Archive | July 2014

Hanging out at GUA Arrivals

Sunday morning I slept in a little bit but I was excited about breakfast!  We sat at the same table as we had last year with Uncle Jeff. Our breakfast was a little bit different because of my new diet: no eggs or cheese but I enjoyed fried plantains, fruit, beans and sausage. Yum! I also had tea and orange juice to drink.

Back in the room I worked on `Made Fair’ blog post. My Mom and Matthan took naps. Hah! I took some photos!

We packed up our stuff and discovered that our peanut butter was all gone. With some help, Mom ordered a delicious chicken salad, no gluten, no eggs, no cheese!

Now . . . here is where we made a big mistake:  maybe we enjoyed our lunch too much; maybe my Mom and Matthan got too deep into their conversation: sin and judgment!  Can you imagine?! Very very silly!!  We should have been on our way to the airport.

Maybe we got slowed down at Departures and finding our way to Arrivals. Who knows what happened?  Some how, some way we missed Uncle Jonathan, Aunt Laura and Team North Dakota by minutes or even seconds!  They were looking for us and we were looking for them.  They looked again and then they had to leave . . . and we looked all afternoon and evening!!

My Mom and Matthan were a little stressed until Matthan got a message from Brandon:  another bus at 7.30.  Okay, let’s settle down and have some fun and we did!!

We found a place to sit close to the bathrooms. Matthan took my pot holder loom and started doing crazy weaving. Pretty soon, I took over and did it the right way!  The people working at the coffee shops were not very busy so they started watching me. My Mom rummaged around the luggage, pulled out the second loom and invited new friends to try.

She sort of abandoned me so she could take photos. I suppose it was my job to show them how to make pot holders.  But I was more interested in watching new friends make pot holders. But they didn’t know how to do it! I thought everyone knew how to make a pot holder!  We shared snacks that Grandma had sent along. And they helped me practice Spanish.


At about 7:00 my Mom started looking for Casas’ friends. And then we waited together. My friend Ron came and brought a new friend Gabby!!

Gabby and I chatted on the bus all the way to San Raimundo. It was 10:00! Lori explained the rules: no toilet paper in the toilet; breakfast at 6:00; bus leaves at 6.45; the widow-maker showers; a little gluten-free supper and then off to bed.

Thank you Aunt Laura for getting my bed all ready for me!  I was so tired.



Finally Casas’ friends!

No Fireworks this year.

My 2014 Fourth of July was a little bit crazy! I love the Fourth of July and Fireworks but I skipped them this year.

We had to get up very early for our trip to Guatemalan on July 5th.

My Fourth of July was full of doing laundry and packing suitcases. Fortunately Grandma invited us over for grilled hamburgers so we could have one normal thing for the Fourth of July.


Supper was peanut butter and then early to bed. No Fireworks for me! I got up on time, ate a very little breakfast and then I was ready to go.  My Mom was being silly packing and unpacking toys, snack mixes and toilet seat.  Finally at 5:30 Matthan said, `Mom, we have to go.’

I like traveling with Matthan!  He taught me how to play `Snap Chat.’ Make a silly face, `snap’ it to a friend and then the friend `snaps’ back.  You have to be very quick before the photo disappears.  It’s a silly game.

Matthan also showed me how to play `photo booth.’  I laughed and laughed at all the silly faces that we were making.


In Denver we left my Mom with her books and we went on a train ride. Matthan was ery mischievous:  he got on the train and then he quickly jumped off again. He said I was `too slow.’  When my Mom heard the story she was happy that Matthan was quick enough to get off and not leave me behind.



Matthan does not abandon me but my Mom does! Whenever we went to the bathroom, she would make me turn around to see where we had left Matthan and the luggage.  And then she abandoned me to find my own way back! I did not talk to strangers. I just walked in one direction and if it did not look just right, I turned around and went the other direction until I found my way back.  `Nice problem solving, Mathalia.’


My Mom loves to travel with me because with me, we can pre-board which means that we can get on the plane first when there is less rush and fewer people pushing behind us.  If our seats are not together, we ask people to switch and they usually help us out which is nice! My favorite part is the movie at the beginning and following along with the safety card.

On our flight from Houston to Guatemala City, we switched seats with a very nice lady from Guatemala. She showed us a movie about her work with immigrants in the United States.  And I showed her my movie about building a house in Guatemala last year. She was very happy about our project and she said `thank you’ for helping the people of Guatemala.

Made Fair!

The day  before the Made Fair I was ushering at MCT and my Mom was chalking lines for the Made Fair. I was Booth #92. She picked me up and before eating dinner, we checked out my booth space.

made fair2

X marks my spot!

In the morning it was so nice because Matthan took me to church and we were on time!  My Mom was a little late because she set my booth up.  And then more help came from Grandma and Grandpa while we were at church. With all the support I was able to usher at MCT, go to church and sell my pot holders at the Made Fair for the first time.


