Monday, June 28, 2010

A Delightful Paperbag Album

Good Morning Friends. I played around with more of the leftover scraps from the Just Delightful Simply Scrappin' kit.....actually I made this before I made all those cards from the other day. Wasn't going to post it because I think this type of album is kind of old now. But, knew that it might be an inspiration to one of you out there.

I had a difficult time finding white bags for this album....chance find at a craft store in Wisconsin one day while visiting family. I think for the colors in this kit, white is best. I followed Jan Tink's design you can find it by going to I tried linking it and could not make a go of it; sorry. When you go to her site, look down on the left for the Paperbag instructions and templates.

I made my own little journaling cards using a varitey of sentiments and there are qute a few pullouts for more photos. I love these little interactive albums. This will probably be a Christmas gift for someone special this year. Folks these albums are fairly quick and inexpensive to make...unless you add a whole lot of embelishments!

I would be happy to give you any measurements or information on this project, just let me know.

Thanks for looking! Hope your week is wonderful!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

About Our Son, Clark

Good Morning Friends. Yesterday I said I would post some photos of our son, Clark, and give you a bit of information on his life. Which is such a big part of our life!

Well, as you can see he graduated from High School. That is such a big deal for a child with a disability. I think one of the most difficult things about this event is that he growing up and for me that has been tough. Not from the boo hoo point but from the point of 'what is he going to do with the rest of his life?'

If you have never had anyone in your family with a disability this might be difficult to understand. But, in case you did not know, the school is responsible and mandated, federally, to provide opportunities for job and day program exploration. This means that they must go out into the community and see day programs and get evaluated for jobs. This was not done with Clark. Something for which we are very angry about.

We found out in February, at his last IEP, that there was no plans for potential jobs or day programs because of his health and other 'obstacles'. The obstacles were the medication schedule, his tube feedings (he was on continuous feedings) and hygiene issues. Well, you can't do anything about the hygiene part he wears a diaper because he cannot sit on a toilet. But, you can do something about the feeding and medication components.

I went to Clark's doctors and asked for help with solving the problems.....had that accomplished by the end of the next week. Came back to the school and demanded that they help us in the time he had remaining at school. They were able to get him to a job site, get evaluated and now he is on a waiting list. But, he still did not have anything else lined up for his days after school.

One of the things we had been working on for nearly 2 years was to find an appropriate home in the community for him to live in instead of the group home he was currently in. The agency we were working with lost their director at the end of in he quit. There was no explanation as to why, no contact with him answers and left us feeling very uneasy.

Wayne and I gave it a lot of thought. What we came up with was this.....he has been living at this home for 3 years. Granted it is not the perfect home but, I don't think that exists and at least we know how these folks operate; we know what to expect. As Wayne says, "It is better going with the Devil you know instead of the Devil you don't." While Clark would be in the new home and that might be lovely, Clark would be starting all over again.....learning curve with the new staff, new staff he does not know, no plans for getting out into the community, etc., etc., etc. So, we decided to keep him at the home he is in currently.

We also decided to start talking to other people/agencies that might be able to help Clark get into the community instead of getting stuck in that home day in and day out. It was pretty dark for me for a few months.....I cried a lot. I worried a lot. But, then I got down on my knees and prayed for guidance and strength to make the best decisions for Clark. I feel that God must be guiding us else why would that door close on the school's help and the getting Clark into a home that we thought he needed. I think God has a different plan.

I think that God wants Clark to be the light at that group home. He is so happy always, despite all his issues. He is the most cognitive resident there. He is the most independent resident there as well. Maybe instead of fighting it, go with the flow.

So, here is the update in a nutshell......because I have babbled on long enough......we are re-decorating his room to fit his Construction tastes, we are exploring Day Programs (after having rewritten his Personal Care Plan to state that he needs to be out in the community), we are getting a Vocational Rehab. consult and we are on the waiting list for his job. Until we can find something out in the community, he will work on things at the home in their day learning his phone number, complete address, to be responsible to tell others where he is going at all times on the facility grounds and doing little jobs as a stepping stone to the bigger one.

It has taken a lot of fighting for him.....yes, I am tired of it.....yes, I would love for everything to be in place and go smoother than it has for years. But, I have to keep thanking God for Clark being in my life, for keeping him so healthy and for giving me so much help to fight for him. Because I believe that I am not just fighting for Clark but for others in that facility too.

About all the pictures.....the cap and gown ones are from his Graduation. The girl in the pink is Brittany, his girlfriend at school. I imagine that since she still has two more years at school, the relationship will probably die due to lack of participation on her parents. Life goes on.

The other photos are of Grandparents and us at our recent zoo trip. A gift from his Grandparents (Wayne's folks). We had a great time...good diversion to the hum drum of Clark's daily life. Watched the Lions and baby elephants and sweat like pigs that day. But, it was very nice to all be together.

Thanks for listening to me. I do appreciate you so very much.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Waaaay To Long Away.....

Friends, it has been far far too long since I have posted anything....really far too long since I have made anything worthy of posting. Since April life has been a roller coaster of sorts. Most of my time was spent divided between finishing the semester at college, preparing for Clark to transition out of school and gardening.

I did marvelously well with my class in Soils....earned an A. That will look nice on my transcripts should I ever decide on looking for a job some day. During that time I took some tests to find out if I was going in the right direction....I continue to have doubts about this field for my future. All the tests I took pointed to, I will be checking that field out within the next few weeks.

Gardening in our yard certainly keeps getting better and better. Though takes more and more work it seems like. We added one new garden in the vicinity of our Oak Tree. Wayne put in a delightful edging which just finishes things off so nicely. Planted some Knock Out Roses and Lilac bushes. Then finished up another garden that was started last fall with more Knock Out Roses in a light yellow and Butterfly bushes with seeds scattered for now. Next year we will have the $$$ to plant a few more shrubs and perennials there. Still have to finish the paver walkway and build another. But, they will have to wait for fall. I will post some pictures of our gardens soon.

Clark's circumstances are a source of much worry and concern, always. It will take too long to post all of what has gone on in the past two months to put here and I am sure that most of you would just be too bored to read it. So, I will post again tomorrow with some pics of him and the story....cuz you know, I got stories!

Okay, about these cards......I was wanting something to do in front of the TV. So, I went through my SU Simply Scrappin' kits.....folks if you have never used these, they are wonderful for making cards and scrapbook pages!! I wanted to use up some of the older ones. That is what I did with this one.....Delight in Life. One of my all time favorite SAB kits! I made 32 cards all together here......I made another 30 something when I first got it. Not listing all the supplies, if you want to know something, just ask.

Thanks for looking. Have a wonderful summer weekend!