Intergenerational Fun!

Every year at about this time we await with great anticipation the students from Shuksan Middle School.  These students come to interact, make friends and do projects with our resident's on Friday's for five weeks.  This year we were not disappointed.  The four eighth grade girls who came this year were phenomenal and jumped right in on every activity and project.  The residents and the girls enjoyed a rousing exercise class and game of "bop the balloon" every time they visited.  They played at the top of their time and when we could finally drag them all away from this game, then we started on projects.

The picture is of flower arranging they all did together.   Even Gerald enjoyed it!  


We were honored to have them participate in Irene's birthday party this year.  They helped serve birthday cake and participated in the "Name that Tune" game everyone played.  At first the girls were scared they wouldn't know the songs but were surprised at how many they really did know!  Together the girls and the resident's had much fun!

We have other children who come to visit the resident's.  Two of our main "stars" are Colton and Jacob.  Colton first came to visit at 3 weeks old.  Gladys is known to hog all baby time as she adores holding them!  But she did share a little!  Colton still comes to visit with his mommy Hailey and his grandma, Kelly.  

Jacob is Roxanne's(Caregiver) son and he is 8 years old.  He likes to help Kelly with activities and loves to play games with the residents.  On occasion he will read to the residents which thrills the heart of our retired teacher, Gladys.  

These times of intergenerational fun are an important part of the resident's lives.  It brings joy, and also brings back special memories to many of our residents.  Never does a child enter into our home without putting huge smiles on the faces of our residents.



Tulip Fields

Every year, when the tulip fields are in full bloom, we pack up our residents and head to Mt Vernon to enjoy the beautiful views.  This year we had friends and family come to help us as when we do a big outing like this we need many hands on deck.  So many thanks to Sally and Linda for helping us out this year!

We drove past fields filled with color and got out at Roozengaarde display gardens.  Absolutely gorgeous.  We all picked out our favorite tulips and display beds.  Walked around until our rumbling stomachs told us it was lunchtime.  

Our tradition is to go to the farmhouse restaurant when we go to see the tulip fields.  They have old fashioned favorites including the mile high lemon meringue pie.  We enjoyed a filling late lunch and marveled at the pies going by. 

And although the service was very slow, our resident Lucia reminded us, "We are enjoying eachother's company and have something to drink so whats the hurry, anyway?"  Well said Lucia and great attitude!!!!  

We headed home saying a last goodbye to the rainbow colored fields.  We chatted, laughed and some slept the whole way home.  What a wonderful day!

Valentine's Day Tea

This year our Valentine's Day tea was a special time of friendship, fun and special treats!  Our night time caregivers were busy baking up pastries like pecan tarts, lemon bars, chocolate dipped strawberries, and many more yummy treats.  Family and special friends were invited and participated.  And as always, lots of laughter filled the room.

Prior to the actual day, residents enjoyed the decorating process and gave their stamp of approval on the heart shaped string of lights we added.  The dining room was decked out with beautiful decorations and flowers. 

  Residents made and decorated these cookies for the party.  Gladys is showing off the plate she decorated.

Residents made and decorated these cookies for the party.  Gladys is showing off the plate she decorated.

Our own Douglas, played all the old time favorite love songs and gave us a beautiful concert on our grand piano.

But by far, the best time we had was just sitting and sharing around the table filled with a plethora of treats and sharing special memories.  

Activites...Just keeping them busy or creating meaning?

Most people in this industry of caring for the elderly will agree that having a full activity program is important.  But most put  their effort  into a calendar and filling it up to look good and to keep people busy.   It is far harder to garner a program to the individuals.  It requires knowing the residents well and including their interests, values and passion in the planning.   This is what we do at Lakeside Gardens because we consider an activity program the means to achieving the goal of upholding the individual's sense of self using meaningful activities.  

