Staying Strong with the Once Per Week Library Volunteering

January 10 2018:

Today was volunteer day! Staying strong at keeping with our 2 hour a week commitment! Here’s Lillian pulling holds and pushing the cart. Instead of doing them together, now we divide the hold list and she’s pulling em by herself now!

We also may or may not accidentally find books we want to check out too! (That’s what the bottom shelf of the cart is for holding!! Right??)

Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #1 Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #2 Lillian Volunteering at Library 1.10.18 #3

Pushing the Cart and Pulling Holds – Volunteering at the Library

November 16 2017:

There she is …. On our way to pull holds! She has taken over pushing the cart. Oh, and see the art gallery in the background? That’s where Team TLC will have our family art showing in spring 2018.

Thomas will have photos from Biggest Little Photographer, Lillian will have her artwork, and I’ll have perhaps my photos paired with poetry.

Lillian Pushing Cart at Library 11.16.17

Grateful for Real Food With No Artificial Flavors or Dyes and Chance Encounters and Friends

November 1 2017:

Today was grocery day. I am incredibly grateful for real food free of artificial flavors, dyes, and other non-food stuffs. Seriously. Beyond words. And I’m grateful for days when I come home with bags of this beautiful, nature (and farmer) provided bounty! Ahhhhhh ….. xoxo

I have a knack for remembering details and prices when it comes to grocery shopping. Plus, we have many items that I buy on a consistent basis. Also, I am one of those people you see reading the ingredient labels of everything! So, I know if the same or similar item is cheaper or on sale at one of the stores I shop.

Here are the stores: Trader Joe’s for most things … No artificial flavors or dyes in anything .. Although there is corn syrup in some candies (just not high fructose corn syrup). Trader Joe’s seems to have the cheapest organic prices (of the places I shop).

One other item I look for on the packaging at TJ’s is for prepared foods. They seem to have so many that are for microwave cooking and I don’t use a microwave for reheating or cooking. I bought an item once that ONLY had microwave instructions! I improvised and got it cooked; but, now I make sure there are stove or oven directions too. Currently, November 2, 2017, Trader Joe’s organic fresh cranberries are cheaper than Whole Foods.

Whole Foods for other items. Same thing. No artificial flavors or dyes in anything. Some candies have corn syrup but not high fructose corn syrup. We’ll have to see if standards say the same now that Amazon has bought them.

Raleys has a vegan cheese I like so I go there for that and usually get lucky with it being on sale!

I’ve tried Sprouts, but so far I’m not liking it like TJ’s and WF. They have items with artificial flavors and dyes so have to be more diligent with reading labels. Right now their organic russet potatoes are cheaper than TJ’s, but, I didn’t like the flavor or texture or something about it. I do like their Health & Beauty section. Good selection of items. I LOVE the Great Basin Food Co-op downtown but it’s more of a drive.

I’ve been reading labels and memorizing prices for nearly 10 years now! Plus, I have noticed that some prices have increased in the last couple of months after having been the same for years!

November 2 2017:

While volunteering at the library yesterday, Lillian and I ran into the vice-principal from her elementary days. I recognized her but couldn’t remember why I knew her.

She absolutely remembered us and Thomas too! She was so extremely excited to see Lillian volunteering and shelving books. And even more excited when I told her about the upcoming book!

She brought up how she remembers our IEP meetings and how well prepared I always was for them. Lillian’s therapists and resource teacher always commented the same. I owe being ready for that first meeting to Catherine Via Burzio who directed me to the exact resources I needed.

I stayed up past midnight for several nights reading all of it and knew that it all came down to how things were worded. From then on, I just made sure I used words how they wanted them to be used to match regulations.

It went great until fourth grade. That’s when it all fell apart and I decided to make use of other options. I am SO incredibly grateful that IEP is no longer something I have to prepare for or be concerned with.

November 3 2017:

Love this memory from five years ago Kimberly Phipps-Nichol!! It’s been about ten years since we first met! I’m so blessed by your love and am so incredibly happy for your joy, happiness, and success! xoxo

November 3 2012: Today I am grateful that you and I met in 2007 and became friends. I am thankful for you and our beautiful friendship. As we count down the one week left before you make your move to Houston, please know I feel so awesomely blessed for our closeness. I will miss you dearly …. Yet, I know this will be an amazing part of your journey and an exciting adventure!!! I TREASURE the connection we have my sweet friend … See you in a few hours for your going away party!!! (Picture from December 2011)

Kimberly and Camilla 2011

 

One Month of Volunteering at South Valleys Library

October 12 2017:

It’s been a month for Lillian and I volunteering at South Valleys Library – every Wednesday for 2 hours. She is getting more and more comfortable.

