Wednesday, April 10, 2024

One Happy Custodian

 And now it seems my background has disappeared! 😆 I love technology!
 
Thank you for your suggestions on my last post. I shouldn't write this because you'll see just how bad I am at computers. It's crazy, I'm on a computer all day at work: Excel, Word, Publisher, I work on my budget, I do payroll, purchasing... but at home? I sometimes get nervous trying to do things I'm not familiar with.
 
I bought some things for Adelaide a couple weeks ago, got it all shipped off to their house and could feel the knot in my stomach. Then... day of arrival... they shipped the wrong thing! I ordered a blanket and stuffy. They sent espresso pods. So back to the computer to figure out the return process... ugh. Poor Diana and Peter had to take it to Kohls...
 
Anyway back to your suggestions. I'll need to figure out what Google photos is. And I've heard of a CD drive, a thumb drive but I honestly didn't know there was a Google drive. Or a Microsoft One drive?  
 
'I send it from my phone to the Cloud.' I'm embarrassed to eve ask this but how do you get to the cloud? Is it a website? A download? These are just things I've never looked into.
 
And Shutterfly. I've created a few books through them but I didn't know they would actually store your photos. (Or are your photos just stored there because you've created books?) I made a book once through collage.com. It came out really nice but they've since gone out of business. Same thing with My Publisher. 
 
Thank you again for all your suggestions. I'll look into it and figure out what I want to do. Right now I'm just uploading the newest pictures onto the new computer and will go from there. Now to figure out where my background went! 
 
I took Beth to the dentist a couple weeks ago to get a temporary crown. She lost an implant a month or so ago and was finally able to get it fixed. She goes in Monday for the permanent crown. Anyway, when she got in the chair, the hygienist handed her the sunglasses. After she put them on she gave the Hang Ten sign! The hygienist and I laughed so hard! Beth just smiled! Wish I'd gotten a picture of it.
 
 
We recently got new badges at work. We're tightening up on security so everyone from pastors to baristas, custodians to admin, we all got our pictures taken and had new badges made. Beth doesn't like to take her work keys home so she leaves them in her 'mailbox' by my desk. When we come to work she comes to my desk and we sign in together, then she grabs her keys and gets to work. When my boss gave me her badge I put it with her keys and when we got to my desk I got my camera ready...
 



 She is one happy custodian!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

My Not so Brilliant Idea - I'm Open to Suggestions

It's been two weeks since I've written. There are so many things stopping me from just logging on and posting. 
 
I think I told you we got a new computer a couple months ago. I had the brilliant idea to just transfer everything from the old computer to the new - except for the photos. I have so many that I think that's part of what's slowing the thing down so much. I've tried putting them onto thumb drives but I have so many now, that I have to search each one to find the label with the photos I want. And a couple of them no longer work. I can view, but nothing else. It's just not convenient.
 
I keep the photos from the two most recent years on the computer, plus photos of each of the girls, grand kids, me and Chuck, photos that I print for greeting cards... I will admit there are a lot, but they're all the photos I want easy access to. Everything else is on thumb drives.
 
So I thought if we took everything off the old computer, and left only the photos, the computer would start working better.
 
But that didn't happen. And the main thing I do on the computer? Blog! So I'm still using the old one, so I can still use my photos.
 
And the old one is... still old. It's still incredibly slow, the 'w' key doesn't always work, and the computer crashes at random times.
 
PLUS! Google now requires authorization to log in! And it sends the text to CHUCK'S phone!
 
So, I hesitate to post anymore. I've got so many pictures to share with you but I need to make sure Chuck is home to do it. And I hate using our old computer. 😞 
 
So I need to find a good solution. Should I just move ALL my photos over to this new computer? If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Long Days, Scans, and Shopping For Fun

 Lot's of little things going on around here.

Beth and I went shopping a couple weeks ago and she bought quite a few things. I had been to JC Penney earlier and saw a lot of clothes I knew she'd like. We're planning a trip this summer and I realized she doesn't have any shorts, plus she wanted to get a dress for Easter... she didn't find a dress but she did try on a bunch of things. She bought some shorts and t shirts, plus a yellow sweater that she hasn't worn yet. I think she's saving it for Easter.




The birds are making a nest in the wreath again. It's been fun listening to them chirp right outside the door.

We had a big conference at work last week. Lots of preparation, then three back-to-back 14-hour days. It took hundreds of us to make it happen and it was a huge success - pastors from all over the country were encouraged and pampered - and afterward I spent two full days in my recliner! This was my desk the week before the conference...



