Why we LOVE summer!

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Participating in walks

Summer is nearly gone, so we thought it was time to share some of our favorite things to do in the summer.

Rosa:  No school – when I was younger!  And the SUN!

Don:  Cook-Outs

Taylor:  Going to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and shopping at Cabela’s

Richard:  Going to summer camp

Cheryl:  Flowers

Susan:  It’s nice out!

James F:  I like growing vegetables.

more-smore-fun

We love making S’Mores!

Diana:  Going swimming and also watching the flowers grow.

Denny:  Camping

Gary W.:  Fishing & Cook-Outs

Twila:  Going to Okoboji

Luke:  Eating outside

Stacey:  Swimming

Eric:  Going on walks and riding bikes

Tony:  I like the heat and I like storms

Michael B.:  Biking

waterfight-fun

WATER FIGHTS ARE FUN!!

Tabitha:  Hanging out with my friends and swimming

Sarah:  Shopping

Brandon:  I like to go out into the community!

I like movies!

IMG_3332My name is Taylor P.  I went to River Hills School and live in Waterloo with Mom & Dad.  I have three brothers, Trevor, Jordan, and Dakota and one sister. She’s a cheerleader at West High School.  One of my brothers works at Hy-Vee and has his own apartment.

I was in Employment Services, but started in Day Habilitation on Monday.  Yesterday we got to go on an outing to Hansen’s Dairy.  The calves were licking my fingers.  They had twin calves named Star and Wars.  I like all the Star Wars movies; “Return of the Jedi” is my favorite.

I get to watch the dogs and my sister’s dog grabs shoes and then gets in trouble.  I take the dogs outside to go.  This morning it was raining and we have to clean their paws off.

I LOVE to go to the zoo!  My favorite is the Omaha Zoo and I like the gorillas!  One time one of the gorillas at the zoo broke the glass on their window.

We went to Orlando in 2009 and 2013.  I went to Disney World – you should visit it!  And Magic Kingdom has the “Small World.”  We found a vacation home in Florida with a huge tub!  And Florida has palm trees and we ate at Chili’s.

And I went to San Antonio, Texas to see my uncle.  There was the River Walk and Sea World.  I saw the Marine Mammals Show and there was a walrus with big tusks!

Also we went to Walker, Minnesota.  There was a candy store and we got pizza at Benson’s (Emporium) and went to Reed’s.

I like movies.  I like the five Ice Ages movies.  I want to see “Storks” this fall and “Trolls” in November.

I like to crochet!

DianaI am Diana.  I have lived all my life in Waterloo.  I live in Waterloo with my husband, James.  My birthday is in August when it is hot outside.  James’ birthday is in September.  We have a two-bedroom, two stall garage house that we rent.  The landlord does a good job of fixing stuff and keeping it up-to-date.  We get someone to shovel because I can’t do it no more with my arthritis and bursitis.

I have been married for 15 years!  Me and James got married at the courthouse.  I met him at Joker’s and he wanted me.  He does everything with me.  James cooked for me – he made a diabetic bake with cauliflower and parmesan cheese – reduced fat parmesan cheese.  He isn’t diabetic, but he eats the same as me – it’s good for him to be healthy too.

I found a website with good, healthy recipes.  I saw one to make tacos with Manwich Sauce and you put a little cheese on them.  I want to try that.  Simple.  I make meatloaf out of turkey – you have to put some stuff in there to make it stick together and then I put it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in the oven.

I like to bake too.  I make cookies out of diabetic brownie mix.  Did you know you could do that?

I got an Iowa Hawkeye Rose Bowl t-shirt at Hy-Vee.  It was cheaper than the other stores – only $8.  Me and my husband got one.  It was our Christmas present together.

My older sister gave me her Timex watch, she didn’t want it.  She is 57 and she has arthritis too – it runs in my family.  I also have a younger brother and a brother in Heaven.  My grandparents on both sides and parents are gone now, but I go and visit them.  I have their wedding picture by my bed.

