Sunday, January 31, 2016

Friendship is a Precious Thing

Friendship is a precious thing. I've always known that, but God used some "old" friends to give us great encouragement today.

This morning, Jim and I were walking down the stairs after Sunday School, and he said, "Moose...someone over there is waving at you." I looked, and there were two friends from our early married days. They weren't there to see us...they are friends of our new pastor and his wife, and they just came to see them.

Even so, just seeing those familiar faces in our was encouraging...and comforting.

They ended up sitting beside us in church, and it just made things feel more like HOME.

Speaking of home, tonight, Jim, Joshua and I drove over to the town our kids call home. It's where we lived for 15 years...where we put down roots and raised our family. The music minister at our former church was retiring, and we wanted to come to his reception.

We got to see so many of our old friends. Joshua was in ALL his glory...and everyone was thrilled to see him.

During the time we were at that church, there were hard our family. We had tough days with Joshua...just trying to figure out his place in school. We had tough days with Clark...when he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 2. The whole town really rallied around our family, but our church seriously held us up. For MONTHS.

There were also some hard days in the church...a split, a reconciliation, harsh words, forgiveness.

Tonight when we walked in...all we felt was love.

And it washed over us like rain.

And it was good.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kids, Toilet Paper...and the Rotten Milk

We've had a great weekend so far!

On Friday, Joshua and his girlfriend, Jenni, had a "lunch-date." Jenni has a helper girl named Tiffannie, and she took J&J to eat pizza for lunch here in town. While they were doing that, Holly and I ate at a cute, little lunch restaurant, and then shopped downtown for a few minutes.

She asked what our plans were for dinner, and I said we were going to grill-out...burgers and hot-dogs...and that she and Aaron-the-son-in-law were welcome to come over and eat if they wanted. She said, "that'd be great, but let's make it a little later, because Aaron doesn't get back in town until at least 6:30." I told her that would be fine, and then she took a big breath and said, "well, I'm going to go ahead and tell you this so that you can plan...but Logan and Morgan are coming home tonight, and they wanted to surprise you."

And that's how Marty died.


She said that she didn't want me to not have enough food, or not wait on them for dinner...and that I had to act surprised when they walked in.

After we picked up Joshua, we hit the ground running. I went to the grocery...then came home, put the clean sheets on the bed, and got fresh towels in the bathroom and all of that.

We were so, so happy to see Logan and Morgan. :) We hung out here last night, and until around noon today...and then they headed to spend time with Morgan's family.

This morning, after Jim got in from his run, he told me that our house, along with several others on our street, had been "rolled" (toilet papered) last night. We are thinking it must have been younger kids, because AMATEURS. They didn't do a very good job of it, which is fine because it made it easier to clean up.

But then Jim said, AND I SERIOUSLY COULD NOT EVEN BELIEVE THIS EVEN THO I HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO HIM FOR NEARLY 36 YEARS AND KNOW THAT HE IS ABOUT THE MOST FRUGAL PERSON I HAVE EVER MET...he said, "it's like the kids didn't even know what they were doing. They strung the toilet-paper along the top of our shrubs, and then LEFT A ROLL WITH SOME OF THE TOILET PAPER STILL ON IT."

He continued, "and it wasn't the cheap was the GOOD toilet paper. So I picked up the toilet paper that was in the grass, and threw it away...but I'M KEEPING THE TOILET PAPER THAT WAS STILL ON THE ROLL...BECAUSE IT CAN STILL BE USED."


My husband is very thrifty, and I love that. And I hate it. I mean, during the first few weeks of January, he drank milk that was past the expiration date, just to prove a point. And yes, I buy "fresh" milk, and it's in our frig, but he had brought this milk home from his parent's house, and he was determined to drink it.

Waste not, want not.

I don't know if it finally got too rank for him to drink, or if he actually finished it up, but on the SEVENTEENTH DAY (PAST THE EXPIRATION DATE), the empty jug ended up in the recycling bin.

So, anyway...wasteful or not...I am not using toilet paper that was left in our yard under malicious circumstances.

