Friday, August 29, 2008


I have a homeless friend named Ricky. He is mentally ill and for a long time I avoided him because at times he acted so unusual it made me feel uncomfortable. For example, one time I drove by him running all over the McDonald's parking lot chasing some Sea Gulls. I was giving another homeless friend some socks when he ran up to me and said, "these birds are bullies and I hate bullies" then he bowed and smiled at me with a huge toothless grin and ran off again.

Hmmmm I could give more stories here, but you get the point.

The other day I saw Ricky and started to talk to him. A shop owner approached us and said, "Will you explain to him that if he wants to come into my store then he has got to behave." I started thinking will I explain to him? Why me? This guy is mentally ill and I'm not even sure how we became friends. Plus what does "behaving" look like. Do you mean appropriate behaviors, when purchasing an item, or asking for assistance, this could take all day...

I turned to Ricky and awkwardly said, "He would like you to be nice." The man walked back into his store and Ricky looked like he was going to cry. He told me that God was mad at him and its hard when God is mad. Then he showed me his hands there were scars on the palms of them. I have no idea how they got there. His arms were dirty with open sores, his hair long and matted, his skin weathered deeply tanned and dirty. I felt like for the first time I truly saw him. Just then I felt my heart break with compassion. He is a homeless mentally ill man who seems to have no safety net, living in a state that continues to cut services for the mentally ill.

I've been praying that God would somehow use me or give me the words to explain to Ricky that he matters and that Jesus loves him so much he died for him. I want to be an extension of God's love. I'm thinking of making him some turkey stuffing. He loves the stuff. Is it too corny to say here's some stuffing I made it because I want you to know God loves you and wants you to be his son?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

This picture was too funny to pass up! Well if you have been reading long, most of you know, I'm trying to find "balance" in my life. (Whatever that means.) One thing I struggle with constantly is not giving my daughter GA enough time. Yesterday was her first day of Junior High she was so stressed I decided to sign up as a parent volunteer for the first day. This meant a lot of juggling because I had to find somewhere for G to stay... he ended up going to work with the Hubbo and had his fill of Star Wars video games....

Anyhow, I was glad I went. I kept an eye out for GA. She started to get lost, along w/ several other 6th graders, so I had the pleasure of intercepting them and leading them straight to the sixth grade PE teacher. Don't worry I was cool, I told them all I've been helping kids find PE all day, which was true.

At lunch GA sat down and was all alone. She looked so sad. I told one of my new lunch lady friends, "look at my daughter." I probably looked like a wreak because I felt like so sad for her. Anyhow, long story short the lunch lady asked if she knew anyone, and then found the only girl GA knows at the school. They sat together and talked and GA brightened up right away.

I know GA is growing up and there are less and less opportunities for me to be there for her. I want to be there but not suffocate her. Oh this is going to be a hard balancing act! I'm glad the first day turned out well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Ready for School

We use the Time Timer to help my son stay on task when he is getting ready.
Time Timer

School is starting and we are going to work on independence.  We are going to use a time timer to help G keep track of time visually.  He will have 30 minutes to get ready.   The visual of the red disc smaller is starting to help him stay on task.  Of course it helps that red is is favorite color!

I also found a really cool I Can Get Ready for School Chart.  It is really sturdy, and it was only $10.00.  What I like is its simple one side says need to do - the other side says completed.  So G can choose the order he wants to go through to get ready for school.  As he finishes each task like getting dressed, brushing teeth he can just move it over to the completed side.  When he is all done he gets a star for the day.  We will celebrate when he gets five stars.

This is the I Can Get Ready for School Chart we will use to help my son become more independent.
I Can Do It! School Chart

I'm getting ready for my second year of homes chool. I'm excited because I feel confident in adapting materials so G can understand them better.

This year I'm really looking forward to American History focusing on 1900-Present. I'm excited because I have found lots of videos through our library system that I will use to supplement the curriculum.

