Friday, April 25, 2014

Jessica Is A Trained Weather Watcher

This blog post came to us in a phone call from Jessica. 

I finished my training to be a volunteer for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  I had an account set up since I’ve done it before. My area is Longmont, and when I have something to report, I call Ft. Collins.

If there’s a thunderstorm or tornado in the area we call it in, if it’s dust we don’t call it in. They will share the info on the Internet, radio, or TV.  You also call in how much rain you got (using a weather gauge that can measure rain). 

We have a Citizen Emergency Preparedness Guide. It has information about Homeland Security, fire hazards, wildfires, floods, winter storms, earthquakes, lightning, tornadoes, major natural disasters, warnings, and other things.  It also has information about safety, like how to protect yourself in a group from lightning. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dawn's Art Teacher Makes Learning About Art Fun

This blog post came to us in two ways. The photo of Dawn with her artwork of the Titanic was taken March 14th at the Dairy Center for the Arts opening for the CORE/Labor Source art show and theater performance.  The text came to us today during a conversation with Dawn during a break while working at her job at the Imagine! Business Office.

The reason I drew the Titanic is I love to draw ships and there are two movies about the Titanic (Titanic and Raise the Titanic).

 I really like our art teacher, Katherine Smith, because she makes learning about art fun. 

Dawn with her art at the CORE/Labor Source art show at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder on March 14th.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rebecca Hits The Gym

This blog post came to us in an email from Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome Site Supervisor Shannon Bundy.

For Rebecca's reward outing this week she decided she would like to go to the gym. She spent 1 hour and 20 minutes working out! 50 minutes on the bike and rowing machine doing cardio. Then 30 minutes working on toning her arms with weights! She was on fire!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mandy's "The Great Easter Surprise"

 This blog post is an Easter story that was written by Mandy, who is a resident at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder.  Assistant Site Supervisor Shannon helps with the graphics and Mandy writes all of the text. Very nice work ladies.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Importance Of Siblings

Today is National Siblings Day, a day of celebration and recognition for brothers and sisters. Imagine! staff member Lou Ella Price, who works in Imagine!'s Innovations department, wrote a reflection on her experiences as a sibling of someone with an intellectual disability. Here is Lou Ella’s story.

  The Importance of Siblings

When I think about the people that are important in my life, I often think about my sister. I can look at the past 30 years and recall fond childhood memories with Merribeth, and I often wonder how each of us survived the awkward teenage years together. I remember when we thought the world was ours to conquer, and the day that I realized that wouldn't be possible for both of us. I can remember the guilt and the tears of being the "normal" sibling and having no power to change it.

Looking at my sister now, I know that I often frustrate her because I know her better than anyone, and I know that she loves me because I’ve never seen the disabilities that she has lived with since birth. I don't see her wheelchair or the fact that she is non-verbal, and often, my hardest days are the days when I realize that "normal" isn't the lives that we lead. I have always looked at my sister as someone who should be admired. Someone who has beaten the doctors’ odds and lived past eight years of age, someone who walked even if for only a few years, someone who won gold medals in Special Olympics, someone who has learned how to talk, and someone who ultimately understands and loves me for me. For all of the differences that Merribeth and I have, and all of the trials and tribulations we have experienced, we have always been there for each other, and together we are a force to be reckoned with.

We often forget the siblings of individuals with disabilities and their potential roles in the lives of the people we serve. As a community, we need to reach out to siblings who want to be there, and we need to support individuals in services to maintain positive relationships with their siblings. I think of all the memories that I have, and I know that my life would not be the same without Merribeth. And while it has never been easy, it has always been worth every minute.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 is National Siblings Day, and Innovations would like to encourage everyone at Imagine! to reach out to the siblings you know and thank them for being a part of the lives of the individuals that we serve.

Siblings Lou Ella (left) and Merribeth.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fun Conversation With Gerald And Donna

This blog post came to us during a chat that I (Gary) had with Gerald and Donna about our jobs and other topics. We were at the Bob and Judy Charles SmartHome in Boulder, and as is typical, the conversation included a lot of laughter. Here are a couple of highlights from that night's conversation.

With reference to the three of us having decent jobs but not being necessarily wealthy, Donna stated, "It may not be a lot of money that we earn, but we survive with what we earn. Penny by penny it adds up." 

Later, Donna asked me what I was having for supper and I replied, "Tomato soup and oyster crackers." Donna leaned forward, and bellowing out a hearty laugh, said, "You're living on soup and crackers?" I assured her I had plenty of food at home, but tomato soup and crackers is one of my favorite meals. 

Gerald was proud and happy that he had worked at Twisted Pine Brewing Company earlier in the day. His job is helping them compile the data for their inventory on Thursdays. The yellow patch on his work shirt, which he is wearing in the photo below, says, "Twisted Pine Brewing Company." Every Wednesday night he makes sure that he has that shirt picked out and ready to wear to work the next day.

As I was saying goodbye before going home to my supper and a good night's sleep, Donna left me with this parting bit of wisdom. "You better go home, eat, and get to bed. The morning comes quick. The time sure passes fast when we're sleeping." 

Donna showed a dragon fly she made while Gerald watched model train videos on the computer.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thank You, University Baptist Church Volunteers

This information for this blog post, and the photo, came to us in an email from the Charles Family SmartHome Site Supervisor Chris DiRosa.

Thank You, University Baptist Church Volunteers,

 Last Thursday, (March 27) a group of seven volunteers from University Baptist Church in Arkansas did some work at the Charles Family SmartHome in Longmont as part of their short-term missions trip. The volunteers completely organized, inventoried, and cleaned the basement and storage areas and helped move large adaptive equipment for the residents. It was a hard day’s work, but amazing results were accomplished due to their service. Thank you to the group and all those at Imagine! who made this possible. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Jessica Is Ready For Yankees Baseball

This blog post came to us in a phone call from Jessica last Friday. She wanted to share her excitement about the start of the baseball season and the New York Yankees apparel and other Yankee items she recently purchased. Jessica is able to purchase these items through money she earns at her jobs with Imagine!'s CORE/Labor Source department, including her jobs at Celestial Seasonings, Amcon, and other job sites as needed.

Last week, on Tuesday, I got a new Yankees comforter and pillowcase, and then I got my Yankees slippers on Wednesday. Yesterday I got my new Yankees Jacket (pictured below).  I got a bunch of new Yankees stuff. I got two shirts and a Yankee toaster. I have new Yankees socks and a couple other new Yankees water bottles. I plan to get more Yankees stuff. 

I am set for the season and I hope the Yankees do well and win the World Series. I’m trying to have a positive attitude even though some people say they’ll come in fourth or fifth place. I think it will be the Yankees first, Tampa second, Baltimore third, Toronto fourth, and the Red Sox last, that’s me. They (some of the experts) project the Red Sox in first, then Tampa, Baltimore, and Toronto and the Yankees for 4th and 5th. 

Jessica and her new jacket from the back.

Jessica's new jacket.