Or any circumstances.


Especially since my sweet mother-in-law has supplied our family with "The Charmin" since 1988...when, she apparently had a moment when she worried that we would all run out of toilet paper. I don't even know. All I DO know is that I have...right my master bathroom closet...AT LEAST 72 rolls of Charmin. And that's not including what's in the other bathrooms, and in the "supply closet" in the hallway.

It's a sickness, I tell you.

And, she doesn't just supply OUR family with toilet paper...she supplies Jim's two brother's families...and Holly and Aaron, and Logan and Morgan. Even Clark has taken some to college.

All this to say that I'm not going to use toilet paper that other people, STRANGERS, have touched.

Or, of course, toilet paper that has been thrown out in my front yard.

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dogs, Hot Tamales, and the Pass-Me-Up Shirt

We had a great day today! Holly was off work, and she rode with us into Little Rock. We took Joshua to his Therapeutic Recreation, and then we hit the town! We went to the mall, where Holly bought a baby gift for a friend. We looked and looked at all of the cute baby things, and it was so fun! :)

When we left there, we headed to this store that sells baby furniture, baby clothes...and all the things that a baby needs.

We've been there once before. Holly is looking at cribs, dressers, and rocking chairs. She is trying to narrow down what she likes, so that when she brings Aaron with her...he is not overwhelmed.

This owners of this particular store have two dogs that they let run around in the store. They are very well-behaved, and it's kind of fun to see them each time we go.

Anyway, the other day I started craving Hot Tamales. You know...those chewy, gummy, cinnamon-y, spicy, red candies. I take spells eating them, and I had bought a box of them last week...on a whim...and it just lit a fire in me to have more.


So, we ran to Kroger the other day, and there...where the Hot Tamales were supposed to be...was a big, empty spot. And that's how Kroger became dead to me, because REALLY?

BUT THEN...yesterday...I was in Target, and they had TONS of Hot Tamales. I may or may not have bought 4 boxes of them. And then I may or may not have eaten one whole box yesterday.

So today, I put another box of Hot Tamales in my purse...because ya never know. And when we were in the baby store, I started feeling hungry. I reached into my purse, and put a couple of Hot Tamales in my mouth. And I ate a few while we looked at the cribs. And I ate a few more while we looked at the baby books. And I hate a few more while we looked through all the baby clothes.

And when we got in line to pay, I heard the man who owns the store yell at one of the dogs, "PUT THAT DOWN." He walked over to the dog, and came over to where we were checking out...and he said, "someone tried to give the dogs a treat." And we said, "oh, really?" And he said, " yes! And a spicy, hot candy AT THAT!"

I don't remember saying anything, but Holly says I said, "oh, nooo...that's not good."


But that's how Marty almost died.

And it's also why I probably can't go back into that store for a while...and why when I DO go back in that store, I'd better be prepared to spend around $2000.

After we finished there, we went to Chuy's for a late lunch. It was SO GOOD. The only bad thing about eating at Chuy's, is that you smell like Chuy's when you leave. We learned that the hard way...from that day when we stunk up the maternity store and nearly made everyone in there gag.

Now, tho, we lessen the smell by stripping down to our skivvies taking off any extra layers before we go into the restaurant. I took off my scarf and my sweater...and we both left our purses in the car (in the trunk).

The smell is serious, man.

After lunch, we headed back to pick up Joshua.

Joshua and I kind of matched today, in our blue and white checked shirts. I posted a picture on my IG (martythemoose).

I told Joshua that I liked his shirt, and he said it was a "pass-me-up" from Clark. I laughed, and said, "no,'s called a hand-me-down."

He said, "well, Clark is younger than me, so he didn't hand it DOWN...he passed it UP."

Can't argue with that!

"Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a level path..." Psalm 27:11

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Premier And The Broccoli

It's Hump Dayyyyy!

I didn't post yesterday. I was getting ready to write when Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law came over after she got in from I forgot.

I thought I had written on the blog about Joshua's Christmas Program at Therapeutic Recreation....but I didn't. And I can't imagine why. It was so cute!

