Queen Frostine

I take Ballet lessons. My Instructor always has me pick a character so i become the character and really get into the dance. last November when I danced to o Holy Night i picked Queen Frostine. Below is the paragraph I wrote I was trying to become the character.  Enjoy my pictures and videos.

Queen Frostine from the Candy Land  board game in the 1980s. The Best!


Hi, I’m Queen Frostine. I’m married to King Kandy. People call me, “The picture of grace and beauty.” They say I’m, “Everything a queen should be.” I wear a long blue evening gown, white gloves, and a blue crown. My favorite thing to do is ice skate. My Snowflake Spector always leaves a trail of magical sugar snowflakes that follow me everywhere. My favorite place to go is Snowflake Lake which is just up a ways from Lollipop Woods but not as far as Ice Cream Mountains. I spend my day ice skating. I live in the Ice Cream Sea. It’s very bubbly. Come visit me some time! We can even share an Ice Cream Sundae and a cup of tea!

Here I talk about fun times with my Instructor, Jessica What fun we have!


I dressed as Queen Frostine for the 2016 Fun Life Halloween Party. I Love ice Cream! I just love sweets period! Candy Land was my favorite board game as a child.




“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood ….” The Ministry of Mister Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?”

Sound familiar? Those are the beginning lines to the opening of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood theme song. Every time I hear the first few bars I can picture Mister Rogers’ house. The traffic lights, the fish, the curtains, the trolley, Etc. Through the years Mister Rogers Neighborhood stayed the same. In a fast paced world trying to keep up with the times to please each generation, the format never changed. Many people don’t know it, but Mister Rogers actually went to school to become an ordained minister. Mister Rogers decided to break into television because he saw something he didn’t like. He saw a program at his mom and dad’s place where people were throwing pies at each other and decided to do something about it. When his parents said, “You’ve never even seen television. How can you say that?”

Mister Rogers replied, “Well, I’ve seen enough to know I’d like to try to put my hand in it.” In an interview with CNN, he stated, “I went into television because I hated it so, and I thought there was some way of using this fabulous instrument to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen.”

He earned his divinity degree in 1962, and at his ordination the Presbyterian Church asked him to serve children and families through television. Mister Rogers Neighborhood began on February 19, 1968. I know what you’re thinking. “Mister Rogers a minister?  I never heard him mention God or Bible verses in the show.”

That’s true but the Christian principles were there. Mister Rogers believed in the famous saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” He always greeted viewers by saying, “Hello Neighbor.” He believed your neighbor was whoever you happened to be with at the moment. The show was at a very slow pace. Mister Rogers was the host and did many of the characters’ voices in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. He played himself not a made-up character. His ideas were easy to follow. All the episodes for the week were based on one theme such as music, fast and slow, etc. He also introduced viewers to people like Eric Hill, author and illustrator of the Spot books.

Whenever he showed how various things were made like crayons on his projector called picture picture, he never sped up the process. Viewers saw each step as it was happening and he explained it. One of the key songs in the program was:“I like to take my time I mean that when I want to do a thing I like to take my time and do it right. I mean I just might make mistakes if I should have to hurry up and so I like to take my time.” One of my favorite episodes was when he took viewers to a local pretzel factory and showed people how pretzels were made. I love pretzels.

On the factory tour, the man who was making pretzels said they originated in Germany, France, and Italy, 1500 years ago and were given to children for saying their prayers. A pretzel has three folds. The first fold represents children crossing their arms praying to God. The second represents parents. The three holes resemble the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It’s the only time I remember hearing any reference to God in the show.

He interviewed all kinds of people, including people with disabilities who were in wheelchairs, on crutches, and blind. He made being different okay and always told people they were special. When Mister Rogers said, “You Are Special,” and “It’s you I like,” I knew he was talking to me. It was okay for people to cry and talk about what they were feeling. One time I remember him saying, “Real brave and strong people are able to cry when things are hard. The one thing they don’t do is give up.”

Even when the characters in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe got into a conflict with one another, they always worked through it. They talked it out and resolved the conflict. They said, “I’m sorry.” Whenever they did something like build a school, everyone worked together. People learned how to cooperate with one another and share ideas. My mom never minded me watching Mister Rogers even as I got older because she could be in the kitchen and listen and not have to worry about what I was watching. We both recognized the great quality of the program.

In an interview he said, “I’m so convinced that the space between the television set and the viewer is holy ground.” Because he hardly mentioned God or Bible verses in the show, he was able to touch many lives just by being himself. As he would say at the end of every show, “You make each day a special day. You know how, by just your being you. There’s only one person in the whole world like you and people can like you exactly as you are.”

I learned it’s okay to be slow. The best things made are made slowly. Trying to move too quickly causes problems. It’s okay to cry. Just don’t give up, If there’s something you don’t like, be part of the solution, and not the problem. We all have unique gifts God has given us to make the world a better place. Mister Rogers, thank you for the impact you had on my life. Thank you for liking me exactly the way I am. See you in heaven.

Lord, help me to slow down and take my time so I can listen to your voice and know your will. As I write, help me to create things that are pleasing to you. Amen

“Pain and Torture” The Value of Physical Therapy


Eating lunch at home with my left hand. A Special Thanks to Traci Gee and Sarah March for helping me get ready to hold my nephew. Those three weeks together were sure an adventure!


Getting ready to swim at the YMCA


In the Water with Traci Gee July 2013.  Swimming is one of my favorite Summertime Activities! I’m a Mermaid in the water!

caden and Aunt Ra

Here’s the reason I learned to use my left hand. In this picture, he’s about four months old. (I think) Now he’ll be three in January  They grow up so fast!  By the way, his middle name Rex is in honor of my dad who passed away in January 1995. Too bad Dad isn’t here to meet his grandson.

