Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017- Ash Wednesday

Well, a lot has happened since my last post and most all of the happenings were not happy ones.  We learned, towards the end of December, that Andy would need cataract surgery. It was in the week of that consult, mid-January, that we learned he had a cancerous growth in the pelvic region that would need to be surgically removed.  This surgery took place rather quickly after the initial diagnosis. On Monday, January 31 he had outpatient surgery at Mount Carmel East Hospital. Recovery has been a little slow but tolerable.  For as much care giving as I have done in the last 8 years, I am still not very good at any of it.  (I chose education over nursing for a reason!). Any way, I somehow managed to think ahead enough to schedule the cataract surgery for March 16.  At the time my reasoning was the fact that I was still hoping to go on my mission trip to South Carolina.
This coyote offered some distraction during the recovery period.

He was easily visible from our french doors to the deck.
On Valentines weekend we were treated by a visit from Trish, Chad and the kids who flew in on Friday evening.  Trish said that they had some time Saturday morning and suggested that we take the kids over to see Grandma-Great.  I had Evie for the weekend so we loaded up the 4 great grand-kids for a visit.  What a blessing that they chose this weekend to come to Ohio. 4 hours after we left, Daniel brought his kids over to visit. I'm pretty sure God had a hand in bringing all these great-grandchildren into Mom's room on this day.
Grandma-Great always lit up when the kids came to visit.

 Olive, Grandma-Great, Lillie & Asher.
Asher coined the name Grandma and Grandpa-Great.

Three days later I visited my mom on Tuesday after working at the zoo in the Bear Kitchen.  That is my usual day to visit and I usually try to have lunch with her on those days. When I arrived she was in her chair with the room dark and depressing so I proceeded to try and cheer her up by opening the blinds and talking about the warm spell we were having.  When it was time for lunch I asked her if she wanted to try to walk to the dining room or take her wheel chair.  She was pretty adamant that she didn't need a wheel chair but after 2-3 steps it was evident that she wasn't going to make it by walking.  The aide, Hazel, happened to be going by and came in to help and told me she was concerned because Mom wasn't eating very good.  We arrived in the dining room and had a pretty good lunch, mom ate her mashed potatoes but not much else.  She didn't even seem too interested in her dessert which really isn't like her at all.  I chatted with her table mates, Carolyn and Pat, while she ate, smiling occasionally at our conversation. She seemed really tired so I wheeled her back to the room and tucked her into her chair for her afternoon nap.
     The following day I had this feeling that I really needed to check on Mom.  I called Ramona, who was recovering from knee replacement surgery and asked if she would like to get out of the house.  I picked her up and we headed over to see Mom.  We walked to the dining room, expecting to find her there, but were told by Hazel that she was unable to sit up in her chair at the table so they had taken her back to her room.  As I think back I realize that Hazel might have known more than she was saying.  We found Mom in her chair, resting but unable to acknowledge that we were there.  I did manage to get her to eat some blueberry yogurt but eventually she refused to eat any more.  She drifted off to sleep so Ramona and I quietly left.  We received a call 1 hour later that Hazel had checked in on her after we left and she had passed.  When my brother arrived he found that Hazel had covered Mom with the Old Rugged Cross throw, from my dad's funeral and was singing hymns to her.
     We buried our mother on her 93rd birthday.  Pastor Pribe had a wonderful service that honored our mother and comforted those in attendance.  The service was filled with music and Bob played the piano one last time, just for her. Phil Recob sang Amazing Grace and our new organist played and sang Celebrate Me Home.  Mom lived a wonderfully active and fulfilled life and now she is with the man she had recently spent so many evenings wandering the halls in search of, her husband of 65 years, our father.  We are saddened but oh so happy for her!

Christmas 3 years ago. Luke, Evie & Lily

Christmas 2015, holding her newest great grandson, Arthur.

Christmas 2016
Sara's wedding, 2006

We surprised Mom in Florida on her 80th birthday

Dad's 80th birthday

Another visit to Florida, this time Sharon & Betty were there as well.

4 generations

Grandpa-Great, Lily, Grandma-great, Trish & Luke
Mom's beloved Monday morning Prayer Group
on Monday, Feb 13. Madeline Quinn, Wanda Parks & Sue McDowell went to see Mom, so happy that she had one last Prayer meeting with her good friends.

January 1, 1949

Together again

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 12-16, 2017-Lily's Ballet Recital

Peg and I are pretty fortunate Grandmas as Trish flew us out to Dover for Lily's ballet recital.  We rented a car from the Baltimore airport (even lucked out with an upgrade to a Jeep Cherokee) and drove the 1 1/2 hours (better that the 9 hour drive from home) to Dover.  We were treated to a weekend of activities and even a trip to the beach.  The kids didn't have school on Friday so we drove to the beach and did a little shopping at the outlet stores on the way down.  It was a little chilly but the beach is still the beach and I loved it!