I will give you a few examples of what I mean.  In December, our calendar was full of a flurry of activities centered around Christmas.  We went to many concerts and made sure we included a piano jazz concert for Mr. Norman since we know that this type of music is his very favorite.  We let him know we were thinking of him while planning this event and that bolstered his self esteem because he was important enough for us to consider this.  Then upon our return from a successful concert that everyone really enjoyed, we let everyone know they could thank Norman because we scheduled them all to go because of his interest.  Then the residents took the moment to praise and thank Norman for his excellent taste in music.  He glowed.  Now that was meaningful to him in more than one way.  And it gave him esteem and respect showing him as important and respected.

Another example is what we just did this week.  After the business of the holidays and after taking down all the lovely decorations, everyone commented on how blah everything felt and looked.  It was decided that we needed a party to prepare for and enjoy.  But what do you celebrate in January after New Years Eve?  Well, we decided we would celebrate France.  Why you ask?  I know it seems random, but we have two people who have France as their heritage and it would give us an opportunity to learn more about their home country and culture.  And it would give us an excuse to decorate the dining room as a french cafe!   We had a wonderful time talking about French culture and foods.  And we enjoyed many authentic french foods like quiche, croissants, cream puffs, madeleines and more.  Then we shared a picture of the French chateau our resident Nicky was raised in.  Amazing!  She enjoyed the spotlight and affirmation.  She talked about going to the eiffel tower in Paris numerous times and talking about how french food is the best.  (" Of course!")  It was esteem building for her and much fun for everyone else.  We also heard from Gladys that she used to arrange tours of Europe for people and Paris was one of the destinations she would coordinate and lead.  Again, esteem building.  We affirmed and admired her organizational abilities.  

Not everything is the residents favorite activity, but the process of participating with the rest of the residents and being thanked for participating is also esteem building.  We tell them that it just wouldn't be the same if they weren't there.  And it's genuinely true!  

Creating meaningful activities is what we do at Lakeside.  And we invite family and friends to join in with us.  Next month is all about the valentine's day tea.  Look for your invitations.  The residents are making those and helping me to decide the menu.  Oh what fun!

Kelly Returns

Yay!!!!  Our precious Kelly has returned to Lakeside Gardens and she has come to play!  For those of you who do not know her, Kelly was our managing caregiver for many years, but had a disabling car crash that has kept her from us until now.  We are so pleased that she has agreed to be our activity director two days a week.  Kelly brings with her lots of laughter, many great stories and fun and games.  We are blessed to have her back and thrilled to announce it!

Welcome to our updated website.

We're  bleary eyed a bit tired... but we're done.  We've rewritten our Lakeside Gardens website from the ground up to be fully capable with technology today and into the future.

Currently website style and phone apps are become more simple and clean.  So our site has been updated to be more simple, polished and clean.  

But our update contains a lot more than that.  Our website will be more flexible for you to view.  You can now view the website from any device you choose - whether a pc, mac, tablet, or cell phone.  

All the pages and pictures automatically adjust to the different resolution of your devices so that you can concentrate on the information and not on the effort of viewing the page.  In plain language, you no longer have to scroll back and forth on your cell phone to see the whole page.

And at last, we'll be able to post blogs and pictures simply and easily from our cell phones anytime   -  while we're out in the middle of an outings or when we simply see a sweet moment that we know our resident families will appreciate.  We're thinking it will be fun for us and hope it will be fun for you.  

Keep checking back to see new pictures posted and new blogs!

Norman, Our Merchant Marine

“In the end, people just want to be heard, and to know that what they said matters”

                        ~ Oprah Winfrey


On Veterans Day we are reminded of all those who served our country.  Several years ago, we had a gentleman come and tell his story as a POW pilot in WWll.  It was a riveting story and we later pummeled him with questions and enjoyed looking at his pictures.  A big thank you to Mr. Moser for sharing his story with us.

 Today before lunch, our resident, Norman announced that he would like an hour to share his story about when he was in the merchant marines.  We were honored to hear about his life and his service to our country.  We wanted to write this blog to remind us of his story and share with others how truly remarkable every life is.

 In 1942 Norman graduated from High School and in 1943 he started going to the merchant marine academy.  He graduated top of the class but humbly added that it was a very small class. 

