BIRTHDAY PROJECT

Hello Everyone, I had an idea and wanted to pass it along. My mom’s 60th birthday is coming up on the 28th of May. I want to do something special, but doing anything big I think would be too much for either of them at this point. We probably won’t even have a get together outside of our immediate family. But one thing I want to do is put together a “Book of Encouragement” for her. For those of you who know my mom well enough to do this, please take a few minutes and think about something you appreciate about her, a memory you have with her that might be of encouragement, a quality you see that is being used right now. Write it as long as you want or as short as you want, and you can include anything you want (songs, scripture), whatever is the best expression for you! I want to put it together in a book for her to read on days she feels low! If you have a picture of you or your family that you can attach to the email, I’d like to put your picture by your writing. The best and easiest way to do this would be to email your thoughts and then I can print it off on nice paper that I can put together in a book. But, if you’d rather mail it to me, I can scan the picture and type it in. Just don’t let the email thing be a deterrent if mailing it will allow you to be included! ūüôā I want to make this user friendly!

If you have any questions just let me know! And, if you can make sure I have your emails/letters by the end of this week, that will give me some time to finalize the book and get it printed for her! Thanks everyone!

Also wanted to pass along how grateful we are for all the work on the garage sale! The men from the All Saints men’s group all came over on Wednesday to drop it off and I just happened to walk in the door at the same time! Your commitment to supporting my parents left them speechless when you walked out the door. My mom just sat shaking her head! I told them, “God seems to be carrying you on the wings of so many people right now!” Its incredible! So, thank you for the huge undertaking this garage sale was! One funny note from the sale…I brought the girls to the sale last weekend so we could see things and I told the girls they could each pick one thing out. Then, I realized we had no cash so I actually went up to my mom and said, “Do you think I could borrow a few dollars from you and pay you back later today?” Then we looked at each other and realized how ridiculous that question was, since she would be lending me money to give to the sale, to be given back to her! So, she told the gal there just to let the girls each pick something out! Heehee! Never claimed we were the sharpest tools in the shed! ūüôā

Dad’s doing okay. We’re a little discouraged because we’re seeing his symptoms increase again (confusion, memory, etc)…which means the swelling is increasing again. That can happen as a result of stopping the steroid and simply from the radiation. The doctors will decide whether to put him back on Decadron…yuck! Nobody is excited about that prospect! Josh took him to see Star Trek over the weekend and he said he really enjoyed that!! I escaped the house on Friday to watch a movie with them, and then sat talking to him for a while on Friday night and commented on how he just happens to be one of those men who looks good bald! “You have a very fortunate head shape,” I said. He’s had only three different hairstyles almost my entire life…the swooped parted look, the short one that most of you are used to, and the bald look! I told him he’s a lucky guy…he laughed! ūüôā

I’ll post more in the next day or so…and I hope to post some pics from this weekend on my blog! Garmai had her spring concert and I got a video of my dad dancing! ūüôā Hee hee! Hope you have a good week!

Some Days are Harder than the Rest

Its Monday morning and I’m exhausted!¬† Not a very good sign for the first day of the week!¬† I don’t know why, but this past week has been a hard one for me.¬† Maybe its the constant toying with my hormones in our effort to nix my migraines.¬† Maybe its just not getting enough sleep…I’ve been really uptight at night.¬† Maybe its just one of those weeks where the reality hits a little harder and closer to home.¬† For whatever reason I am dragging today.¬† I see housework all around me that needs to get done and I just can’t muster the motivation.

Its gonna be a busy week for us as Travis is planning to do some Air Management work every day this week, in addition to his work day.¬† I may set up some fun nights for the girls with others who’ve wanted time with them, and that way I get a chance to rest and regroup…and figure out what’s going on.¬† Its weird to say this, but I think my own personal grief is just beginning to really hit.¬† We’ve been living in a constant tailspin for so long, and focusing solely on the necessities of what needs to get done…and between trying to support my mom and dealing with my girls…there’s not a lot of time left for me to process things.¬† I tend to process emotions slower anyway.¬† And in spite of how cautious my¬†mom has been¬†about how much she is asking each of us to take on, life is¬†not always¬†in perfect balance, and at different times, one person’s needs may need to come before another’s!¬† And that’s just life!