Yesterday I had her push the cart and she re-shelved a few books without my help. Go Lillian Darnell Go!!

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #4 Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #5

Last Craniosacral Session for Lillian and Library Volunteering

September 11 2017:

Lillian’s last craniosacral session since Anthem Blue Cross has decided these sessions are not helping her so they will no longer pay. We so much appreciate Christine! Lillian has been seeing her for 3 years now.

Aren’t we blessed that people who know nothing about chromosome deletions and nothing about the intricacies of pain levels that are sometimes better and sometimes worse are so knowledgable about what’s best for us?

We have not given up. We’ll try starting sessions again in 2018 after she’s had three months without them. Beautiful hibiscus to send us off ….xoxoxo

Lillian Last Cranio Appointment 9.11.17 #1 Lillian Last Cranio Appointment 9.11.17 #2 Lillian Last Cranio Appointment 9.11.17 #3

September 13 2017:

Second time volunteering at the library …. and Lillian’s last day as a fifteen year old! This time we pulled holds for two hours. Found all but three of them. Good job us!!

Camilla and Lillian Volunteering at Library Day #2 9.13.17 #1  Camilla and Lillian Volunteering at Library Day #2 9.13.17 #3

Camilla and Lillian Volunteering at Library Day #2 9.13.17 #2

Volunteering at the Library and Humane Society

September 7 2017:

First day volunteering at our home away from home! Thomas took a picture as we were leaving and we had Mary take a picture of us with our official badges!

Our library tour was easy since we already know everyone there and we already know the library layout having been going two or three times per month for the past ten years.

Lillian enjoyed getting to see behind the counter where the books are returned and where all the behind the scenes action takes place. We will be there every Wednesday from 2-4.

I may be a tad more excited than Lillian! Ha!!! I am truly inspired by the written word. xoxoxo

Lillian and Camilla 1st Day Volunteering at the Library 9.7.18 #1 Lillian and Camilla 1st Day Volunteering at the Library 9.7.18 #2

Thomas’ turn now! He wants to volunteer at the Nevada Humane Society working with cats and small animals. Orientation set for October 1st! He’s very excited!

Here’s a picture of Cinamon who was with me for 18 years (from the time she was a wee tiny one). Thomas got to have about five years with her before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2010. xoxoxo

Nevada Humane Society Confirmation for Orientation 2017 Cinamon

Lunch with Old Friends and Sibshops and Books and Fingerprints and Letting Go

July 23 2017:

It was so amazing to see you face to face once again Kimberly Phipps-Nichol!! I’m so thrilled to have met Nguyen Tom Griggs also!!! You two leave me speechless. Blessed and grateful to infinity and beyond!! I love you!!!

And, yay, for seeing friends I had not seen in years! Wow!!! Great to see and chat with Glenna E Smith, Cheri Hill, Donna Holland, Johanna McClain, and  Simantel!!!

Thanks everyone for a wonderful afternoon!! xoxoxo …

Camilla and Kimberly 7.23.17

Lunch with Kimberly and Friends 7.23.17

July 26 2017:

Thomas had a great Sibshop event earlier today!! Thank you Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada (DSNNN) and JUSTin HOPE Foundation!! He always has the BEST time at these events.

Plus, finally got a picture of Biggest Little Photographer for sale in the Visitor Center! xoxoxo

Sibshops Thomas 7.26.17 #1 Sibshops Thomas 7.26.17 #2 Sibshops Thomas 7.26.17 #3 Sibshops Thomas 7.26.17 #4

July 27 2017:

Finally got all the books packed! One doesn’t really know how many books one has until it’s time to pack them! YAY me! I’m getting rid of about 30 books! Thomas found about 5 to pass on. Lillian, well, it’s Lillian. She wants to keep everything. Onward! xoxoxo

July 28 2017:

Fingerprints done and turned in to Washoe County Library Administration so that Lillian and I can volunteer at South Valleys Library. That was the last step.

Took Thomas along for a mini field trip to the Sheriff’s office (for my fingerprints). Extremely kind people doing the fingerprinting!! He asked about 544 questions and she answered them all!!

Fingerprints to Library 7.28.17

Oh my gosh!!! She said “Yes”. Lillian has said “yes” to getting rid of something. She wanted a picture so as to remember it. This hasn’t been used in many years. We need to have a celebration!!! I am so happy when I get to pass something on instead of packing it. xoxoxo

Purple Etch a Sketch Lillian 7.28.17