 Norman wanted to serve his country but just couldn't see himself killing someone.  So he chose the merchant marines.  We learned about the important role the merchant marines helped with in winning the war by supplying the troops all around the world with everything from pins, buttons, and zippers to food, ammunition, tanks and planes.  The merchant marines not only supplied the troops with everything they needed, but they also brought back important materials from around the world back to the US. 

 After the academy, Norman was given the rank as an officer of the first ship he was on.  In his own words, “I was wet behind the ears trying to be in charge of seamen that had years of experience and knowledge.” 

 Norman was only seasick once as the ship pulled out of New York harbor for the first time.  But it seems as if he found his sea legs quickly and never was sea sick again.  We learned that when the seamen ate, they used a wet table cloth to keep plates and things from sliding as the boat rocked and rolled during meals.  The tables had a lip on them so if the plates did slide, they wouldn’t land in the sea men’s laps.

 On one July 4th, Norman’s ship was in the Persian gulf and was experiencing 104 degree weather.  The sleeping conditions were small and cramped so the addition of 104 degree heat made it feel as if they were slowly being cooked in a “crockpot”! 

 Norman explained that when the ships left US harbors, they left in big brigades.  He showed us pictures of this and it was amazing to see how many ships were a part of this vast brigade.  Norman explained that these merchant ships were enemy targets and it often felt as if they were just sitting ducks waiting to be torpedoed.  One time his ship was torpedoed by the enemy.  Fortunately, the ship had been unloaded and was not weighed down deep into the water.  Because of this, they were saved as the torpedo missed the hull of the ship and passed right under. 

At night when we wish Norman a goodnight and tell him we will see him in the morning, he always replies, “ I hope so”.  Now we understand why.  Norman explained that he never knew if during the night they would get torpedoed and he would find himself, “swimming with the fishies”.

 Norman has been all around the globe in the line of duty.  Thank you Norman for serving your country with such courage and bravery.


Words of Wisdom

These words of wisdom were shared on April 9, 2011.  I was reading them again today and just wanted to share them.  I went home and wrote down the following words...

When you know better, do better.  ~ Mayo Angela


Sometimes while sitting together around the table, the residents have such wonderful conversation it bears repeating.  Today was such a day.  We went around the table and asked each resident their personal philosophy they live by.  Some answers reflected humor and others were reflecting the character and moral fortitude of the person who shared it.  The following are the answers that we given:

Never give up

This is a core belief Mark holds and lives by.  He has overcome major life challenges and set backs, yet faces each day with joy, hope and courage.   He has made major gains and continues to work hard at everything he does.  Go Mark!!!!

Love God with all your heart and your children too. 

Jenny shared this core philosophy which she has lived by her entire life.   The devotion her family show her is emulating this love she has shown them all their lives.  It is easy to see this belief in Jenny’s life as she is never comfortable until everyone around her is too.  She has extended her loving heart to all of us and we are blessed to have her in our home.

Don’t get caught! 

Norman delivered his philosophy with a mischievous smile and an infectious giggle.  This explains a lot, Mr. Norman!

Try your hardest and then try harder.  

This is Maudine’s personal philosophy and she has lived it every moment of her 100 years of life.  No wonder she is always offering to help with household chores and takes part in so many activities.  Maudine is our resident artist, poet and song writer.  With her personal philosophy it is easy to see how she became so accomplished!

Lift people up   

Douglas lives by this gracious philosophy.  He make all of us feel loved and supported because he is always thinking the best of everyone.  And it’s always a gift to find someone who just enjoys you as you are.

Treat others as you would want to be treated 

This philosophy is evidenced daily in Kelly’s care giving.  Residents, staff and her employers enjoy her presence and appreciate her willingness to go the extra mile and sprinkle kindness all around her. 

It is better to ask forgiveness than permission 

Okay, I’m kidding.  But my philosophy is so similar to Maya Angela’s I felt as if I needed another.  I have always tried to live what I know is right, no matter how hard it is. 

If it’s the right thing to do, do it! 

That in summation is my core belief.

It is evident to see that we most often live what we believe.