7 Quick Takes: VBS, Take Two! Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

ICE Training. My VBS kids had to do ICE training this week, as in what to do if ICE knocks on their door. Many were born in the USA and have parents who are citizens. Others have some level of legality due to DACA, and there are still others where I am choosing not to know their status because it doesn’t actually make any difference to me. In any case, I am furious that the political climate is such that they have to be trained in this stuff at a place where they should be going to sing songs, do crafts, play games, and learn about Jesus.

This is similar to how I feel about kids having to have school shooting drills because we grown-ups cannot get our [expletive] together.

— 2 —

Happier topics. My kids knew me a bit better this week, and singing silly songs with them helped them to warm up to me a bit. A few of them would always come and say “hi” to me every day, and there were a couple of them who would attach themselves to my legs when they needed something.

One of them came to me with their counselor today and asked for a snack. Last week, one of the mission team grown-ups had told me about storing the Go-Gurts in the freezer in case one of my kiddos needed a treat, so I grabbed one and gave it to him. His smile was pretty fabulous. 🙂 I also got to make a special PBJ for a kid last week with similar results.

— 3 —

Daniel update. My wee bairn starts intensive behavior therapy next week and it goes for 12 weeks. The promise of having an end to the ear-piercing screaming, slamming of doors, and hitting me if he’s mad is pulling me through and keeping me from trading him for a goldfish.

Hopefully, we don’t have 12 weeks of commutes from Seattle like we had on Tuesday of this week. It took us THREE HOURS to go 60 miles. But Seattle TOTALLY doesn’t have traffic, yo! [/sarcasm]

— 4 —

Whoa… I fell down a Facebook rabbit hole today and found this. Apparently, there is a serious plan in place for what will happen when Queen Elizabeth II passes.

— 5 —

Camp NaNoWriMo progress. I’m currently ~2700 words behind the pace, but I can probably make it up this weekend if I can get some consistent writing time. If you’d like to help me catch up by letting me kill you off creatively in exchange for a donation to help refugees, click here.

— 6 —

Racism. Unless you live in your own little bubble, you’ve heard of 45’s racist tweets involving 4 female Congressmembers. I am not surprised that he said it, but I am definitely disgusted. All four of them are US citizens, and three of them were born in the USA. (Ilhan Omar wasn’t, but she became a citizen at 17.) Two of them have parents from the USA (AOC’s parents are Puerto Rican and Puerto Rico *IS* part of the USA), and all four of them pledged an oath to this country when they were sworn in as Congressmembers.

— 7 —

Speaking out against racism. You don’t have to start yelling and making a scene. Seriously, you don’t. When we were at the Autism Center on Tuesday, there were two women of Somali descent and they were in beautiful abayas with their heads covered. They had gone into the quiet room with their son, and Daniel and I went to go open and close doors elsewhere. When we came back, one of the dads made a catty remark about the women, who were sitting behind him. I smiled and told him that they were just fine. I didn’t yell — I just made it clear that I was not going to trash them. The dad blushed and refused to look at me the rest of the time until we were called in to see Daniel’s autism specialist.

The younger of the women and I ended up having a lovely conversation about our kids, and she told me about living in Nairobi where she was born.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Why I’m Helping At VBS Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s week 1 of VBS at the Spanish-speaking mission attached to my congregation. We had a team from multiple churches in the diocese doing it this week as a mission trip, and I volunteered to help them in the kitchen. I’m not volunteering tomorrow (Daniel is off of school), so I thought I’d talk about WHY I’m helping this week.

Also, if you’d like to help refugees and give me some help in reaching my Camp NaNoWriMo word goals, my fundraiser for RAICES is here.

— 1 —

Because I have nothing better to do. My demon child has started ESY and I have four hours to myself. Why not go spend time on my sore feet in a steamy kitchen?