I like to shop.  I like to go shopping for crafts.  I crochet.  I make potholders, and I made me a scarf.  I made a Hawkeye throw blanket and now my husband wants one, too.  I sometimes use a wooden crochet hook for when my hands get sore – you know arthritis.  I also like to do beads – I made a bracelet and necklace.

What we’re thankful for

What some of the participants at North Star in Waterloo are thankful for this year!

What the turkey's grateful about!

What the turkey’s grateful about!

Arnie: Alvin and the Chipmunks
Bill: family, roommates, girlfriend
Blaine: North Star
Brandon: turkey
Breyon: Mom
Brittany S.: My job
Brock: turkey and Thanksgiving
Carrie: Mom
Charlie: Gallagher Bluedorn and our volunteers
Chase: going shopping in Iowa City with my mom
Cheryl: that I live in a nice home
Courtney: Chelsey
Crissy: roommates
Denny: staff
Diane: food
Don: Chad Hackenmiller, my brother, Mary Beth, and mom
Doug: church, Christmas, turkey and pie
Eric: our country, family, and staff
Gary We.: pie
Gary Wi.: being here and my girlfriend, my staff, a house, and my family
Haley K.: health, family and my kiddos
James Ha.: turkey and Thanksgiving
James Ho.: nothing right now
James S.: food
Jeff H.: food
Jeff T.: food and Dad
Jerry: family, North Star, Newel Post, and church
Joe: Mom, Dad, and my new job
John: that I stay with my sister
Kelli: horses
Kenneth: monster trucks
Kylie friends and family
Larry: family, niece and nephew
Lee: pizza!
Luke: everything we have
Megan B.: my mom
Mike D.: what God gave me
Mike O.: family and staff
Mike R.: food!
Pam: Thanksgiving and North Star
Phil: father and sister
Randy: being here and learning, and also turkey
Richard: turkey and potatoes and dressing (“dressing’s good stuff!”)
Richie: family
Rosemary: turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie
Roza: art
Sandra: my brother, sister-in-law, nephew
Sarah: my aunt
Sheri: my mom
Sheryl: my health
Shirley H.: health, family, and friends
Susan: Life – “you know, that we’re alive”
Tammy: my mom, dad, sisters, brothers, and my niece and nephew
The Turkey: To be alive and not on the plate!
Tony: my family and friends
Travis: staff and being able to draw
Twila: the stuffing, cheesecake and pumpkin pie
Wendy: my brothers

I love cars!

IMG_7169I am Courtney.  I was an elephant in North Star’s play, “The Jungle Book.”  I enjoyed that and would do it again next time.  In this picture I am in my costume and make-up.

I was born in Osage, Iowa and I grew up a lot of places like McIntire (kind of by Riceville) and Mona, Iowa and also in Lyle, Minnesota – right on the border of Iowa and Minnesota.  When I was growing up we had a lot of dogs and cats.  My favorite was a Rottweiler that was named Gigolo; he was a big boy and could get a bowling ball in his mouth!  I have four brothers, one is older and three are younger.  My mom lives in Austin, Minnesota.

Now I live in Waterloo in a duplex.  I have a roommate named Rose and also a man that lives in the other part of the duplex.  I have a cat name, Finch and I used to have a betta fish named Larry.  But one day my cat knocked over his bowl.  She just watched him flop around on the floor and when I got home he was just lying on the floor.

I have a job.  I really like it, probably because I really love cars!  I work at Dan Deery Toyota in the detail shop.  Usually I do the vacuuming.  Yesterday I got to detail a 2012 Charger!  And, once I got to detail a 2003 Mustang – that one was pretty souped-up!

At home I like to play video games, like Grand Theft Auto.  I also have 17 racing games and a casino game.  The casino game is really hard.  I watch T.V. – cartoons mostly.  I like the Simpsons.  I have a blu-ray player and I like the Fast & Furious movies.  I have the whole series and #7 comes out this week.  I heard maybe they were going to make a Fast & Furious 8.

We usually do the cleaning on Friday and take turns with the chores.  I do my own grocery shopping – I like to buy ice cream and could probably eat a whole gallon in a week!  My favorite is salted caramel gelato.  I also cook for myself – staff helps Rose cook, because she is like 50!

