Sunday, April 27, 2008


is a great place for some one stop shopping.
I HATE Wal-Mart!!!

Today's Service . . .


Look for God. In everything. Everything. What a concept.
I'll have to work on that.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Tonight I decided to open a pack of new charcoal pencils I got for my birthday and draw this picture of Kimberly that I took last week. You can't really tell in the photo of my drawing, but I shaded and everything (said in a childish, defensive voice)!!!

Today a weight was lifted from my shoulders. Perhaps Monday will present even more . . . peace. I'd love to blog about it more, but it's 2:06am and I think I might be able to fall asleep soon.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I am so ridiculously angry right now. Grr! Arg! I mean really, angry! I'm on call at all times, right. It can be irritating to receive calls at any given hour, any given day. But I'm used to it, and almost see it as a blessing. I mean, God's given me this opportunity to make a difference, and that's pretty cool.

I received a call tonight. A different kind of call. Usually, staff call me to update me and ask for advice when a resident hurts themselves or someone else. This time, it was because this one staff, who we'll call Poop, doesn't like her peer. They just don't play well together. So Poop feels like her peer breathing the wrong direction warrants calling me at 9:00pm.

So I answer the phone, expecting to hear that Little Timmy and Little Tommy got caught having some alone time. But no. It's Poop. Poop. Poop wants to leave work early because her peer makes her angry. Poop demands to know how I'll follow-up. Poop feels entitled to info that is NOT her business. Poop. Poop. POOP!!!

I just don't understand how or why people can manage to create so much DRAMA. Their job is so important. So important. But instead of focusing on that, their just stirring up crap!!!

And the poor kids. This is so much like their home environment. Discord. Chaos. Hate. Poop.

But almost everyone is too busy being dramatic to see it.

I am SO ANGRY!!!

Kimberly Cutman

Name: Kimberly Cutman

Alias: The Cutman

Bio: The source of Cutman's unique powers are yet to be known, as no genetic mutation has been identified in her DNA at this time. Cutman's powers first emerged at the tender age of seventeen. This was when she was first exposed to the horror of what would soon become her arch nemesis. Cutman began to sense an uneasiness, something not right in the world. She turned to see, to her disgust, a mullet. Not just any mullet. A permed mullet. This is when young Cutman's powers became evident. Cutman willed time to slow at an alarming rate, a power she now refers to as time suspension. Still moving at a normal pace while the world around her moved in slow motion, long razor like objects extended from Cutman's fingers. In one quick swipe, Cutman defeated the mullet, leaving behind a fantastic faux-hawk. Cutman has also developed geometric sight, recognizing angles and symmetry easily. Cutman not only senses nearby disturbances, but can focus her energy to foresee the best outcome possible. Cutman typically uses this power to recognize a hazardous haircut, then to replace it with the most pleasing alternative. She also uses this ability to cheat on tests. Cutman's time suspension ability is most often used to disorient her clients throughout the hair coloring process, for their comfort as this tends to take a while. She also uses this ability skip ahead of others in long lines, as this is her greatest weakness. Cutman's extendable razor's are not only used to cut hair, but are great to peal grapefruits with and roast marshmellows from. Cutman has also went into the pet grooming business, as she has most recently developed another ability: animal telepathy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Back!

Yep! The twitch in my left eye has returned and back in full force. It's been going at it for about three days now. There really hasn't been too much going on as far as my residents go. Instead, it's my staff this week. Apparently working over forty hours a week direct care with juvenile sex offenders isn't enough for them, they need even more drama. Last Friday, everyone called in. EVERYONE. It all stems from a ridiculous disagreement between two staff. They just don't like each other. Period. But instead of just getting over it, everyone is involved now. It's like telling grown people to play nice. I got a phone call on Monday from someone who has become quite involved in the drama, to my great disapointment. The call was extremely stress provoking and was pretty much a warning for another stressful situation coming up. A confrontation. And this was the rebirth of the twitch. That very moment of hanging up the phone and actually processing the conversation. Thinking, "Well, crap!" Then twitch. And the next thing I know, my nose is bleeding too!!! So one confrontation led to the next, then to the next . . . and there is more to come. Many sleepless nights since, and probably many more of those to come as well. And, yes. Twitch.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Random Quote

"You are the one freaky thing in my freaky life that makes sense to me!"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2, Episode 10

As we continue to exist with absolutely no television worth mentioning (Yes, drama intended), we have been watching lots of Buffy on DVD lately, giving ALF a little break. I think Lori was feeling a little worn with the lovable alien. She was awfully happy to provide alternative media.