— 2 —

Because my First Aid skills needed a thorough retest. Apparently, I do know what to do if some idiot tosses 180F water on themselves… especially when *I* am that idiot. (The answer: strip every affected piece of clothing off and douse in cold water, except for my shirt because I didn’t want to be standing in the kitchen in my bra.)

— 3 —

Because I have fiendish plans for global domination by teaching everyone on earth the “Penguin Song”. Actually… I kind of do! (Not to mention, everyone loved it and it will now probably be sung at diocesan youth gatherings.)

— 4 —

Because the steam from the industrial dishwasher is a great facial. My skin is better this week, even if I’ve had to work without my glasses on to keep myself from being bat blind for several hours.

— 5 —

Because I get fed. I was going to be snarky about this one, but I’ve enjoyed having other people make me breakfast. It’s nice not having to make my own bacon… and I never make bacon for myself!

— 6 —

Because we had an amazing team putting on VBS this week. Last year, some of this group came in to do the food while next week’s team was doing the program. This year, it’s youth and adults from four different churches combining for the first week, and the bigger church coming and doing it next week. The combined group has been SO. MUCH. FUN! They all get into doing the Penguin Song with me, we brainstormed verses for “Boom-Chicka-Boom” today, and they have been super flexible with making things work for the kids.

— 7 —

Because these are the coolest kids in the world. I wish I could share pictures of the kids from this week because they are so precious. They are so happy to see me, they enjoy having fun, they say “please” and “thank you”, and some of them patiently taught me my colors and numbers in Spanish two years ago while playing UNO. It really saddens me that these are the kids who would be in the horrible conditions on the southern border, and they are one of the reasons I’m being so utterly vocal about the issue.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Why You Should Support My Fundraiser for RAICES

7 Quick Takes

I’m using my Camp NaNoWriMo novel to raise money for RAICES. If you don’t think what’s going on at the southern border is atrocious, read this. If you are feeling helpless in this situation, read this.

— 1 —

Because RAICES is actually on the ground and working in this situation. RAICES stands for Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. According to their “About Us” page:

RAICES is a frontline organization in the roiling debate about immigration and immigrants in the world. As an organization that combines expertise developed from the daily practice of immigration law with a deep commitment to advocacy, RAICES is unique among immigration organizations. A diverse staff of 130 attorneys, legal assistants, and support staff provide consultations, direct legal services, representation, assistance and advocacy to communities in Texas and to clients after they leave the state. In 2017, RAICES staff closed 51,000 cases at no cost to the client. Our advocacy and commitment to change are driven by the clients and families we serve every day as our attorneys and legal assistants provide legal advocacy and representation in an immigration system that breaks apart families and leaves millions without pathways to legal status.

In other words, they provide the services necessary to help the situation.

— 2 —

Because I need people to kill off interestingly in my novel. It’s a murder mystery and I’ve had people ask to be killed off interestingly every time I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo. Starting the second time I participated, I’ve asked for a donation to charity in exchange for me making that person one of my victims. We’ve had drive-by scythings, we’ve had someone killed by poison in the chalice during Communion, we’ve had various types of tainted food, someone has spontaneously combusted on a waterslide… (Apparently, I need to find a friend group that doesn’t like slasher movies?) If I didn’t have people to kill off, I’d have to start killing off characters based on people I actually like.

— 3 —

Because it helps out people who are in an impossible situation. People don’t randomly decide to leave everything and walk through multiple countries to get to a place. For example, my dad’s family left Ireland to escape the famine, got to America where the harbor was closed to their ship, sailed up the St. Lawrence River into Canada, and came across the border from there. (I’ve actually seen my great-great-grandfather’s citizenship papers where he forswears his loyalty to Queen Victoria, who was the monarch over Ireland at that time as Ireland was part of the UK.) Our currently impossible citizenship process was much different at the time, or I would probably be writing this from somewhere in British Columbia.

