Give Thanks to the Lord

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
 Psalm 118:1 NIV

I am so thankful and humbled for the response to yesterday’s post. I want to thank each and every person who shared the link to get the word out about Ohio’s Developmental Centers. I want to thank each person who emailed congressmen and our governor to let them know we are not O.K. with the closing of Developmental Centers. I was so moved by the comments and touched by those who remembered John.

More than any of this, I want to thank my God, whose love endures forever. It will ultimately be through prayer to God that he will lead and guide any decision that is to be made about Developmental Centers and their future.

If you did not email any congressman or governor yesterday, or even if you did, I ask that you pray.

Pray for Ohio’s Developmental Centers to remain an option for families who have a member with special needs.

Pray for the staff who work in these Developmental Centers.

Pray for the clients, that their best interest is always taken into consideration.

Pray that our congressmen and our governor will always seek God’s will before making any decision, especially decisions concerning developmental centers.

Pray for my family as we move ahead that we will always stay in God’s will as we continue our push to keep John in his home.

Pray for John. Pray that he knows he is loved and cared for. Pray for his health and his home.

John Easter 1979

I will continue to keep everyone updated as to what is going on. In the mean time, thank you for your continued support and your prayers.

Please, Help My Brother Stay in His Home!

Today, I have a huge favor to ask anyone and everyone willing to respond.

I would like to introduce you to a member of my family.

John at 2 yrs

This is my brother, John. He was born in November of 1961. You see, my brother, John, has a form of autism. During the  1960s – 1970s not much was known about autism. Due to John’s erratic behaviors and side effects from the trial and error of many different types of medicines, Mom an Dad could not care for my brother at home. He needed to be cared for professionally. This was a very difficult decision for my parents and after much thought, prayer and consultation, in 1974, John was placed in GDC (Gallipolis Developmental Center). This was close to where we lived and my parents and I could visit him often and keep a close eye on his care.

John 1972

According to an annual report from the state of Ohio GDC was one of the largest facilities of its kind and served 2358 residents. Now, the census is down to around 99. After more residents are relocated to group homes, the census will soon be down to 59. (according to a phone call from one of GDCs administrators). This is a huge drop!

John bday

So, why do you think there was this huge drop in census? Well, that is our fear. Yes, Developmental Centers do cost our state money. Yes, our state is always trying to cut the budget. Yes, my mother and I have received phone calls from GDC administrators wanting to suggest that we allow John to be placed in a privately owned group home. (John was placed in a group home at one other time and it was not the most appropriate setting for him).

Yes, we fear of an upcoming closure of GDC!

John 1977

There are several reasons why we have this fear.

  1. The huge yet gradual drop in census.
  2. A huge drop in the workers. In October of 2013, 80 positions were cut from GDC.
  3. There is already a slated closure within the next two years for two other Developmental Centers (Montgomery and Youngstown). See article.
  4. The need for this legislation, S.B. 64 which states that no more developmental centers can be closed without members of the General Assembly reviewing and creating a Commission.
  5. Lack of communication from GDCs new administration to guardians. Administration used to keep in contact with parents and guardians of any new legislation or orders from the court or any changes. The only contact we have had lately is about these new group homes.

 

As John’s adult guardians, my mother and I received notices recently in the mail that the Supreme Court of Ohio recently passed a law that we now need to attend classes every year in order to keep our guardianship. If we don’t take the classes, we may lose our guardianship! That would mean John would become a ward of the state and we wouldn’t have any say in his placement. Is this to make it difficult on current guardians to keep their family members in developmental centers? I don’t know. I just know that so far we have had a lot of difficulty just getting registered for the only class that is located in our area and is coming up in the next two weeks! Not much notice!

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I ask you this:

Please. If you live in one of these counties in Ohio (Fayette, Pickaway, Ross, Pike, Vinton, Jackson, Athens, Meigs or Gallia) that are serviced by GDC contact your state senator or representative. Also, contact our governor. Let them know the importance of keeping our state’s developmental centers open. Group homes do not work for all residents. There needs to be the option of a Developmental Center.