This is just a random quote from one of the shows we watched this evening. It doesn't sound very poetic or romantic, but so true. Life can get quite freaky at times, and all the people in it too, but I am super blessed by God with Kimberly, and no matter what, being together just makes sense to me.

"Hey, God . . . this is Nathan, and . . . um . . . thanks! Yeah, um . . . bye."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Veranda French

Name: Virginia Lorene

Alias: Veranda French

Bio: Mutant Veranda French has the ability to alter the molecular integrity of inanimate objects. Young Veranda's powers began to manifest themselves under highly stressful situations, such as the anxiety one experiences when attempting to open a sliding door. Veranda's powers first
emerged one winter evening, when opening her closet door to hang laundry. Veranda not only discovered her abilities at this point, but lost control as well, leaving the door in a state of complete disarray. While still learning to control this special power, Veranda has left a long trail of destroyed sliding doors behind her. Close friends report her powers have overwhelmed her at the expense of a compact disc and a hand mirror as well. As Veranda has honed her powers, she has learned to alter the molecular structure of objects and returning them back into their original state with careful concentration. Veranda particularly enjoys using this ability to build her collection of restaurant drinking glasses, altering these objects into a vapor like form and rendering them back into wholeness at will at an alternate location. Veranda has also learned to channel her abilities to render solid objects permeable, allowing her to easily pass through walls, which enables her to fulfill her pervasively obsessive habit of bathing in strangers' tubs. Veranda has also became an accomplished brewer of potions, capable of creating a faultless truth potion, and a potion specially designed herself which gives her control over the mind of whomever consumes it.

Since discovering her abilities, Veranda has honed them well and became quite powerful.

The question is . . .

Will she use her powers for good . . . .

Or evil?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Open Chair Therapy

"Stop it! Stop teetering around me like a drunk monkey in heels! Stop making that annoying, "Whaaaaat!?!?" sound each time I tell you something. Yes, we will run into issues today, but I'm doubting the world will come to an end because of it. You are making me crazy! Captain Crazy! That's me now, THANKS! Medicate yourself and chill already! This is not a catastrophe. These things happen every day! This is what we do! You'll make it. I'll make it. No casualties, promise!"

And . . . exhale.

Open chair therapy.

No. None of you were "sitting" in the chair. Some one else.


Thursday, April 17, 2008



Sometimes, I think she's content, or maybe it's that she's more comfortable, for people to just see her as the funny girl that gets stuff done.

But she's so much more. She is beautiful. She is hilarious. She is strong. A great wife. A great friend. A great daughter. A great sister. A multi-tasker. A Student. A beauty-fier.

A volunteer.

Kimberly spent yesterday building houses for Humanity, and today volunteering at a telethon to raise money for family-friendly public broadcasting.

She was adorable on television.

I love you Kimmy!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Polluted and Toxic


A couple weeks ago, I had a conversation with the counselor of the treatment program I supervise. She is a sixty-two year old Japanese woman, and nearly everything she says sounds like some fantastic snippet of ancient wisdom.

She said, "I worry about our souls. Our spirits. We are surrounded by people so, so sick. I wonder, what does this do to us? This is my biggest concern."

I attempted to convince her, and myself, that I didn't worry about this. But I do. There is no question about it.



The stories. Oh, the stories. The countless, disturbing stories. All social norms indicate repeating them is inappropriate. But I do. I have to. So I just perpetuate the "Ick Factor," I spread that disgusted, disturbed feeling by relaying the content of my days.