Jensen Family

The Jensen Family 2015. On the left is my sister Roz Jensen. Next to her is her husband, Cody Jensen. My sister is holding Brynn who was born August 3rd 2015. We just celebrated her first birthday. I’ll have to write a story about her next. If Caden sees my mom without me, the first thing he says is, “Where’s Aunt Rachael?” He can’t wait to see me! I love him too! We always have a great time together! What a great family!

I have cerebral palsy. Over the years I’ve had lots of physical therapy throughout my life. Physical therapy helps me strengthen my leg muscles which helps me be able to do things like transfer to a car; get in and out of bed, etc. Sometimes when the physical therapist is stretching my legs and holding it up on their shoulder it can be painful if the muscles haven’t been stretched out enough. Sometimes, as my mom is watching me and she sees the look on my face, she says,

This is liable to look like pain and torture you know that?” The therapist smiles and we laugh.

As a child, I didn’t like going to physical therapy. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of physical therapy.I especially appreciated it in the summer of 2013 when I knew my new nephew would be arriving soon. I’m a children’s author and I really love children. I couldn’t wait to hold my newborn nephew  First I had to get my left hand working better I used my right for everything my left hand just sat there. It wasn’t that I couldn’t use my left hand but my left hand is slower at doing things so I get impatient and let the right hand do it all. Holding a baby takes two hands. I can use my left hand, but my right hand is more relaxed because I use it more.
In order to get my left working well enough to hold a baby, I did all kinds of things. My friend Sarah came in and helped me. During the summer of 2013, Sarah helped me train a new caregiver named Traci who would take care of me during the week. For three weeks, Sarah Traci, and I did lots of physical therapy. At lunchtime, they put my right arm in a sling so that I had to use my left arm for everything. Picking up the drink, picking up my sandwich etc. Trust me there were many times I thought, This is crazy. My tea is in a huge aluminum container. When It’s full, it’s really heavy! Many times as I tipped it up to take a drink I’d spill tea down the front of my shirt or even drop the container on the floor. What a mess! When something is not habit repetition is the key. That’s true for anyone but especially someone like me who struggles with getting the right messages to communicate with the right parts of the body so I can do the small everyday tasks.
At times I sighed and wondered, Why am I doing this again? Then I’d tell myself silently, Baby, Baby, Baby. That got me motivated again. I continued working to strengthen my left hand. When I was at the computer at home, Traci would switch the mouse pad over to the left side. I moved a few icons around on the desktop. At the hospital, it used to take me forever to get signed in at the volunteer office The cursor moved everywhere on the screen except the correct numbers I needed. The more I used my left hand, the faster it got. Now I check in at the hospital in no time at all.
Finally January 1st 2014 came and my nephew arrived. His name is Caden Rex Jensen He has Hazel eyes very similar to my sister, and black curly just like his father. When I held my nephew for the first time, we both looked at each other and smiled. I thought about all the hard work I’d done in therapy to get to this special moment. The “pain and torture” was worth it. I thought. Caden Rex Jensen is now a year old and will soon have a sibling in August. I can’t wait until my nephew gets old enough to hear to this story. Then I can tell him, “I learned to use my left hand for you!”

“Write By Numbers”

The top photo is the lined paper Jessica used to help me learn to write. See the picture on the bottom left with the purple writing? That’s how my writing used to look before I started working with Jessica. I started working on this with Jessica in the middle of February and Traci’s birthday is March 31st. The book shows the finished product. Look at the improvement in a month’s time! Not Bad Huh? It was well worth it!

I never learned to write my name very well in grade school.  With cerebral palsy, it takes more time for me to learn something than the average person. I know what I want my muscles to do. Often, getting my brain to communicate with my muscles to work together is a challenge. My brain has to figure out how to re-route itself. Repetition is the key.
I did learn to write a little bit but just my name. I couldn’t write well enough for the teacher to read a whole sentence. There were other things to worry about in school. Time wise I had to use a one lined flat screen typewriter.  Recently, I learned how to write thanks to my good friend Jessica.
 It all started when I wanted to write my name in a book, I got my attendant aide Traci, for her birthday. It was one of those small pocket books that says, “To and from” on the inside. I just wanted to learn to write my name well enough and type a short birthday message, then paste it on the inside. However, Jessica had another idea. “Why don’t you learn to write the whole message?”
Jessica always pushes me to go to the next level!
“Are you crazy?” I asked.
“No Really. I think you can do it.”
 Jessica doesn’t take no for an answer easily! We only had a month and at the moment my name was barely readable. How would I ever learn in time for Traci’s birthday? Jessica and I have accomplished other milestones. I knew she wouldn’t suggest it if she didn’t think it was possible. I really wanted to give Traci a nice surprise, so I l hesitantly said, “Okay.”
We got to work right away. One of my biggest challenges was to get the letter c going in the right direction. My c’s we’re always backwards and I was taught to write my name in capital letters. As I was re-learning how to write my name, this time using a capital R and the rest of the letters lowercase, my brain connected well with different shapes.
A lowercase  c looked like a mini size cookie, h was like a chair, my name has to a’s in it so we made two c’s with kite tails,  the letter e is like a c starting with a line going down in the middle. For letters like c a, and e, Jessica said, “Start to the left and go all the way around. “ I learned most of the letters in my name start with the c motion.
One day Jessica brought in some lined paper with numbers and colors. It reminded me of when I was a kid and they have those coloring books where you color by numbers. I looked at the paper and asked,
 “What are we going to do? Write by numbers?” We both laughed. The paper was supposed to help me get the size of my letters right.  I did learn to write in time for her birthday and Traci loved her gift. I learned to write my name and a whole paragraph! What an accomplishment! I can write! I did it! Now, so I don’t forget how, the key is to keep practicing on a regular basis. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.