I put up a few Easter decorations... and so far this is all I've done! I got the wreath years ago at Michaels. It's one of those unfinished wreaths that you're supposed to fill with flowers or ribbon... But it looked so much like the Crown of Thorns, that's what I've been using it for. 



Chuck had his yearly scans last week, an MRI and CT scan to check for cancer. He's had panic attacks the last couple of MRI's so this time they gave him some anxiety meds to take at home. They worked! 



When he got in there he found it was a much bigger machine, with mirrors on the 'mask' that allowed him to see waterfalls and lakes, it was so much better for him! And, the report on My Chart was normal all around! 

I have a meeting with some of the people from the Chinese Fellowship on Sunday. Just to find out ways I can help with their event planning. Beth has a dentist appointment on Monday... just keeping busy. 

I pray you are healthy, and that spring is in full swing at your house!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Waves

 There is a school bus that stops in front of our house and when I saw the parents waiting with their kids this morning, a wave of nostalgia washed over me.

I was taken back to the 80's and 90's when my kids were in school. Beth was the only one who regularly rode a school bus and she started riding when she was only two. She rode the bus until she was 21, when she aged out of the school district. 




In high school Sharaya rode a transit bus. The students got free passes and thankfully it stopped just two blocks from our house. The trees were much smaller then and I could see the bus stop - and her - from our bathroom window. I still remember watching her each morning.



In elementary school Diana and her friends would walk backward down the street waving at me until they couldn't see me anymore. I can still hear them laughing as eventually I could only see their arms waving in the air.



With my dad




Today I occasionally pick up my GRANDdaughter from middle school! Time is just going way too fast.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

This and That

 There hasn't been too much going on around here lately.

We went to the movies again last week and saw the next three episodes of Season Four of The Chosen. You cry, you laugh, and it touches your heart in a way that most movies don't. Don't get me wrong, there are SO many movies out there that are inspiring, and heart wrenching, and can leave you so happy.

But these reach right to the heart, right where we all live day by day. Places of loneliness and fear, doubt, regret... And it addresses those issues and shows that there is One who is a best friend, the One who can heal, and protect. And it shows family, and friendships, and how we're all learning every day to be better people, to treat each other with kindness and patience and love. It's truly amazing and I highly recommend The Chosen series. 

This part was so good! You'll have to see it to find out why 'Jesus' is wearing a roman soldier's helmet. I don't want to spoil it for anyone if you're planning to see it so if you want to know, just ask. 




We got to video chat with Diana and Adelaide! They were getting ready to go out and Adelaide was eating a cracker. We miss them so much!


  That's about all the news from around here. I hope you all are doing well. God bless - 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

A Lost Tooth, Snuck a Peek at Work, You Know It's Time to go Home When...

I'm writing this at 2:00 on Friday, February 16. I only have a few minutes but wanted to get on here and at least START a post! We bought a new computer and now every time I try to log on, it makes me sign in with 'two-factor authentication' and sends the approval link to Chuck's phone! So if he's at work I don't know if he's on a break or if he's actually driving (a city bus) so I often just close out and try again when he's home. This time when I tried - completely forgetting about this new system - he was able to approve it right away. Woohoo! 
 
Before I get started I want to thank you for your comments on my last post. I'm humbled by your perspective of this ministry. Sometimes when you're in the middle of things it's hard to see it any other way than the one view you have.
 
Well, it's time to go pick Ally up from school. After I take her home, I'm going to Target. By myself. I just might come home with more than the one item I'm going there to get. 😄
 
Saturday, February 17
2:00pm
 
I went to Target for some undies and came home with that and a small side table, and a plant, and a laundry hamper... it was fun! I originally bought Beth a big clear bin to carry her laundry up and down the stairs but she needs two hands to carry it. So she usually brings up her overstuffed hamper one stair at a time, then puts her clean laundry into MY clear bin and leaves it there for a few days. So yesterday I found this basket that she can carry with one hand and limits the amount of clothes she can bring upstairs. I told her the basket will hold one load and she's to bring up just one load at a time. She tends to overfill the washing machine so I'm hoping this solves both those issues.



I've also been looking for a small table to go next to a chair I have in a corner of the office area. I liked this one the moment I saw it. Now I don't have to put my tea next to the old camera on the bookcase. So yeah, Target was fun!



Beth came up a couple weeks ago with something in her hand. She said she was eating a bagel and her tooth fell out. She had a root canal in 2021 and it just popped out, rod and all! She'd already had a dentist appointment scheduled for last week so they were able to look at it. The dentist was hoping he could just pop it back in but no, we had to make a new appointment. So she's walking around with a missing tooth, right in the front. Doesn't seem to bother her though.