— 4 —

Because the ones suffering the most are children. Some idiot on Fox News made the comment that it’s not like this is happening in Idaho and that these are not OUR children. I find that statement reprehensible. Imagine your child being taken from you and put in a place like that. THESE KIDS DID NOT ASK FOR THIS TO HAPPEN TO THEM! We as a country have a horrible history of doing this with the babies of slaves (they weren’t the babies of the slave-owning families) and Native Americans (we sent them to boarding schools where they were severely abused and forced to give up their culture). WE NEED TO BE BETTER THAN THIS!

— 5 —

Because our Lord commands us to not abuse foreigners. Here is an article that lays all of that out beautifully with Scriptural citations. Also, people get hissy about helping Syrian refugees because they’re Muslim… so I hope those people (misguided as they are) might consider helping because THESE REFUGEES AND ASYLEES ARE CATHOLICS.

— 6 —

Because it’s personal for me. I know a family who was separated and united. The son was sent to Texas, the husband was sent to Arizona, and the mom was sent to Washington. She somehow ended up in my area and came to my church. With the help of the Diocese, we were able to get legal help to get everyone back together. The family is lovely and the son is doing spectacularly in school in the local dual-language immersion program.

— 7 —

Because it’s fun. You get to pick how you die and I will send you whatever I write about your death. RAICES gets necessary funds to do the amazing work they do and can help in this situation, while you get a small piece of fiction written about you.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 24, 2019

For Today… June 24, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the high 60’s.

I am thinking… about Homer, my parents’ cat who we had to let go a year ago today.

I am thankful… for my nephew Braden’s first birthday today. I saw the little beast yesterday and got smiles. I am a very happy Auntie Jen!

One of my favorite things… quiet. I rarely get it with Daniel out of school for the summer (with the exception of ESY).

I am wearing… charcoal shirt and jeans capris.

I am creating… plot points for my Camp NaNoWriMo piece.

I am reading… Inspired by Rachel Held Evans. I’m finding it hard to read since Rachel died, because I don’t want to be done with her writing.

I am hoping… there’s something fun for me in the mailbox. **UPDATE** It was just a yarn catalog, my car insurance bill, and my AAA magazine.

In my kitchen… whatever is in the freezer.

In the school room… Daniel is out for the next two weeks until ESY starts.

Post Script… the Classic Editor plugin I use to keep the editor that existed on WordPress before they rolled out “Gutenberg”.

Shared Quote… “It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.” – Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

A moment from my day…

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: “What’s Next?” Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m graduating tonight with my AAS in both of the Office and Business Technology degrees from Skagit Valley College, and I have a lot of people asking “what’s next?” when I see them. So… this is my list of things that are coming up:

— 1 —

Appointments. Daniel has a psychiatrist appointment in Seattle tomorrow, and we are going to be grilling the doctor on what we can do because he has been crazy this week. Next week, I have a therapy appointment on Monday and Daniel has a couple on Wednesday. I just called and got a bunch of stuff set up and the calendar is looking a little crazy.

— 2 —

Adulting. The last three years have been crazy with the divorce and school, so I have some adult and legal appointments happening in July to get everything squared away before I’m working full-time.

— 3 —

Possible surgery. There’s a hysterectomy in the somewhat near future for me. My surgical consult appointment keeps getting moved, so I have no clue when.

— 4 —

Biobehavioral Therapy for Daniel. We’re apparently at the top of the list now, so it might be in July or August? We’re hoping it’s late July because we need some tools for parenting and working with this kid. Autism tends to throw all the normal kid rules out and his developmental issues mean that I have a 3-4 year old in a 10 year old’s body.

— 5 —

Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m aiming for 50,000 words of a story written in July. I’m sorting out plot stuff and working with characters right now. It’s something creative my brain can do now that it isn’t full of Accounting or Microsoft Office things.

— 6 —

Family time. My nephew turns 1 this weekend, we have another family thing next weekend, and we’ll be headed to the pioneer cemetery to bury Grandma at some point this summer. I’ll definitely be seeing a lot of family members and I am actually pretty excited about it.