GA is starting Junior High next week. I can't believe my baby girl is going to Junior High. She has recently taken a more proactive role in her appearance which is good. I had let myself go and realized I was setting the example for GA. So I have made a point of doing my hair, applying a little make up and wearing clothes that are neat and clean. (Evil depression you won't get the best of me!!!) I have also made a point of helping GA try new hair styles and complimenting her on her appearance. I'm constantly pushing down the guilt w/ GA. So much energy goes into G I often find myself with not much left to give her. Balance, its that balance thing again. As soon as someone figures out how to balance their life, please let me know the secret.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

He ate a sandwich!!!


I can't believe it.

Yesterday my son was hungry I told him I'll make you a sandwich. (I always say this, he always declines, hasn't eaten a sandwich since he was three and then it had to be cut into *perfect* cubes.)

This time he said, yes and he ate it!


I'm going to wait a few more sandwiches and see if I can find out why the change. Perhaps it was camp.

Also, thank you to everyone for praying I do feel much better now :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Deprssion Stinks!

Wow, I had a bad day yesterday, I had to force myself to get anything done. I've been lax on taking care of myself and doing CBT. My sleep has been off and I know that is directly related. S0000o no more caffeine after lunch, starting tomorrow. I would have started today but I realized I already blew it while charting my behaviors. (I keep track of my behaviors and track how different behaviors make me feel.) On a positive note, I found I love reading blogs, I must have read them for a couple of hours yesterday.

Maybe that isn't so positive...

Hmmmm I'll have to think on that one.

Its been over a year since I was diagnosed with "clinical depression" and I still can't believe I'm not over it. I've prayed, pleaded, begged God to let it stop... but still I have days like yesterday. At least every day isn't like yesterday anymore. I keep thinking of:

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. 2 Cor 12:7 The Message

I want to be glad to let this happen, but right now I'm going to just try to remember God's grace is enough, God's grace is enough, its enough.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Kids are Back

The kids are back, they had a great time at camp. They both would like to go to camp again next year. G shared with me that he got lost at camp. He finally ended up someplace he recognized and was able to find his way. He felt proud, and at first I felt scared and guilty. I can't believe he was walking alone in a strange place without an escort, or a map, or directions or something. I should have been there... Where were the other kids? Where were the counselors?

I've been thinking this over. Maybe I should be happy, he found his way no harm done, right?
He was very independent and took care of himself, that's good, right??

He felt proud of himself, even though he was very nervous, that's good right???


What if he didn't find his way?

What if he got lost in the woods and they had to call the forest rangers??

What if he became a news story???

I have to find a balance between protection and freedom. G won't learn to take care of himself if I never give him an opportunity to stretch, grow and be independent. On the other hand, I love him so much, I couldn't take it if something happened to him. We're working on life and community skills, he can now purchase things from a store. I want him to be prepared for anything, but I can't prepare him for everything.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sweet Freedom

My son and daughter are going to church camp this weekend with G-dub and Katherine. They are in charge of the youth groups at Fair Oaks, and if you can believe this, Katherine use to work with special needs adults. My kids like them both a lot, as do I, so...
I can't believe I can let my kids go away for a weekend and feel comfortable.

Hence this Friday at 9:30 I will be free, as in no children, no husband, just me alone. My husband will come back after work, but from 9:30-6:30 on Friday I will be completely free to do whatever I want. This is such a rare occasion, I'm not sure how to spend it.

Shall I read a good book?

wander aimlessly through the house,



I don't know what I'm gonna do, but I don't want to waste my time!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Homeless Friends

I blogged awhile ago about my friend Kit Kat who passed away. I wanted to share that I found out what happened to KK. She was sitting on a bench and fell, hit her head on the sidewalk. She was very ill, no one hurt her. For awhile my homeless friends couldn't talk to me about it because they were so upset. I was so thankful for the news.

By the way if you want to help the homeless, give them clean socks. They always need socks and it is so nice for their feet.

Don't give them hard to chew food (beef jerky, chewy fruit snacks...) most have dental problems so even if they are hungry they can't eat it.

As a rule, whenever I'm asked for money I say, "I can't give you money, but if you're hungry I can get you something to eat." If they are hungry they let me know.