We couldn't stay too long at the beach as Lily had her dress rehearsal at 6 and Luke had a soccer game.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early for Lily's soccer game at 8:30 and Luke had a game at 11.  Well what should we do in the time between games?  Go to IHop for breakfast, of course! I'm just glad I didn't have to run after the breakfast I ate.  Luke did great and even scored a goal but his team lost 8-2. The age group was 9-14 and I'm pretty sure all of the 14 year olds were on the opposing team.  It was fun though and I was so glad I got to see  both of the kids play a game.
Lily listening to her pre-game tunes!

This evening was Lily's dance recital.  I can't remember if it is her 4th or 5th but I do think that this was the best so far.  It was also the first time the girls were on stage without their teacher on stage with them.  The recitals are held at an auditorium on the Delaware State University campus about 5 minutes from their house. It is so much fun to watch them and to see the progress from one recital to the next.
Lily is on the left, Ms. Tricia on the right

Caroline and Lily in the wings waiting for their cue to enter the stage.  They are watching the older dancers.
There was a little drama both Friday night before rehearsal and then again on Saturday before the performance.  Lily had her ears pierced over the summer last year and for the recital the girls are not allowed to wear any jewelry.  Well, Lily threw a huge hissy fit when we tried to get her earrings out.  I'm pretty sure that they didn't hurt but she was convinced that the pain of taking them out would be unbearable. It took nearly 40 minutes to get them out. I might have gotten them but no one told me that the studs she had actually screwed into the backs. So after 5 minutes of me pulling and Lily screaming Grandma Peg tagged in and she was able to get them with Chad holding Lily.  I do believe that Peg may have come away with a few teeth marks on her arm which leads us to drama #2 on Saturday afternoon. Lily was chewing gum during Luke's soccer game and her loose tooth came out, well not exactly all the way but let's just say if she sucked in, she would have swallowed a tooth. It was hanging by the proverbial thread and looked as though it were floating between her top and bottom sets of teeth.  Once again, she refused to let any one near enough to even see it clearly.  She went the entire afternoon with that tooth just hanging.  Finally Trish and Chad took her upstairs and after a short scream it got suddenly quite and the tooth was out. For as tough as this little girl was fighting her neuroblastoma she is quite the "drama queen" now and we love her for it!

Here is one of the videos that I took during the recital.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 -Catching up!

My, oh, my!  I am woefully behind posting to our blog.  So this will be our Christmas/New Year's blog.  This was the first year we did not celebrate Christmas as an entire family due to the fact that Lily had an extreme case of strep throat the day that they had planned to drive to Ohio.  In order to save poor Lily a 9 hour drive and to spare her cousins the possible gift of strep, Trish decicded to stay in Dover for Christmas.  We still had Christmas with Sara, Matt, Evie and Arthur ( who was especially cute this year!) and my brother and his family.  It was a full house and a great time but it felt just a little empty by 4 people.

As luck would have it, Trish and Chad made the trip with the kids on Wednesday before New Year's weekend.  We spent a day and a half at Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati with the cousins, both Foulks and Neufarths and grandparents included.  Unfortunately, Trish got sick as we were leaving and did not enjoy much of the weekend. (Lily told me that it was her fault that mommy got sick, but it wasn't strep so we decided it must have been someone else at the water park)  It wasn't the Christmas we had planned but it all worked out and we had lots of fun. (except for the sickness and the Ohio State-Clemson game, that wasn't fun)  I did take Luke and Lily to see the movie Sing which we all enjoyed.  Best animated movies of 2016:  Zootopia, Storks, Moana and Sing.  Best soundtrack: Moana!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Evelyn - Saturday, December 3

Evie celebrated her 5th birthday on Friday, December 2.  Luke and I had just gotten home from our "big" trip on Sunday, I drove home on Tuesday and it was party time on Saturday.  I drove down to Cincinnati on Friday night and Sara, Evie and I went to see the new Disney movie, Moana.  It is a lovely movie about the Hawaiian islands which is so appropriate since Evie was born in Honolulu.  The music score was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote Hamilton and I must say, the man is a musical genius!

Post movie birthday party!

Today, I am 5!

This year, for Evie's very special 5th birthday party, Sara and Matt had it at the Cincinnati Zoo.  It was a very pretty day and she had some of her closest friends from school and several of her cousins in attendance. Everyone had a really great time.  The party was at 10 am so we had the entire zoo to ourselves.  I guess most of the public were waiting until 4 and the Lights Festival.  The kids made enrichment for the birds in the bird house and Evie got to present hers to the cockatoo in person.  They also had some animal visitors. A Hairy Armadillo, which I had never seen or even knew existed and a tortoise (not nearly as large as the Galapagos, but still about 30 lbs.)  The highlight however was after the party when the kids played on the outdoor playground!  We also visited the new Hippo exhibit.  It is very nicely done.

"Sleepy, sleepy" Hippos

Evie and her cousins, the girls don't seem to mind that Nolan is being eaten!

Happy Birthday, Evie!