Last week, Kimberly and I were going through laundry and something fell from a pocket of a pair of my work pants. This is never a good thing. It was a photograph of a little girl around three years old. She is the sister and victim of one of my residents. I confiscated the picture, which is protocol when someone in the photo is a victim, on my way out the door. I didn't have time to go back to my office, so the picture found itself into my pocket, forgotten, and eventually into my home.

Seeing this picture just sitting there on my dresser, in my home made me sick. Explaining to my wife, when she asked what it was, made me sick.

She is very strong and understanding, but Kimberly had every right to feel sick herself. And she, along with everyone else, has a right to feel sick each evening when I answer the question "How was your day?"


God is still providing me with new and different ways to purify, de-toxify myself daily. Recently, it has been very helpful to just seclude myself and spend time with Him. I've been taking walks alone and listening to worship music the past couple days. Even when I haven't felt like it, I've forced myself. I seem to feel a peace after a good "quarantine" and time with God, which makes me believe even more that my co-worker is right. I should be concerned about my soul. Otherwise, no treatment would be needed.

So what do you think? I want some outside perspectives. Being around great people seems to lift our spirits, and sometimes even make us better people just being around them. What about sick people? What do they do to the spirit of those around them?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Grace Like Rain

"Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away"

"Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away"

Today was dark, gloomy, beautiful.

There was always at least one ray of sunlight bursting through the clouds each time I looked up at the rainy sky. At least one bright blast of color against the drab gray backdrop, everywhere I looked.

Grace like rain.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blues Skies!

I could really feel spring in the air today, and it made me feel very energetic! My joy seemed to be impervious! Several incidents occurred that could have brought me down, but nothing did!

Spring seems to be the answer to a winters-worth of prayers every year!

We had small group in our apartment today. This was the first time we had an actual "gathering" here, so it now officially feels like a home. Good message, good people, good pizza! Group is great! Although, I now know our home is most definitely not baby proof!

Today I decided to paint something to reflect my positive mood. My birthday is this Sunday, and my parents sent me a great card. It is very simple and the colors are bright and cheerful. It's almost a peaceful image, so I painted something somewhat similar to it. I am exited about this picture. Although it's not really a detailed or complicated painting, it actually ended up looking exactly like what I had imagined. YAY!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Do Something!!!

Today, my painting/drawing was inspired by images of abused children that have been flashing through my mind since about 2:30am this morning.

Countless children are abused every day. I see it. You see it.

But what do we do? Nothing.

Normally we just think, "Hmm, somethings not right here!" and then we move on with our lives.

But where did that thought, that sense of something dangerous happening, where did it come from? Could it be from God? Perhaps a gift of discernment?

And why would God provide us with a gift unless He intended us to use it?

So do something! Yes, YOU!!! That nagging feeling that you've had for a while now that that child is unsafe at home. Do something about it!

It's not our place to question, "What if?" If nothing is substantiated, nothing will happen. Period. No lives ruined.

But a life could be ruined if you choose to not DO SOMETHING!!!

Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-800-5556


I am very sad. Know why? I'm down to two pair of office appropriate, non-dress pants.

You see, I have this problem. Nearly every pair of pants I have tare at the crotch.

I mean TARE.

Not just a little. No, they TARE.

Just the other day, I was stepping into Lori's vehicle when I heard a loud pop, followed by an uncomfortable draft. And of course, I was wearing my favorite pair of khaki's. Yep, far beyond repair.

But this just doesn't stop at work pants. Oh, no! Jeans. Shorts. You name it.

It's like a curse!!!

Fortunately, I usually have a hoodie or sweatshirt to tie around my waist . . .

But besides being prepared for an unexpected need to clothe my lower half, what can I do???

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Green Elephant, Yellow Balcony, Pink Sky

So, today I was in the mood to do something creative, but I wasn't really sure

I had been wanting
to experiment with water pastels for a long time now, so when Kimberly and I went to Wal-Mart, I picked some up.

Then I sat out on the balcony for a while, enjoying the sun
and trying to decide what I wanted to paint.

I finally decided on this weird elephant thing we have on our bookshelf. I set it outside on the balcony railing and began to sketch it. I then filled it in with the water pastels. It was my first time using this art form. I found it to be quite enjoyable!