If you live in any other county in Ohio, this affects you as well. All Developmental Centers in Ohio stand the chance of closure if Ohio citizens don’t stand and act!

If you do not live in Ohio, do you know the status of developmental centers in your state? Are people, like my brother, who are developmentally handicapped being offered options as to the most appropriate environment for their care?

We need to take a stand for those who cannot stand up for themselves! GDC is home to John and the other residents there.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 Matthew 25:40 NIV

 

 

 

A Fun Day Trip and A Special Day!

First, I want to tell you today is a special day! Yes, indeedy!

24 years ago today, my son, Ryan was born.

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He has become such a handsome, hardworking young man. We are so proud of him. Happy Birthday Ryan!

 

Second, I wanted to tell you about a day trip I had with David yesterday. I don’t know how we have been able to sneak off and get this time to ourselves lately, but yesterday he had an unexpected day off and he has been dying to go here.

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Lehman’s is located in Dalton,Ohio (part of Amish country). It was originally started to serve the Amish with supplies for their simple way of life. Now it has grown to be one of the largest stores of its kind in the country!

We found things like this:

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and this:

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And most of the day, my husband looked like this:

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So serious!

We had a lot of fun there! The down side was most items are pretty pricey, so we made very few actual purchases.

We did a lot of driving around and looking at the beautiful Amish countryside.

We saw a lot of this:

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But at the end of the day we had some good Amish home cooking at Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen and my hubby looked like this:

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What a fun day for us. I am pretty sure we will be going back again soon to visit. There were so many other things to do!

How about you!

Have you ever been to Amish country?

What were some things you did or places you visited there?

Please, share in the comments.

Tire Gardening

You may wonder what tire gardening is…

Nope, we don’t grow tires!

We grow some of our vegetables and fruits in tires!

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This appears to work very well for us with some of our garden plants!

My husband is a part-time truck driver and the company he works for has a large pile of used tires that they have to pay someone to haul away. Dave asked if he could have a few. This saves them from having to pay someone, so they let him take them for free! BONUS!

We began with just two tires for our ever-bearing strawberries. With these, David cut off the sidewalls and partially buried them in the ground. It was more like a border. This was easy to mow and weed-eat around but did not keep the rabbits from jumpin’ in for dinner! And the birds! And the deer! —yup we feed not only people here but all the local critters as well! Lol

Last year, Dave brought home around 10 tires from work! I wasn’t sure at first what he aimed to do with these, but he told me he was going to plant our zucchini and yellow squash in them. In the past, our garden would be a huge jungle of zucchini and yellow squash vines and there was no way I could harvest them all because I couldn’t get to them. I can understand why some gardeners like to hill these plant up. David does not like to do this because he prefers the rows when he tills.

Well, let me tell you! This worked out beautifully! I was able to keep up with all the zucchini and yellow squash last summer!

(I don’t know if you’ve ever raised either of these veggies yet, but this is how it works—-

Monday – not ready to pick;

Tuesday – READY!;

Wednesday – Sweet mother of Moses! What is that ginormous thing growing in our garden!)

So you see — you gotta pick ’em at just the right time.

This year, Dave brought home around 10 or 100 more tires!

Here is what we have so far this year:

2 Ever-bearing strawberries (these were the same two I mentioned earlier. We have had them for a while.)

3 with three tomato plants in each (see pic)

1 Rhubarb

3 with three cucumber plants in each.

2 with three zucchini in each

3 with three yellow squash in each

4 with June bearing strawberries

4 with various herbs

GRAND TOTAL: 22 tires!

It makes it easy to harvest, easy to mow around and it does deter the rabbits a bit if you leave the sidewalls intact.

 

How about you? Do you have any unique ways to garden?

Do you think you might try tire gardening?

Have you ever seen a ginormous zucchini or yellow squash in your garden?

Please, share in the comments.

5 Things I’m Loving This Week!

Hope your week was wonderful! Here are 5 things I am loving this week!

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1. My daughter started her first job this week!