I was walking through the church last week, passed some windows that overlook our main entrance when I saw Beth disinfecting the push bars on the front doors. She loves to disinfect and always does a really good job. 



 I needed some time outside recently so I headed down to my usual place at the waterfront. It was a gorgeous day and I was looking forward to just walking and taking some pictures.


After I got there I decided I wanted to head over to the other side of the ferry dock. I've been trying to seek the Lord more about His will for my life, what I do, where I go, etc. so I asked Him if I should walk or drive there. (Notice I didn't ask Him
IF I should go. I'm still learning.) I felt like He said to drive 'and if there's no parking spot, you know you should go home.' There's very little parking on that side and of course there were no empty spots so I...  waited. After 3-4 minutes a spot opened up. But it was on the opposite side of the road with the cars facing the other direction and I would have to back in... so I backed in. I put on my hat and scarf and got out of the car. It really was a beautiful day!


 I took one picture before heading over to the jetty and when I did my camera flashed 'low battery!' There was very little power left and honestly that never happens during the day! I charge it every night, I'm rarely on it during the day so for it to be almost out of power by 2:30 in the afternoon?! 

'Okay Lord, I get it. Sorry. I'm going home now.'

I don't know why He didn't want me there that day at that time but I know He had my best interest in mind. His plans for me are good, and I trust His timing. I'm grateful that He's so patient with me! 

Friday, February 9, 2024

A Difficult Decision

Fourteen years ago I felt the Lord tell me to start a Sunday school class for kids with special needs. I've been leading this class almost every single Sunday since then.

We began with one student and grew from there. Chuck, Diana and Beth all helped for the first few years and as other teachers joined, they were able to step back. We've been in three different classrooms, each new one having more amenities than the last. Each new room was a better fit for the students we had at that time.

Most students were younger grade school age and over time would grow mentally and emotionally where they could attend the typical classrooms.

The years before covid we had 5-6 leaders and up to 10 students at a time. Most of the students had mild autism and participated in the Bible study and crafts, snack, etc.

(This was taken in 2018. The classroom looks so different now.)



Post covid - everything changed. Only one teacher came back after covid, and the students mental and emotional state is different. The students have behaviors that are very complex. They come into the room, pick up the first thing they can get their hands on and throw it across the room, shattering it against the wall.  Or they give an ear-piercing scream and wipe everything off the table because another student took something they had planned to use. Or they crawl under the large round table, lay on their back and using their feet begin pushing on the table causing everything on it to slide to the other side, triggering the other students to scream or yell... 

This ministry is for the parents as well, allowing them to bring their kids to a safe, quiet space so they can spend a couple of hours in the main service worshiping and being filled with the word of God. We try hard not to contact them during service but lately we're doing it more often than we'd like. Last Sunday we put up with a lot of poor behavior from one student but when they tried to bite the other teacher, that's when I called the parents.

I find myself just standing in front of the door all morning (many are runners) and I just observe the students and try to stop behaviors before they happen. How do I 'teach' in that environment? The kids will throw tantrums, and kick and sometimes you're in the way and get kicked. I'm not even sure I understand the behavior, where it stems from, what triggers it, let alone how to deal with it. I've heard that students all over the U.S. (and maybe around the world) are struggling with the aftermath of covid and I get it. I just don't know how to address it.

I'll be honest, I've been trying to lead this class under my own power for many years. I haven't prayed like I should: for the other leaders, the students, their families. I haven't been regularly seeking the Lord for guidance... and I'm weary. I'm burned out and exhausted. I find myself dreading Sunday mornings. Not surprising.

So I've made the decision to close the class for a time of restructuring. I've got to spend some time in fasting and prayer, seeking the Lord for HIS vision for this ministry. He's already shown me three areas to focus on: recruit volunteers, provide training, and change the room a little to accommodate the students we have now. I've added things over the years but I still have a lot of things for four- to nine-year-olds. Now the average age is nine - fifteen. 

Please pray with me that I follow the Lord's leading this time; that people who have a heart for kids with special needs will volunteer; for me to find specialists to come in and train us to lead post-covid students; and for the next fourteen-plus years to be even better than the first!

Me, Beth and Kathy - she was the first non-family member to join me in this ministry.



Sunday, February 4, 2024

Mother-Daughter Day

Friday started with me going to the walk-in clinic. Even though I'm feeling pretty good I've had this sore throat off and on for a couple weeks and wanted to figure out what was causing it. Tested negative for strep, and the doctor thinks it's just post nasal drip. So now I'm on nose spray, and drinking warm tea with honey. I pray this is the end of all this.
 