On Friday, when my boyfriend Lonnie comes over I will make him pizza or spaghetti. We want to get married, maybe in about two years.  Then our dream is to buy a 70” plasma television and build a log cabin in the middle of nowhere.  I am going to have to start saving money!

Some of my other favorites are the Texas Longhorns and the color blue.  I like to listen to all kinds of music.  I build model cars – I like the Chevy Nova.  I can play guitar – I would like lessons, but they are expensive.  I am good at art.  I did take some art lessons and learned how to make pottery.

 

 

I am a Dragon Ball Z fan!

Blaine JohnsonI am Blaine J.  I am tired today – I stayed up until 11:00 last night!  I am almost 25 years old.  My favorite color is blue and my favorite team is the Minnesota Vikings.  I have two brothers and one sister – they are all younger.  I was born in Waterloo, but I moved all over, I graduated from a high school in Allamakee County.  The diploma is on my wall.

I live in Waterloo now, in my own apartment. Friday is my day off from North Star.  Sometimes my aunt will take me grocery shopping then, but I will probably watch T.V. or play video games.

I do my own laundry.  And I do clean my apartment – at some point.  I can cook.  I like to make pizza and sloppy joes.  For sloppy joes I buy the stuff in the can.  It is easier for me because there is no recipe.  For pizza:  if I am tired, I make frozen, but I like to make homemade pizza sometimes.  You can just buy the crust and the stuff to put on it.  I cook it in my Pizzazz.

I like to drink pop.  My favorites are Wild Cherry Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Orange Crush, and Strawberry Crush.  And, I also like the white Mt. Dew, but I don’t like Code Red Mt. Dew.  I also don’t like plain Pepsi or Grape Crush.

I love to play video games and watch movies and T.V.  My favorite movie is the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  My favorite T.V. show is Dragon Ball Z.  Goku is my favorite Dragon Ball Z character.

My favorite video game is Dragon Ball XenoVerse.  In the game you have to save the history of Dragon Ball Z.  I beat the game, but I keep playing it to get more stuff unlocked.

I like Pokémon too.  My favorite Pokémon is Pikachu.  I also like Power Rangers – my favorite is Jason David Frank – he played the Green Ranger, Red Ranger, and White Ranger.

I also like wrestling.  My favorite wrestler is John Cena.  I also like Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler; but not Seth Rollins because he is a jerk.  For wrestlers that don’t wrestle anymore I like Diamond Dallas Page and The Rock.  I guess The Rock quit because he is in movies.  My favorite Rock movies are G.I. Joe Retaliation and Fast & Furious 6.

I like to listen to music.  I like rock, rap, and hip hop.  My friend Russ told me about Avenged Sevenfold and the song “Hail to the King.”  I also have some CD’s from Five Finger Death Punch, Linkin Park, and Disturbed.  I really like Nickelback – my mom got me into them.

I like to draw and I like to color, too.  I can draw my Dragon Ball Z avatar, but I can’t draw the other characters, I would have to trace them.

I really want to see the new Vin Diesel movie, “The Last Witch Hunter.” He says, “You know what I am afraid of?  Nothing.”  It looks kinda awesome!!!

I like living in my own apartment!

Mike DI am Mike.  I was born on March 1st in Waterloo.  I went to River Hills School.  I live in an apartment near Family Video.  My favorite colors are blue and red.  I live by myself and I really like it – it is a lot better than when I had to live in a group home.  My North Star staff is much more laid back and good.  I like the staff a lot.

At home I do all of my own cleaning.  I dust, vacuum and clean my bedroom and the bathroom.  I am not allowed to use the stove, but I can use the microwave for T.V. dinners and stuff.  Kim said you can’t cook French fries in the microwave, though.  The T.V. dinners I like are spaghetti and the mashed potato, Salisbury steak, with a little corn isn’t too bad.  My favorite foods are lasagna and spaghetti – small portions.

I like to relax and drink cold water.  I am taking it easy on O.J. and cola.  I am watching the sugar – you know, it’s about moderation.  I heard that!