— 7 —

Look for jobs. My resume is up on a few sites and we’ll see what shakes out this summer.

— Bonus —

Here is a picture of me in all my graduation regalia with my honor cords, tassel, and medals. I was also eligible for a stole from Phi Theta Kappa, but I did not get it ordered in time.

Me in graduation regalia with honor cord, tassel, and medal.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Stunned Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

So, um, this happened. I received an invitation to the Honors Reception this year because I was receiving something. I had no idea what it was and thought it might be grades-related or something. Let’s just say that I was completely stunned when it was announced that I was receiving this:

President's Medal

— 2 —

An explanation. Apparently, my GPA was noteworthy and I met some other criteria that I have yet to find out. I’m one of 21 students in my graduating class who received it. I have been instructed to wear it when I graduate next week.

Redacted medal

— 3 —

Some more pictures. Here’s a medal selfie and a picture of me with my dad.

Car selfie
Me and Dad outside of McIntyre Hall

— 4 —

My last final. I got 6 of the 7 documents in rough draft form for my Document Production final while I was stuck outside the house today. (Mom was polishing the hardwood floors today, so we all got banished until early afternoon.) I have a report to key tomorrow, and then I’ll spend the weekend proofing them and trying to make sure my formatting is correct. Getting the medal is pushing me to finish strong. The highest I’ll get in the class is an A-, but I’ll at least keep my killer GPA if I focus on getting at least 90/100 on this final.

— 5 —

IBS. I started feeling queasy on Tuesday and having some stomach pain, and I’ve been fighting the less fun aspects of IBS for the last two days. Eating is hard enough already and I’m having to find things that are not making my stomach cranky. My coffee habit doesn’t help this and I’ve been pushing the liquids because it’s in the 80’s with humidity here, so I also face the threat of dehydration. Thank goodness for Starbuck’s Pink Drink!

— 6 —

My plans. I’ve had people ask about what is coming next for me. Daniel *STILL* needs to start his biobehavioral stuff and that won’t be until later this summer. I’m also looking at a likely hysterectomy, so I’m having to figure out that in addition. It looks like I’ll probably start applying for jobs around November, and I’ve got some tax-preparation training that is possible this summer and fall.

A parishioner joking asked me that now that I’ve won the President’s Medal, what am I going to do? My response: “I’m going to take a nap!”

— 7 —

Huh. Kelly provides some food for thought today with her ponderings about blogging as a side hustle vs. blogging for leisure. Go read it. Do it now.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 11, 2019

For Today… June 11, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the 70’s. I was working on homework, so I was inside all day.

I am thinking… about my assignment due as well as my final for Document Production.

I am thankful… that I will be done with school completely as soon as this final is over. As much as I love my program and classes, I am ready to be done with my degrees and to find work.

One of my favorite things… club soda. It is helping to deal with avoiding Coca-Cola.

I am wearing… charcoal heather shirt from Old Navy and capri pajama bottoms from Target.

I am creating… formatted documents.

I am watching… Forged in Fire reruns on On Demand.

I am hoping… Daniel sleeps through the night tonight. He’s been having issues going to sleep and/or waking up super early.

I am learning… about the Mediterranean diet. I’ll probably move toward meal-planning it through this summer.

In my kitchen… pesto quinoa.

In the school room… Daniel has six days left.

Post Script… Captain Awkward, an interesting advice column.

Shared Quote… “Jesus did not simply die to save us from our sins; Jesus lived to save us from our sins. His life and teachings show us the way to liberation. But you can’t fit all that on a bumper sticker. So we try to boil it down to a formula. Four steps. The “Romans Road.” John 3:16. And yet the gospel itself, in its eternal scope and scandalous particularity, defies reduction.” — Rachel Held Evans

Hosted by The Simple Woman.