when it's ready, she'll fill her plate and head back downstairs to watch some TV.

She stays up later than we do and usually goes to bed at... well, actually I don't know what time she goes to bed because I'm already asleep!

She sets her alarm if she needs to, then puts on her Cpap mask and falls asleep.

A pretty typical life.

Beth and Sharaya

 Beth and Diana

 So what are you going to do on March 21?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

My Trip To The Aquarium, By Beth

seattle aquarium with all aboard people adventures 

we have a great day and we look at all the fishes and we drive a big bus to go there and me and my boyfriend look around hold hands

we have a snack to eat and we did a show about the fishes about what they did 

i have a wonderful day with all the all aboard people and everyone did have great day together and me and my boyfriend two and then we are going back two the all aboard and i did touch a something 

i did touch in the aquarium it is fun going there and nicole the diver did show us about the fishes live in the ocean 

everyone did color the fishes they have a wonderful day together it was fun with them and my boyfriend two 

the animals i look at they have fun my trip two the seattle aquarium it was amazing two see and wonderful two

DART picked Beth up at around 2:30 and took her to All Aboard. They then boarded another bus to go to the aquarium. They got back to All Aboard at 10:45pm, (way past all of our bedtimes!) and since it was so late we picked her up (I keep feeling like I should explain that when I say dropped off and picked up 'at All Aboard' I mean where the group All Aboard meets; okay I feel better now) and we finally got home around 11:30pm. A very long day but she had a great time!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Follow Up And Thankful Thursday (Even Though I Know It's Friday)

Thank you all for your words of encouragement from my last post. One thing I wrote down after Beth was born was that I would have to accept her Down Syndrome over and over as she grew up but to be honest I didn't realize I'd still be doing it well into her thirties. I know grief can hit you out of nowhere, you're perfectly fine one minute and the next you're overwhelmed with the loss. 

That's what happened to me. We've been in a good place, a very good place for many years and this just came out of nowhere. I've taken a deep breath and am moving forward. Thank you for your sweet comments, they were very encouraging!


And now I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday ~

Beth is going out this weekend with friends. They're all meeting at All Aboard and then a bus will take them to the Seattle Aquarium.

I survived a very long day at work on Monday. I'm learning so much about myself in this new position.

Last year at this time my back was so sore I could barely move and I had to see a physical therapist. This year I'm still doing the exercises she taught me and I haven't had any back pain in a long time!

I'm thankful for sunshine and blue skies this week! And my palm tree is thankful to finally be getting some sun as well! 

 What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Feeling The Loss Again, Like I Did When She Was Diagnosed

We were at church a few weeks ago when a friend came up to us and whispered to Chuck, "What is your daughter's name again?"

He said hi to Beth and then reminded us that they were in the youth group together. Of course! He's in his mid thirties, he's a guy she grew up with and they had some of the same friends. 

He's her peer.

But he's also been married for years, has three children and is a financial officer. His life is very different from Beth's.

The stark differences just... I don't know. It just left me speechless. 

I know Beth is different from other people in their 30's but I hadn't really thought about it in a while.

I haven't thought about how far behind Beth is from other people her age in a long time. We're just sort of passed that and we're living our lives day to day just like everyone else. 

But after hearing him say they were in youth group together just brought it all back.

And he wasn't being mean at all. He's an a-m-a-z-i-n-g young man, an incredible father and husband. He just stopped to say hi to an old friend.

And I'm finding it hard to describe the lump I have in my throat because of it. Because my oldest daughter isn't like her peers. Not even close. 

You know how you watch your kids grow and change and it's not too big of deal, but when you haven't seen your friends kids in a year, it's like, "Oh my gosh they're so tall!" I think if Beth was around typical 30-somethings all the time, it wouldn't be that big of an issue. But she's not and the difference between those two was just huge.  

After re-reading this I think maybe I'm grieving again. It hit me - again - that my daughter isn't normal, that she has a diagnosis that changes her life and ours. She won't move out and get married and drive her kids back and forth to school and take vacations with her own family... but even if she does one or two of those things, it won't be the same as when Sharaya and Diana did them. 

It'll be much harder and she'll need constant support.

I guess I'm feeling the loss of a 'regular' life for my daughter. Especially after seeing his life and realizing the huge differences between the two.

Friday, March 8, 2019

It Just Keeps Coming But It's So Peaceful To Watch

We got another round of snow yesterday!!

 It wasn't much but it was so pretty!
I told Chuck I know why I enjoy watching it snow so much.

A fire in the fireplace
Ocean waves

They're all very peaceful and calming.
I'm mesmerized by just sitting and watching them.

 I hope you have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thankful Thursday Link Up

Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand is the host of Thankful Thursday. You can go to her blog and link yours up with the rest of us! Thank you Rebecca Jo!


I buckled down and did the dirty work, and learned I'm actually under budget each month at work! I've hired new custodians, given extra hours... and I still have some wiggle room! Such a huge relief!

We've had beautiful sunshine the last week or so, it really changes my mood.

I thought I'd get one week to promote Special Connections at our ministry fair but found out I get two weeks! Which works out perfectly with a behavior workshop I'm hosting.

And speaking of the workshop, I found out the room I want to use has a pull down screen and a projector! Things are really falling into place.

Chuck chose new hours at work so for the next few months he'll have Mondays off and we'll be able to start walking again.

It snowed again today! We only ended up with an inch and a half and it melted pretty quickly but it was so fun to watch the snow fall this morning.

Do you still have snow at your house?
What are you thankful for this week?


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

My "Big Girl Helper"

That's what I called her when she was little and would help me around the house. She loved to do housework!

And she still helps out when I'm at work, emptying the dishwasher or folding and putting the bath towels away. She refills the hand soap and toilet paper dispensers, does her own laundry...

Well this week she helped me work out in the yard. We have pine, cedar and hemlock trees in our yard and there are so many needles and pine cones and twigs!

 We got out there and raked everything up, then put it in the yard waste bin. She would rake and I would put it in the bin and then we'd switch. We make a great team!

Then Chuck got out and used the leaf blower on the driveway. Everything looks so much better!

Have you been able to get out and do any yard work yet this year? 
Do you do it yourself or do you hire someone else to do it?
(That's my goal. Someday someone else will do it for me!)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

St Croix

Diana went to St. Croix earlier this year. Her boyfriend travels a lot for his job and he had to go to St. Croix and asked her if she wanted to go with him! How could she say no?! She had never been there before and had such great time. 

Here is an excerpt from her blog: xoxo deeds.

 By far one of the most exciting things about this entire trip was the snorkeling. The water was usually about 70 degrees and the brightest, most tropical fish I've ever seen were just past the shore. I am not a confident swimmer by any means, but as soon as I had that snorkel in my mouth, I was out further than I have ever dared to go before - and it was so worth it! Sea urchins, flounder, butterfly fish, white margates, and more circled me in plain view. A white mullet swam into my hand! Every day we would head barefoot out of our hotel room and twenty yards later, we were submerged in the ocean.

 If you want to read more, click here
It looks absolutely gorgeous!
Have you ever been there?