She is now officially a waitress at a locally owned restaurant. She has two days under her belt so far but, oh, how much she has learned already. So far the people she has worked with have been so patient and understanding. She has grown so much in the past two years (mostly out of necessity). We are so proud of all she has been able to accomplish!

My garden

2. Learnin’ about bloggin’!

I have learned a whole lot about blogging this past week! I started my blog, changed the appearance, started a facebook page and wrote a couple of posts with pics! Whew! I still have so far to go but I am excited about the journey and hope to give God all the glory for all I have been able to do so far.

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3. This great deal at TSC!

I love a great deal where I can save money for my family. I wrote about this deal in my last post. Three heavy work shirts for $6.99 each! Great for Christmas gifts or Father’s Day gifts! :))

4. Rain, rain, rain!

We have been so dry the last several weeks that my hubby and I have had to water our gardens — a lot! He tells me to water in the evening until the ground puddles. Well, one day while I watered the garden it took two hours with the sprinkler on before there was any puddles at all. The ground really soaked it up!

This past week we have finally had some very generous showers! Some thanks to tropical storm Bill who brought buckets along with him. We have seen our garden really thrive with the rain and some plants have nearly doubled in size!

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5. Time spent with my husband.

I know. I know. You are looking at the date on the picture and thinking… “Wow! That’s an old pic!” This was a picture my daughter took of us on vacation back in 2007, but it is one of my favorite pictures of us. My husband works very hard (two jobs + gardening and other general things that need done around the house), so it is rare for us to be able to sneak off and just have some time to ourselves. This past week we were able to pull that off a couple of times! Shock! Shock! And, oh, how unusual!

Yesterday, (on Father’s Day no less), he got up early, went to work, came home, ate supper and cleaned up the dishes for me! So sweet! But— not done yet! After visiting with family, we ran some errands in town (more alone time, Yay!) and he came home and worked on his truck so it would be ready for work the next day! I told you— very hard-working.

I am so blessed to have this man in my life and enjoy all of our time together.

 

 

How I saved money! A great Father’s Day Gift!

My husband, Dave, and I decided on a whim to go to town to grab a bite to eat. We strolled through the local farmer’s market. Then my hubby decided to drive over by one of his favorite stores — Tractor Supply.

The lady who works there is great! She knows her job! She greeted us and told us about this great deal on plaid winter shirts for $6.99!!!

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Wow! These are normally almost $30 for one and we got all three for less than that!

The lady told us that TSC sent a bunch of these shirts to their store and said, “Get rid of them.” She also shared with us that these are Schmidt brand shirts and that was the name of the fellow who started TSC .

One will be a Father’s Day Gift, but the other two I am putting back for Christmas gifts! (I usually never have Christmas gifts this early!)

I think I will have to shop TSC more often!!!!!

Why Gardens Lilies and Grace?

You may wonder where I got the title for my blog and why I decided to start a blog in the first place.
Well, I have toyed with the blog idea many times – even started a blog over a year ago, put two or three posts on it, (never actually hit the publish button on any of them- by the way) and now can’t even remember the name of that blog! Lol
This time I wanted it to be different. I decided to try again and put a little more effort into it — and actually hit the publish button!
Where did I get my title for my blog?
Thinking about what types of things I would like to share on a blog gave me the title.
Gardens — My hubby and I love to garden. I have learned all my gardening skills from him. We grow all types of things from veggies to flowers to herbs. While I am not an expert on the matter, I believe I have some things to share here. The reason we garden is to save money. Oh, yes, I am a couponer. Is that an actual word? I have several tips on saving money and/or spending less.
Lilies — There is a verse: Matthew 6:13. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,” Oh, how I worry. This is a stronghold in my life I am constantly working to overcome. My mom says it is inherited. My grandmother would wring her hands in worry. My mother is a worrier, and I am carrying on the family heritage. I would worry about anything. If there is generally nothing to worry about, I will just create something. It is only God’s grace that can help my overcome my worrying.

Grace — That’s always at the end isn’t it? Grace. We mess up. Daily. Hourly. A lot! And there it always is waiting for us. God’s wonderful grace. That is where we can truly find our peace.