The end result is a little...
different, but I am pleased.

God has really been blessing me with a lot of different coping skills lately
, and they all have been very helpful.

So God, what's next? Juggling? Let's hope not. My
hand/eye coordination is terrible!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Day From . . . WORK!!!

Yesterday's Schedule
(Or Is It The Day Before??? Or Some Weird Combination???)

9:00am Checking 88 e-mails, 7 voice mails

9:30am Responding to 53 of the e-mails and 3 of the voice mails

10:00am Developing three new behavior management plans

10:45am Introducing new behavior management plans to a placing agent

11:00am Receiving rude e-mail from a placing agent in response to new behavior management plan. (Apparently community safety is not important. Sixteen victims are meaningless? I must have not received that memo.)

11:20am Responding to rude e-mail from placing agent. (This required some deep breathing and prayer to complete professionally.)

11:45am Informing a mildly mentally retarded teen that his mother no longer wants him and that she is falsely accusing him of molesting his sister in order to prevent him from ever coming home again.

11:55am Watching teen cry.

12:00pm Reminding residents during their school lunch break why "boundaries" are important and that swearing at staff is not appropriate.

12:15pm Receiving notice we will receive a new resident today.

12:20pm Notifying a young teen that because he is unable to stop sexually acting out, he must be transitioned out to a more secure environment.

12:25pm Watching young teen cry.

12:35pm Phone call. Explaining to a parent that her son was a willing recipient of a sexual favor. Of course, mother's baby would never do such a thing willingly . . .

12:45pm Receiving notice we will receive another new resident today.

12:55pm Confronting a teen about his inappropriate fantasies about staff and about his inappropriate methods of . . . self-stimulating.

1:10pm Searching for treatment activities specifically designed for gender-confused adolescents. Found a couple worksheets and made copies.

1:30pm Receiving notice that a non-manageable resident sent to detention will be returning despite his continued unstable condition.

1:45pm Becoming aware that both new residents shared a prior placement. Tingling spider senses tell me these residents have shared . . . relations.

2:00pm After some brief interviewing . . . yep, spider senses are still as accurate as ever! No doubt in my mind these residents are more than just old bunk mates. (So let's put them in the same residence! Thanks admissions office!!!)

2:15pm Driving to McDonald's for some tea. Mmm, fresh air!!! (You do NOT want to know what my cottage smells like!)

2:30pm Implementing new behavior plans. Two out of three of the involved residents cry because this will affect their visit times if their behavior does not improve.

2:45pm Attempting to find out why a cheese grater is on my desk. Can't stop laughing long enough to do so.

2:50pm Explaining to 2nd shift staff about new residents and their high risk situation. Explain about the possible return of unstable resident.

3:00pm Listening to staff rant about new info, as though I'm not aware of how crappy it is already ;o)

3:30pm Treatment plan meeting with a resident's grandmother. Grandmother argues with grandson, "No! you don't have that many victims! Only one!!! That's all!!!" Does is really matter grandma? The kid needs help regardless . . .

4:15pm Vegetating at my desk . . .

4:30pm Beginning agenda for upcoming staff meeting.

4:50pm Receive notice of an allegation that one resident has been propositioning another resident. Interview both residents. Nothing concrete. Spider senses too exhausted to tingle.

5:15pm Attempting to leave for the day. Residents ask questions. Feeling guilty about leaving, so I stay to talk with residents and answer questions. "No, teenage sex offender, I do not think you should have visitation with little brother. Do I have to explain? Seriously!"

5:45pm Walking to my car, thinking about how I got NO filing or evaluations done today.

6:30pm Random house cleaning. Receive a phone call that one resident threatened staff.

7:00pm Showering. Washing away the ick factor that often lingers after hearing too many gross stories. (It's there. I can feel it). Doing some SERIOUS praying in the process. (Strength and wisdom. Strength and wisdom,)

7:30pm YAY!!! Company!!! Now I have something else to think about!!! Thanks, you guys rock!!!

An Average Day at Work . . .