Someone filmed it, so yesterday...the group decided to watch it together. Ms. Sherrie, the program director, and the staff, decided it would be fun to make it like a movie premier. They went to the community center, where they have a big, pull-down movie screen...and they asked all the FRIENDS to dress up fancy. They wanted to make it a big deal.

Joshua wore jeans and a long-sleeved button-up shirt. I didn't want to fight him on wearing "Sunday pants," because then he would've had to wear his Sunday shoes...on a TUESDAY...and ain't nobody got time for THAT.

He did put on a corduroy blazer that HE SAID made him "look FLY." I posted a picture on my Facebook, and on IG (martythemoose).

After the premier, they came back to the TR Center and ate lunch. Joshua's favorite thing, next to EATING OUT for lunch, is to take left-overs from home for his lunch. He's not much of a sandwich person, but he will eat a sandwich without complaining (unless it's two days in a row because Holly and Aaron ended up eating with us so there were no left-overs...but let's not re-hash THAT).

Fortunately, we had left-over salmon, broccoli and Sister Shubert's rolls. Joshua was in his happy place.

Today, Joshua's group did an art project, ate lunch at the Center (he took left-over baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and left-over broccoli AGAIN)...and then made and baked cookies.

In other news, we may or may not be on a broccoli ban up at the TR Center. Ever been in a situation where someone warmed up broccoli in a a small area...where there are OTHER PEOPLE?

Just sayin'.


"But thank God! He has made us His captives, and continues to lead us in triumph in Christ. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume." 2 Corinthians 2:14

Monday, January 25, 2016

Muffins, Hobby Lobby, And Shave-Ham

Today is Monday, and if you're new here, you might not know that I make muffins on Monday...if I know what's good for me.

And I DO.

Last night, when Joshua was heading up to bed, I told him the same thing I tell him every.single.Sunday.night: "DO NOT GET UP AT THE CRACK OF DAWN." And he responds the exact same way, every.single.Sunday.night: "On a MONDAY? Why would I?"

And we laugh.

Because Mondays are our stay-home days. Our catch-up days. Our get-up-later-and-move-slower days. And always, always, always...unless there's a really good reason, it's our blueberry-muffin days.

It's also the day when we sometimes eat at Chick-Fil-A for lunch. But not today!

I had promised our daughter, Holly, I would hang out with her today, so after I caught up on things around here...and after Jim finished lunch and went back to work...Joshua and I headed over to her house. She's been cleaning out and rearranging things, trying to prepare their home for their new baby. She had bags and bags of things to donate to Good Will, so we loaded them up in my car and headed out.

After Good Will, we went to Hobby Lobby. Jim had this old picture that he wanted framed for his office, so he asked if I could maybe take it to Hobby Lobby.


Hobby Lobby is pretty much my happy place. Mine and Holly's. And Joshua? He likes it, too, but he doesn't want to admit it. He does this thing where he acts like he doesn't want to go with us...but if we go without him, he gets his feelings hurt.

I started feeling kinda woozy at Hobby Lobby, and I realized that I hadn't eaten we went to Sonic for slushes. I felt like I also needed to order some mozzarella sticks. You know, FOR THE BABY.

Before I took Holly back to her house, we ran to Kroger. Jim had added a few things to our grocery list.

I've written before how he read the book, "Grain Brain" last year. And how, after that, he decided to completely change the way he eats. Not because he's gluten intolerant...he just wants to make me crazy.

He asked me to get him some cranberry juice. We have cran-apple juice in the frig, but he wanted the plain cranberry juice with NO added sugar (blech)...and not the cranberry juice "cocktail." He also asked for some gluten-free granola that he could sprinkle on top of the greek yogurt he eats at night. Ooooookay. And then he asked for "shave-ham." Y'all all know what "shave-ham" is, right?

It's shaved ham from the deli, but apparently here in the South...or in L.A. (Lower Arkansas), where my husband is's "shave-ham."

You're welcome.

Tomorrow, we will hit the ground running for the week. It was good to have a fairly quiet day today.

"Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You." Psalm 143:8

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Weekend Recap 1/24/2016

We've had a great weekend...a quiet weekend, so this post is gonna be kinda boring.

Holly stayed with us all weekend, because Aaron-the-son-in-law was out-of-town. We always LOVE when she stays with us. I just wish the other two boys had been here...that would've been a par-TAY!

We basically hung out here at home most of the weekend. Friday, we had snow...and we stayed in all day. On Saturday, Jim got up to go duck-hunting, and the rest of us stayed warm and cozy in our beds. I made a "big breakfast" all by myself, since Jim wasn't there to help...and we settled in for the day...watched some movies, ate some food, and generally were pretty lazy! Home is my happy, it was soooo cold outside!

Later that afternoon, Holly, Joshua and I went over to Holly's house, so that she could pick up some clothes for Sunday morning. While we were there, we spent some time trying to figure out a plan for the nursery. I told her I would help her clean out/move some things, to start preparing the baby's room.

We came back home and ordered pizza. Seriously, we were such hermits this weekend, and it was great!

Oh! Forgot some other news.

Our youngest son, Clark, is in college. He has said since DAY ONE that he was not interested in joining a "social club" (that's like a fraternity at his Christian college). I get it. Clark has lots of friends already. He's involved in some groups on campus already. He has friends that he meets for Bible Study and prayer group...I don't think he thought he needed any other group in his life.

But, late last Thursday, or something...he casually mentioned to his sister in a text...that he "went to a Rush thing," and Holly nearly lost her mind.

Holly DID join a social club when she was at this college, and she met the best friends of her life. It ended up being one of the best, most fulfilling, things she's ever done. So, she started the barrage of text messages that went unanswered FOR HOURS (I can't imagine why Clark didn't tell us he had decided to go through Rush).

When he finally texted her back, he said that most of his "friend group" decided to Rush, and most of them decided to pledge the same club. I think Clark is really going to like it!

Today, we had Sunday School and church. It was a great day! Holly was on Praise Team, and she wore one of the dresses we bought at the maternity store last week...her very first maternity dress! She looked SO cute!

Also, she turned to me just as the service was fixin' to start and said, "I'm wearing my new purple bra!"

I said, "HOLLY!"

She was holding her mic, and said, "I have it turned off..."

But we (the choir) are always mic'd up on the stage.


Jim and I are starting to feel more at home in our new small group. All of the people in there are really nice. Today, during the course of the lesson, Jim mentioned that we've been married almost 36 years.

You could've heard crickets chirping. 

Because, that's longer than many of the members of this class HAVE EVEN BEEN ALIVE.

And we already knew it...but I think they had a light-bulb moment in class today!

It was pretty funny, and we all laughed. They are a really fun group. I hope and pray that we can encourage each other all of our days together.

"...not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day of His return drawing near." Hebrews 10:25

Saturday, January 23, 2016

One of THOSE...

One day this week, when Joshua was at his Therapeutic Recreation, I went to the mall to do some shopping. I was looking for these denim leggings like my sister was wearing when we were in Texas over New Year's. They are from Nordstrom's, and we don't have a Nordstrom's...but I knew I had seen the brand at our Dillard's.

I don't know why I felt the need to explain all about the denim leggings.

This chatty lady was working in the "hosery" department, and she was helping about 3 different people. I ended up finding something else, and she said she would check me out.

She was just talking about everything under the sun, and then she asked, "so...are you off today?" I said, "I guess." Then she gave me the side-eye and said, "or are you off EVERY day?" I said, "well, I guess you could say that."

I mean, I'm a stay-at-home wife and choice. It's what works for our family. But that doesn't mean that women who stay home and take care of children or manage their home don't work.

Not trying to start a FY-yah...just sayin'.

So this lady...she stops, puts down my package, and turns around to look at me. She stares at me over the "readers" that are perched on the end of her nose, and she says, " you're one of THOSE."


ARE you kidding me?


It's not like I'm the rare, and rarely seen, Mexican black-eyed tree frog.