At home, I watch T.V. – I am getting better at not walking around and pacing, but actually sit down to watch.  I like Law & Order and NCIS.

My staff, Kim, takes me shopping – I don’t go alone.  Too dangerous.  Kim goes with me for groceries.  Kim got me vegetables; I like raw carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower.  I like corn, but there is sugar in corn.

I like to exercise on my bike – I wish that exercise could get rid of the diabetes, but it probably won’t.  On Tuesday and Thursday I go to the mall with my friend Todd (it isn’t fair to make him go by himself).  We walk around and look at stuff.  At the mall, I like these big blankets that they have hanging up with cartoons on them.  There is one that is for ladies’ breast cancer – I think a man could buy one too, though.  My favorite cartoons are Scooby Doo, but I like the Smurfs and Superman, too.

I like to go to the movies.  It really is fun.  Comedy is my favorite.  It is better than scary – you know that it isn’t real – it is just a movie, but still…  Comedy is best.

I was an elephant in “The Jungle Book”

I am Crissy and I am 24.  I went to West High School where North Star did a Variety Show.  I am an only child.

image by Dan Phillips Photography - Cedar Falls, Iowa

Me in my elephant costume

My mom lives in downtown Waterloo.  My uncle just moved to Fayette, so now we don’t see him much.  Not very long ago, my cousin had a baby boy only six days after her birthday (her birthday is the 25th and he was born on the 31st).  She was going to bring him to the play, but then she decided she didn’t want to deal with it.

I live in a house in Waterloo, not very far from Wal-Mart.  We just got all new staff, but that’s okay because one of them used to work with me at West High.  I live with Sandra, Jackie and Juli.  Sometimes we all go to the mall.  I pretty much end up doing all the chores and I help with Jackie and Juli.  When I get to go shopping for food and stuff, my staff stays by the doors and I get to go around by myself.  One thing I like is Special K bars.  I used to buy ice cream, but now I don’t – my roommates kept begging me for it and I am just not doing that anymore.

I watch anything on T.V.  We used to go to karaoke, but we don’t get to do that anymore.  Sometimes when me and my roommates get enough money we all go to Doughy Joey’s.  It used to be in Waterloo, but now we have to go clear to Cedar Falls.  We just get one big pizza, half-and-half.  I just drink water.

I get to ride the city bus around the community all by myself.  I ride it and learn how to get places.  I actually learned to take the bus to Mike’s house – it’s a pretty long way.  Mike is my boyfriend.

I like to come to North Star.  I like Day Hab the best.  I like to make pictures on plastic canvas.  I am making a heart that says, “angel” in the middle.  I am going to give it to Juli because she likes angels.

I was just in the play “The Jungle Book,” I got to be an elephant.  My back hurt, but I did it.  I didn’t think I could, but I did!  Sometimes my back hurts.  It doesn’t right now, but it might later…

Meet Ben…

benMy name is Ben M.  I am 21 years old and I live in Waterloo with mom and dad.  I have three sisters and two nieces.  One niece lives in Colorado and is a little baby.  I like to hold her.  I used to go to West High School and am sad that it is done.  I go to North Star now and I like it!  My friend Jessica goes here, too.

I got a new bed on Tuesday.  It is warm.  On Wednesday’s I stay home and have “Mommy Day.”  I get to hang out with Mom all day.  We go shopping and out to eat.  On Grandma Kay’s birthday we ate at Village Inn.  I got a cheeseburger and French fries with cheese.  On Thursday I like to watch Big Bang Theory – Sheldon is my favorite.

Every Friday I eat at L.J.’s with Mom and Dad.  I like to get a chicken and cheese quesadilla and Dr. Pepper – my favorite kind of pop!  And every Friday I get to stay at my Grandma Kay’s.  She lives in Friendship Village and we always watch Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods.

I like to make pictures from yarn and plastic canvas.  I made one for “Kids Bop.”  Those are my favorite CD’s – I always ask to play them in music class.

I got to be a pirate in Peter Pan. (editor’s note:  probably the cutest pirate there ever was!)  For the Jungle Book I am going to be a tree frog!