Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cactus Cups!

For those of you who don't live in the desert, I try to capture photos of Arizona sights that you probably won't see anywhere else.

Today, I present Exhibit A: Styrofoam cups on cacti!  
Cacti are most likely to freeze on the very tips, so people who have lots of the pointy sort of cacti often put Styrofoam cups over the tips of these cacti to protect them on nights when a "freeze warning" is in effect (like the last week).  Usually it's for more than one night in a row that we have freeze warnings, so the cups stay on during the day to save the labor of taking them off, then putting them back on again.

This place is an air conditioning installation and repair business.  They have a beautiful cactus garden, and it's hilarious with all the cups!

And I had an exciting surprise when I went out to cuddle Juvy a couple of days ago: ICE in the fountain!

It is always (at least always in my experience) above freezing during the daytime, so the ice didn't linger long.  But it was beautiful while it lasted!

Church Update: The woman I've been in discussions with from the church we like e-mailed and said she wasn't able to meet with her HR department yet, but she is very serious about believing there is a place for me there.  She made some very generous and flattering comments and made me feel happy to be appreciated.  After a while of feeling un-valued, it's nice to have other people fighting FOR me rather than against me.

Chirp update:
I had a meeting with a woman from a well-known agency in downtown Phoenix (I try to keep names out of this blog) that provides support and resources to people with behavioral and mental disorders (depression, drug abuse, etc.)  She was given my name by someone at our previous church who has known me for many years.  This woman was interested in finding out more about me and what I do because their agency is thinking of expanding the services they provide and including more resources for children and adults with developmental disabilities (Autism, Down Syndrome, cognitive disability, etc.), but their clinicians don't really know anything about those areas, so they're looking at providing training, which they are considering having me give IF they decide to expand their scope of practice.  

She also wanted to talk about the church consulting and curriculum because her church (in her own words) is "not a fast-growing denomination" and "not relevant" to her community; she thinks one excellent way to become relevant would be to reach out to families that have children with special needs.  She has an adult son who is on the Autism spectrum who functions pretty well, but it increased her concern for how people who DON'T function well get to know Jesus.  She also said kind and generous things about our willingness to move outside our comfort zone to do what we believe we're called to do . . . and she complimented Greg a lot for being a rock and a wonderful support to me.  I couldn't agree more.  I may be a voice for kids with developmental disorders, but Greg is really the voice for ME.  I wouldn't be able to verbalize the "why" of what we're doing without him.

It was interesting that all the people I've been meeting with lately really want to know my "story" - as I share why I'm doing what I'm doing and what Greg & I believe our purpose to be, they buy in completely and become my biggest advocates.  The woman from the downtown agency decided she's going to open discussions with family members who live in different cities to approach their leaders and that she's going to talk with her own church leaders about providing support and spiritual education to kids with special needs and their families (with the help of me and the Chirp Curriculum).  Pretty cool.  Also cool is that she is from a completely different, much more traditional branch of Christianity than I am.  The differences are not in fundamental beliefs, but in practices - how we carry things out.  

It would be really neat if the Chirp method and curriculum were used in all sorts of different Christian denominations to reach kids for Jesus!  (I always do my research before discussions like this, though, because I will only work with churches that practice what I believe to be Biblicial Christianity).

On a completely different, and lighter, note: here is something that has made me extraordinarily happy this week:

New jeans!  I have not really been a jeans person in my adult life, especially with all the hormone trouble that left me with lots of hot flashes and scar tissue in my abdomen, but this year I have run very cold (yay!), and I find myself wanting to put on pants every single day.  And I didn't have very many that were in good shape (I have a few pairs I wear hiking or doing stuff around the house, but I wouldn't feel good about wearing them to meetings or things like that).  So I went shopping and found this pair at GAP - and they have adorable little bubbles painted on them!  :)  And they fit just right.  Yesterday I just had a casual meeting at a coffee shop, so I wore them with gold sneakers (made by Superga).  I felt adorable alllll day long and that's a great feeling!  I may have to invest in another pair if my budget allows it . . . 

Have a happy Thursday!


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