And, not that it was any of her business...and only because I took a bigggg breath, and tried to remember that "most people mean well..." I started telling her about my sweet Joshua.

I don't think it made a difference to her, because she interrupted me and started telling me about someone in her life...a boy who experienced head trauma during delivery because of the actions of a doctor (her story), and how they called him "baby Daniel" until the day he died at the age of 17...and how they got $160,000 in damages from a law-suit, but if they had lived in New York City instead of a small town in Arkansas...they would've been awarded millions.

I was exhausted by the time she was done.

As I turned to leave, she put her hand on mine and said, "you know...they only give special children to special parents."



"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4:6

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Lazy Thursday

So, I thought I was back on the blogging roll, and then I completely forgot to post yesterday.


Yesterday, I took Joshua into LR for his Therapeutic Recreation, and then I did some running around. His group went bowling...and then they went to lunch at Chili's. The program director posted a picture of Joshua from the bowling alley. He was wearing his coat AND his backpack...while he was bowling. I posted it on my Facebook, and on my IG (martythemoose).

You never know when you might need to make a quick get-away, so it's good to be prepared!

Last night, we went to Wednesday night dinner at church. It was Poppy-Seed Chicken night, which is basically my favorite thing they have up there. It was so good!

Our pastor is leading our church through a series on prayer called "House of Prayer." It's been really good. Joshua told him that he wished we'd do it every week...forever.

Holly had to work yesterday, but when she got home last night...she went and picked up her dog, and came over here. Aaron-the-son-in-law was out-of-town, so she spent the night with us. I love living close enough so that we can do things like that.

Last night, Joshua and I talked about what to do today. We didn't know what the weather was going to do, but Joshua said he was really tired, and wished we would just stay home. I was totally fine with that.

I woke up at 5 a.m., because I heard Holly getting ready for work. And then I had to stay up after she left to watch the dog. Fortunately, he crawled back up on the couch after Jim finally got off to work, and I slept the sleep of the angels for about an hour.

We stayed home all day. It was really nice. I made cookies to send to Clark at school...he's been there for 3 whole days. (sniff) I didn't make it to the post office in time, tho. Maybe tomorrow.

Pretty boring day when I look at it all typed out...but it was just a really peaceful and relaxing day. Jim skipped Rotary to come home and have lunch with Joshua and I...and I made a big pot of potato soup for dinner tonight, and it was so yummy! Holly came over when she got home from work, and she picked up Marley (her dog).

All week, the meteorologists have been predicting snow for tomorrow. We have NO PLANS, so I hope we get a really pretty snow...and then I hope it's gone by Saturday morning! Ha! And I hope AND PRAY that we don't get any ice.

Stay safe, y'all!

"He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes." Psalm 147:16

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Therapeutic Recreation, Chuy's, and a Gender Reveal!

Today was Joshua's first day back to Therapeutic Recreation for this semester.

I heard him in the kitchen around 6 a.m. I heard him use the microwave to warm up a couple of the left-over blueberry muffins I made yesterday morning...and he was asking Jim his regular morning question: "how did YOU sleep?"

Holly didn't have to work today, so she rode into LR with us...and, after we dropped Joshua off, we spent the rest of the day together.

We had the best time. We went to Target...and for the ones who know me well, you will not believe this, but it was the FIRST TIME SINCE BEFORE CHRISTMAS that I've set foot in Target. I'm talkin''s been a month.


And you have to know that we found some stuff there that we needed...BAD.

After we left there, we headed to the maternity store.

The last time we were there, we had just eaten lunch at Chuy's...and if you have ever eaten at Chuy's, you know that you smell like Mexican food. We pretty much stunk up the whole maternity clothes store.

Not even kidding.

It was bad.

So, we were going to Chuy's for'd better believe we were...but we went to the maternity store FIRST, so ha, ha, HA.

Holly tried on several things there, and we left with two new maternity dresses, and one pair of tights. She has a wedding to attend this coming weekend, and I think that she will look so cute in either dress she wears.

After that, we went to Chuy's for lunch, and that was pretty much FYE-YAH. Yum.

And then we went and stunk up the mall. 