My dad has finished his first three weeks of radiation and chemo, and started his final three today.¬† He’s been doing great since getting off his steroid.¬† Less anxiety, irritability, hunger spells…although I told my dad if he keeps losing weight we’d have to go out and buy him some new skinny man jeans! ūüôā¬† He decided the other day to climb¬†up on a 15 foot ladder¬†with a drill and replace some ceiling tiles, which his therapist, doctor,¬†nurse, wife and daughter all¬†agreed is NOT a good idea!¬† He agreed, after the fact! ūüôā¬† He ended up with a headache and I said, “Maybe its an altitude headache!”¬† He¬†was able to ask¬†my mom at dinner last Friday how she was doing, which was the first time since his initial seizure in February.¬† Self-initiated other¬†centered thinking…Go¬†Dad!¬† So, they were able to talk and connect about a few things that they’ve been unable to before.¬† They talked again about trying to set priorities for the time he does have left, and one of the things we’re hoping to have him do is read “The Chronicles of Narnia” on video tape for the kids to get to see and listen to as they grow up.¬† That was something Rebekah thought of that was memorable about my dad while we were growing up, and I thought it was a great idea.¬† I don’t know when we will start that, but I’m excited about having those tapes.¬† I think focusing on how he can “be with us” after he dies is one thing that can give him purpose right now.¬† My girls have been asking to learn the guitar for some time, and I thought that might be something he could help them do too, and he¬†said he would be¬†interested in doing¬†that too!¬† We’ll take it a little at a time!

One thing I am trying to do is hug him every time I am aware of the desire, and have opportunity, which is something I may not have always acted upon before.¬† I don’t want to feel regret when he dies of, “I wish I would have done this or done that, or said this or said that” so I’m trying to follow through on¬†all of the thoughts that go through my head.¬† Its amazing how much we don’t take advantage of when we think someone’s going to be around forever.¬† Our own insecurities can dictate too much!¬†

We had kind of a difficult day last Thursday after Grandpa told Madeline he didn’t want to read to her, something that would’ve almost never have happened before…and this was about the 5th or 6th time my girls have tried to initiate something with him but told no.¬† He can’t always phrase things the same way as he used to and so the kids get their feeling hurt at times, even though we do¬†realize afterwards¬†he’s not meaning to.¬† But it hurt my feelings too to see my daughter get told no and not have any understanding as to why Grandpa would not want to read to her.¬† Most of the time I can just redirect the girls, but this time I could not hold back the tears and ended up kind of falling apart.¬† My dad came over and hugged me for a long time, apologized, and tried to explain why he said no,¬†but he can’t always put the words together he wants to say.¬† So, we don’t know a lot of¬†what he’s thinking.¬† That often makes it hard to interpret his actions.¬† But my being hurt, and my daughter being hurt, mattered enough that he actually got on the phone the next day¬†while I was talking to my mom and wanted to apologize again.¬† He said that it was a different kind of day and he’d had trouble sleeping that night too.¬† He couldn’t explain much more, but he wanted me to know he was sorry!¬† I got off the phone and my heart just dropped.¬† Had I expected too much from him?¬† His capabilities are like a constantly moving target.¬† But what it did make me realize is how much I love my dad, how hard he tries to love us well even in the midst of circumstances like this, and how much I’m going to miss him in my life!¬† He’s such a good father!¬† My mother’s day card he and my mom both signed on their own.¬† My Dad’s shaky writing said, “I love you honey, more than you’ll ever know!”

Fix-its

Anyone know how to fix electric stove tops?¬† My parents’ 2nd burner went out over the weekend and they’re down to the 2 small ones.

Hmmmm…….I know there was something else………..

Oh!  Joshua has tried everything he can to resolve a computer problem!  My mom can not open Outlook to receive email on her computer.  So, she has no email access right now.  Anybody familiar with Outlook, or have any ideas?

You can call my mom (Kristi) directly at 363-7171.

Thanks guys!

Dads doing okay.¬† I think this is week 3 of radiation and we’re seeing a little more confusion and memory problems, which might be swelling from radiation.¬† Seems like his anxiety is lessening, now that he’s off the steroid!¬† You can pray for my mom…she’s sick right now…having horrible headaches and body aches.¬† Thank you so much for all the email responses.¬† Your encouragement is so helpful!¬† My parents continue to get donations in the mail at just the right time to get their various bills paid.¬† Business is slowing down, but its amazing to see God’s provision.¬† They received a donation today from someone they’ve never even met!

We had a great time with Rebekah and James here!  I posted lots of pictures on my facebook page for those of you who are fellow facebookers.  I will try to post a few on my blog at some point.

Okay, off to bed!