Our first stop was Michaels. I needed some paper for my greeting cards and she needed... can you guess? 😊 See them? They're already in the cart. She was looking at a Valentine's coloring book, but decided not to get it.
 

 Our next stop was Target but I didn't get any pictures. We bought some valentines things for my Sunday school class and a few other things that I don't quite remember.
 
Then we headed to Hobby Lobby. Oh we love that store! We bought some new decorations for Easter, one was the three crosses with white cloth draped over it, it's stunning. Beth spotted it and pointed it out to me. When I took it off the shelf and showed it to her she said her eyes were wet. "I get emotional when I see that." Her love for the Lord is so strong and genuine.
 

 I asked her where she wanted to have dinner and listed a few different places. She chose Chick-fil-a. We got the chicken nuggets with fries, I got sweet tea and she chose root beer. On the way out to the car we talked about how much fun we'd had that day!
 
 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

An Update

 I was brushing Beth's hair the other day and she told me, "You need to color your hair. You have a lot of gray." 
 
Gee, thanks for pointing that out Beth. I explained to her the process for coloring your hair and the time and money it takes and I just don't want to go through all that. This is the way the Lord made my hair and I'm okay with it. "Okay" and out she went. "It's great chatting with you Beth!" 😄  
 
This illness - whatever it is now - just keeps hanging on. We have a couple of days where we feel really good, like it's finally over. Then we wake up the next day congested and blowing our noses again. And the cough, that has never gone away.
 
I find myself trying to figure out what I did - or didn't do - that made it relapse. 'Maybe I should eat more of this; maybe I just need more sleep...' Do you do that too? I know so many people who are sick though so I think it's just the season for it and it needs to run it's course. A friend and I were talking about the weather being a factor - so much rain and ice throughout the country lately. Maybe what we all need is a little warm sunshine for a few days! (See, there I go again!) 
 
I took Chuck to the doctor yesterday for a procedure but they ended up not being able to complete it. Now he needs to make a new appointment and they'll try again.
 
Let's see... Beth and I have dentist appointments next month. And hair appointments. Not a whole lot going on around here, can you tell?
 
I guess I'll stop here. I want to thank you for all your comments on my last post. I appreciate your prayers. We're not out of the woods yet.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Since We've Been Home

 Beth and I did a breathing treatment where you pour hot water into a pan and breathe in the steam. We've been so congested. It helped a little.
 
 
Then I noticed her cough had changed. I thought maybe it went from a wet cough to dry but I wasn't sure. So I took her to the walk-in clinic and they did a chest x-ray.
 

 Turns out she has bronchitis and pneumonia! So now she's on antibiotics and is slowly improving. She's yelling at her TV again and laughing at the videos on her phone so that's a good sign. She'll stay home from church tomorrow and have a few more days to rest and let the medicine work. Chuck and I still have bad coughs but usually only at night or when we exert ourselves. We're all going through cough drops like crazy.
 
We had a light dusting of snow a couple days ago and this weekend the temps are in the teens (like most of the nation it seems!) so we just stay inside, take our medicine and wash our hands a lot!  We're looking forward to feeling good again soon!

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Christmas We Won't Soon Forget -- Takes a Turn

The few days after New York were busy -
 
We celebrated Diana and Peter's Birthdays.

We had Ravioli Night where the whole family worked together to make ravioli from scratch. There were three generations there that night. Such a fun tradition!






We had Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Opening stockings and gifts, some at Diana and Peter's, some at Peter's folks. We got matching pajamas for Allison and Adelaide.












And little by little, day by day, THE ICK crept in. Adelaide had croup. Diana woke up one morning with a fever. Some of us were getting congested. By the time we were supposed to head home, we were too sick to fly. We postponed our flight for a couple of days. Then Sharaya had to postpone their flight. In the end, seven of the eight of us were very sick. Stomach bug, laryngitis, chills, coughing, congestion, strep throat, fever, headache... each of us seemed to have varying symptoms. 
(Beth and I both tested negative for covid and influenza but were told we had upper respiratory infections.) Allison was the only one who didn't get sick. Definitely not the way we thought this vacation would end.

I'm writing this on January 10 and Chuck, Beth and I are still congested and coughing but we are slowly improving. The rest of the family is the same way. It sounds like this is going around everywhere. I'm so sorry if you got this bug, whatever it is! 

I know with time though, the fun memories we made on this trip are what we'll remember most. It was good to all be together again!