We went into the Gymboree store, and I told her that if we found any items that had a MOOSE on them...she was not going to stop me from buying them.

And I did...and she didn't!

It's so fun to be able to buy things, now that we know the gender.

Oh...have I not shared that on here?

Well, my daughter is a big, fib-telling, sneaky-SNEAK HEAD. She had her doctor's appointment last week, and told us that they would have their ultrasound in February...when really...they had their ultrasound the very next day.

Both of them are rat-finks.

They came over and and told us they had "news," and fessed up that they had had their ultrasound that day. I knew it was going to be a girl. I had felt all along that it was a girl, and so did Holly.



Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

We did not care about the gender AT ALL. We have 3 boys, so we know how wonderful they are. We also have a girl, and she's pretty special, too.

We are so excited! I love him so much already!

So, my little grand-boy got a tiny pair of moose moccasins today...and a little hat to match! THEY ARE SO CUTE, and I can't wait to see him wearing them!

"I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of Him. Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord.”

Monday, January 18, 2016

Oh, Hello!

Well, it's been a while! My blogging has taken a backseat. A WAY-BACK backseat.

*Even tho I haven't blogged much, I have posted on IG quite a bit over the break. Follow me over there (martythemoose) if you want to see pictures. Sometimes that's easier to do than to write a whole, big thing.

My college boy has been home for 5 weeks.


Today, he went back to school...and I died a little on the inside.

We've had a great time over the Christmas break. LOTS of family time. I loved every bit of it.

And even tho I knew today was coming...I wasn't really prepared. I had done all of Clark's laundry, so I didn't have to do it this morning. He quietly went around the house, and gathered up all of his stuff.

And, it was ALL over the house.

What is it about boys? Or maybe it's just my boys. They leave a trail wherever they go. And clothes just seem to fall off of them, like the Rapture has come or something.

But I love them so very much.

Clark was ready to go back. I wasn't ready for him to go, but I know he can't stay here. I mean, I do have a little bit of logic and reason. But my mommy's heart can hardly take the good-byes.

I really wanted to go with him today. He had brought home nearly everything from his room...or it seemed like that. He is switching roommates this semester, and so he wanted to be sure to have all of his stuff out of the room over the break. He is super excited that one of his high school friends is transferring to OBU, and will room with him! I thought he might want some help getting all of his stuff back up to his room, and all set up...but he said it wasn't necessary for me to come.


When Clark texted to let me know he'd made it back to school, he said he was helping his roommate, Houston, AND HOUSTON'S MOM, move in all of Houston's stuff.


Houston's mom is there?


I guess it worked out for the best that I didn't go. Because I spent the rest of the afternoon, and most of the evening, holding my blanket, and rocking back and forth in a dark corner of my bedroom...and I really needed all of that extra time to brood.

This week, Joshua starts back to Therapeutic Recreation, and so we hopefully will get back on our regular schedule...and I will probably get back to blogging every day. I've found out that I'm really not all that interesting unless I'm telling stories about Joshua! :)

"So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up." Galatians 6:9

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Dad, The Bums, and The Burgers

One thing I've learned since my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, is that there is much variance in symptoms...and in treatments. His me...seems like it's trying to stomp out fires, because when you get one symptom under control, a side-effect may pop up that also needs to be treated. It's a delicate and tricky process to get just the right blend of help.

Apparently, in December, my Dad's doctor changed up some of his medication. The side-effects from this were hallucinations.

Clara said one night, my Dad asked her if she could see a circle of light in the fireplace. Clara told him that it wasn't there...that it was his medication making him see it. She went into the kitchen, and when she came back to the living room, my Dad was gone. She started looking for him in the house. She found him coming in from the garage with the flashlight. She asked him, "what are you doing?" He said, "I went up to the garage." She said, "well, you don't need a flashlight for that...we have lights up there, so just flip on the switch." She said, "what did you need from the garage, anyway?" My Dad said, "nothing. I heard a noise and went up to check it out." And then he whispered, "there are two bums up there cooking burgers."