It was very a very fun day! I saw lots of friends. I saw swimming friends, Washington School friends, FFA friends, lots of friends. Many people dropped by my booth to tell me how much they like my pot holders!  Yes, they last and last through the washing machine and the dryer.  It was great fun!  We were under the tent and out of the sun and out of the rain. It was a great day! I love to sell my pot holders.


This time my Mom had me sell pot holders all by myself because I am an adult!  Usually she sits behind me and talks to the customers and helps me give change.  But this time I talked and I gave change on my own. It is easy:  with a 20-dollar-bill, I give three fives back; with a ten-dollar bill, I give one five dollar bill back. And with a five-dollar bill, I say `thank you very much.’  It is lots of fun to be independent. I feel smart and competent!


At home, after we had unpacked everything and put it all away, we were too tired and too hungry to count they money. So we ate dinner and went to bed!

On Monday I got up at my usual time and headed off to work at Prudential Missoula Properties and then to Oula Exercise class. My friend Rebecca came over for dinner on Monday evening.  And Tuesdays are my very busy day: hike `M’ with Mom, go to work at Bean & Boutique, go to Movie/Game Day, go bowling, call Mom and come home.  In the evening Morielle and Dad called from Xian, China! Wednesday night, after working at  The Writing Center, we had time to count the money: $100 dollars.  And do inventory to see how many pot holders I sold: 20.

I wrote a check to Mom and Dad for booth fees $55.00 and a check to Matthan for mission work: $45.00!  Then we took the money to the bank and put the pot holders back in the attic until the next market.  Maybe Matthan was a little disappointed in the amount of money, I don’t know. But I think it was a big success.  I had lots of fun AND I ran my booth all by myself!!


Art Contest Again

art contesta1

Portrait I submitted.

I entered the Art Contest for young people with disabilities at the last minute. It was crazy doing the Made Fair and getting everything done for that contest but we did it!

The theme was `The Journey.’  The essay is too long but I copy parts of it for you to read. Along with photos of the pieces I submitted. Enjoy!

I wrote about how I `journeyed’ into the pot holder business; how my Mom put her hands on mine and made the pot holder at the beginning; and how gifts for teachers moved into actually selling them around town.

My tandem bicycle was my first major purchase. The tandem has opened up `The Journey’ experience to us. Some `journeys’ are simple as riding to the library or the post office; others are opportunities to exercise and get out of the city to enjoy the natural beauty around Missoula.

I `journeyed’ into the fiber arts for my Senior Project. I took a weaving class at Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners Conference. At the Conference I bought a kit for Australian Locker-hooking. My `Trinitarian Triangles’ piece demonstrates my `journey’ into joy. I went to the Conference intending to learn to weave. Unexpectedly I tried something new suggested by a vendor who took an interest in my endeavors. My Mom read the directions and helped me. Already I have made many trivets and the small wall hanging I submitted for this contest.


Trinitarian Triangles

This past year—my first year out of high school—has been `journey’ of discovery. I discovered that I respond unfavorably to many foods. This has led to `journeys’ into new recipes and ways of eating. I am also learning how to monitor my own physical and mental well-being by journaling. Keeping a journal is a way of tracking the `journey’ in thought and action. I love it. It helps me feel confident and competent as I `navigate’ into the unknowns of adult life.


art contest1

‘Sun and Moon”

I also began to explore photography with the camera my parents gave me. The photo I entered was taken in Antigua, Guatemala:  Sun and Moon. The cycle of work and rest; activity and refreshment; childhood and adulthood.  I love to photograph all of my `journeys’ from the exotic to the everyday: XinJiang, China to dinner in the oven .


My Mom was a bundle of worries this year as I transitioned into my `adult life.’ Yes, I was slow and uncertain and maybe a little sad to have high school be all done. She was worried. But I would like to tell her that it is a `journey.’ I am learning what it means to have so much free time and learn what I like to do with that time. I am on a `Journey’ and I am enjoying each step of the way.


I entered a photo of the scarf I dyed using fiber reactive dyes and ice! The process was unique and rather messy. When the ice was all melted the scarf was brown and muddy looking.  But . . . when we washed it and hung it to dry, it was beautiful.  And so it is a metaphor for `The Journey:’  the journey may be messy, uncertain, confusing but we know the Guide and can walk with Him in confidence and joy.  Thus my `Trinitarian Triangles’ piece shows that `Trust’ is part of `The Journey.’ My scarf sends me into `The Journey’ in style.


‘Journey in style’


Disclaimer:  Mathalia has a developmental disability which means that she is cognitively delayed. Her mom helped her write this essay. Her artwork is less a philosophical statement about the `Journey’ than it is a visceral response to her openness to the possibilities around her. She loves her life; she likes to try new things and meet new people even if that means she may be pushed out of her comfort zone. Her love of `The Journey’ encompasses a deep trust in the One who guides her each step of the way. Her artistic explorations and expressions are her way of saying: `I don’t know what it all means but the One who does holds me in His hand.’