When she told us that, we laughed...we did. I mean, it's just so unlike something my Dad would say.

I know there are many who probably want to tell me that this behavior is NOT FUNNY; that you deal with a loved one who is confused or frightened or irrational every single day, and that it is no laughing matter. I get that. I remember when my grandfather was alive. He had Alzheimer's, and he lived with my parents. Every day was different and frustrating and exhausting...for my parents...and for my grandfather. Because, my grandfather was a brilliant man. He was a Colonel in the USAF, a pilot...and he was an author. In his lucid moments, he knew. He knew. And it was so sad.

But...BUMS? In the ATTIC? Cooking BURGERS?

But, there was one night when Clara got home from a meeting at Dad had been home alone for several hours, which typically doesn't bother him at all. She said my Dad met her at the door. He motioned for her to come in and be quiet...and he whispered, "come here." He told her that there were men outside their house. He could hear them talking. It was dark, and he was afraid. He told Clara that he almost called the police.

That's serious, y'all...and it breaks my heart.

Clara said that, after she realized what was happening, she talked to my Dad. She told him that he needed to tell her when he felt like he wasn't quite "right," so that she would know...and so she would be able to see if it was a medication issue or something else.

Clara stopped that particular medication that day...and called the doctor the next morning, who recommended the same.

This is why we were anxious and worried about seeing my Dad over the New Year's weekend.

And this is why we were SO THANKFUL AND SURPRISED when he got there, because he got around better, physically, and interacted more with all of us better, and just generally seemed better than he was the year before.

We are so thankful for my Dad. He has led our family well. He is solid, quiet, steady and wise. He is also quick-witted and funny. We hope to have him around for a long time!

"Even though I am old and gray, do not leave me, God. I will tell the children about Your power. I will tell those who will live after me about Your might." Psalm 71:18

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year's 2016: Texas Style


Anyone there?

I kept thinking that I was going to get on here and "catch up" from everything from the past two weeks. But...I can't remember what it is I wanted to catch up ON...things just happened so fast, and all the days ran together.

I did want to document our trip down to Texas for New Year's.

Every year, our family gathers at my sister, Leanne's, house to celebrate Christmas. But we do it after Christmas, and celebrate the New Year together as a family.

My sister bought the house next-door to her and rents it out like a vrbo type thing. She keeps it free for the times when our family typically gets together. It's so nice to have room to spread out and relax. Now when we go, we all hang out at the "bonus house." We cook there, sleep there, watch TV there. It's awesome.

I was excited to see my two sisters, my brother...and all of the kids...but I was excited/anxious/nervous to see my Dad.

My Dad has Parkinson's, and for a couple of weeks in December, he was really struggling. His doctors had increased one of his meds, and the side-effects were him, and to Clara. I was very anxious to see what he would be like when he got to Texas. And we were all prepared for them to call and say that they weren't coming. Traveling is hard for him...which means it's hard for Clara. Clara has to do all the driving, and when they stop, she sometimes has to help him get out of the car, get back IN the car. All of that.

Well, my Dad and Clara got there safely, and we had a quiet night visiting at the bonus house. My Dad seemed to be getting around okay, and he was cracking jokes and all of that. He told us, "every time we get together is more funner than the last time." Or something like that.

I think my Dad was an English major in college, so he certainly knows not to say "more funner..." he was just trying to be funny. But I think it clearly explains where Joshua gets his affinity for adding the word "more" and "er" to many of the words he uses. For example, he's used words like "more hairy-er," "more bigger," and "more prettier." That's my Joshua.

The next day, the other families came over...and the grand-kids filtered in and out. with everyone talking and laughing. I watched as the kids all went up to my Dad and talked with him. He and Clara worked the room like pros.

My Mom and Dad had 4 kids, and we produced 20 grandchildren. When my sister, Robin, married Kevin, my parents got 3 bonus grandsons...bringing the grandchild count up to 23. On this visit, my Dad was able to see all 4 of us kids, and 19 of his grandchildren. All of us agreed that my Dad seemed to be doing a lot better than he was last year, which was a HUGE blessing.

Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12