Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Today our miracle baby turns 13!

I can remember when he was just a dream to us. Oh, how I longed for another child!

Lyndsey came along so easily. We (or maybe it was just I) couldn't understand why our family wasn't getting larger.

That journey has been the most difficult of my life. Wanting another child but not being able to make it happen. The waiting was so hard.

All the other women in our church were having babies seemingly easily. But us? Nope. And it was hard! All the baby showers (and there were a lot) - some I went to (if I was up to it emotionally) and some I didn't.

And then.......I found out I was pregnant!!! Yippee!!!!! That day was so surreal! Walter just happened to be at the doctor's office with me. We were actually going to start infertility treatments. I guess God had different plans for us.

And then a week later, I began bleeding and over the course of the next week ended up miscarrying. Oh, the heartbreak! That was almost unbearable. Walter had such a strong faith that everything would be fine. But God had other plans for that child and accepting that very fact was painful.

The doctor told me if I wasn't pregnant in 3 months to make an appointment and we could start infertility treatments.

Three months later, I was pregnant again! Yippee!!!! I called the doctor and made an appointment. A few weeks later at my appointment, the doctor did an ultrasound and we got to see the baby. Strong heartbeat, etc. And from then on the pregnancy was perfect.

Nine months later on June 30, 1997, at 12:27 p.m. our miracle baby, Phyllip James, was born into this world (six and a half years after Lyndsey was born)!

God is SO good!!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My "Little Vacation" - part 2

To read part 1 click here.

Friday, May 7

I couldn't sleep in (sad but true) at all. I just 'woke up'.

And this is what I woke up to (a half inch of snow in MAY!)

We got ready to go and have breakfast. But first, we had to stop by the funeral home and meet the MORTICIAN (it cracks me up every time I hear or see that word!).

Nancy and I walked in and stood in the lobby. Dad, on the other hand, marched himself through a doorway, right past a man standing in the doorway, and over to the mortician (who was on the phone) and began talking to him. The mortician graciously asked Dad if he would wait until he was done with his phone call. After his phone call was done, he came out to meet us. A very nice man he was. Dad was finally satisfied and we left to have breakfast (the cafe happens to be right across the street, but Dad had to drive the car over there).

Being that New Rockford is a small city of about 1300 people, EVERYONE knows you are a visitor! And you feel like you are under a microscope when you walk into the cafe. Everyone turns their heads and just stares at you. But once you've been there several times they quit doing it.

We finished breakfast and headed over to the nursing home to see Grandma. Nancy and I couldn't wait to see her! It's been 6 years since we've seen her and her health is such that she needs to be in a nursing home. Grandma is almost completely blind from glaucoma, has some dementia, needs a hearing aid, and is just weak physically.

We got there as the residents were starting to come in to the dining hall for lunch. Grandma was already there so Nancy and I went in and sat down next to her. It was sad because she didn't know who we were at first. We had to tell her several times who we were and then she kept asking over the next couple of hours which one of us was which.

L to R - Grandma, Nancy, Dad

L to R - Grandma, Me, Dad

The way my dad described Grandma and her condition, she had one foot already in the grave. Now, I know she is weak, but I believe his assessment is a little off. Her lunch came and I fed her and she let me.

When we went back to her room, Grandma got bawled out (nicely) by a nurse for not feeding herself. So, Nancy and I made sure she fed herself after that.

Nancy and Grandma in her room

Grandma and me in her room

Grandma - my hero

We stayed in Grandma's room for several hours just enjoying her company. It was so good to be with her again. She has been one of my heroes for as long as I can remember. I love her with all of my heart. To see her health slowly getting worse is difficult but to be with her and hear her voice and listen to her stories (the ones she remembers correctly) was so peaceful for me. Grandma has always given us something when we have visited (we've never lived close to her house). This visit was no different. She went through every little thing she had in her room (which wasn't much because the rest of her things are back at Dad's house) trying to find something that we would like. And.......there was nothing (which was ok with us). One thing that struck me this visit was that she kept looking at both of us and trying to remember who was who. She was right most of the time.

(Dad's patience is dwindling. I'm not surprised, though (and I mean that in a nice way). See, he's an only child and he has the burden (or joy as some may see it - I would like to say it's a joy) of caring for her. She lived with him for 17 years before she moved to the nursing home. He loves her dearly, but he has a hard time showing it. He doesn't just lack patience with Grandma; he lacks patience with life (or at least it seems that way). He's pretty grumpy most of the time. He doesn't look at the good side of life; it's always the negative side (and can I just say that it will depress you rapidly). Dad goes to the nursing home at least twice daily to spend time with Grandma and I applaud him for that. So many people just put their loved ones into a home and never spend time with them anymore. Not my dad. He DOES love her but he gets frustrated with her easily. She doesn't hear well and she gets this "deer in the headlights" look on her face. So he keeps repeating himself over and over and getting louder and louder each time until she finally hears him. Nancy and I both believe that she just needs a hearing aid. We found that if we got about an inch from her ear and talked slowly she understood everything we said. We told Dad that she needs to be tested for a hearing aid but he doesn't believe us. He says it's her dementia. We believe emphatically that he's wrong.)

We stayed and had dinner (or supper if you're from the Midwest) with Grandma. I was actually hungry by this time because we had skipped lunch. We were sadly disappointed when the food came. All we got was about 6 slices of sausage link and 2 pancakes. And that was dinner! Needless to say, we left the table hungry.

Grandma's younger brother, Uncle Donny, came by to see her just as we were finishing dinner. He and Dad DO NOT get along. I think Uncle Donny gets along with Dad but Dad REFUSES to get along with Uncle Donny. It was amazing to Nancy and me watch Dad's attitude and countenance change drastically as soon as Uncle Donny walked in the room. Dad is VERY rough around the edges but it got worse with Uncle Donny around. His language changed A LOT, too. Nancy and I both were flabbergasted and disappointed by the words coming out of his mouth occasionally. We even spoke up and let him know that we heard what he said. I'm not sure if Grandma ever heard the conversation - which is actually a good thing considering.

It was time for us to leave Grandma. She was very tired and we were needing to get home and comfortable for the evening.

Nancy and I were getting ready for bed and I had to get my camera out and take a couple of pictures. The background on the taking of these pictures I must give. Grandpa taught Grandma many decades ago that you always buy in bulk if you can because you get the best price. That has been passed down to Dad as well. Hence the next pictures.

Including the bottle in the shower, there were 14 bottles of shampoo!

Including the bottle he was using, there were 7 bottles of cologne (and it smelled gross, too)!

The reason for the next picture is because it just cracked us up. Nancy and I laughed and laughed over this one. Apparently, Dad doesn't like to use up a bar of soap completely and apparently he also doesn't like to throw them away, either.

7 bars of soap stacked on top of each other

We finished getting our pajamas on and settled in to watch a movie with Dad for the evening and then went to bed.

To be continued...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally, I Am Back!

I'm finally ready to write again.

Too many things have been happening and I just haven't wanted to write.

When I got home from my trip last month, we found out we were going to have to move.

As humbling as this whole situation was, we have looked at it and have seen God's hand orchestrate every single thing perfectly. Praise God!

We began looking for a home to rent. There are hundreds if not a few thousand homes empty in our little city. I was amazed! Lots of beautiful homes and the rent wasn't too bad - just more than we wanted and needed to pay.

We were able to look at one home on the inside. There was nothing wrong with the house. It was just very different from what I was used to. Pretty much everything was smaller and the carpet was blue, the blinds were pink, and the linoleum was pink and blue (ugh! Can you say, "Right out of the '80s?)). The landlord was very nice and gracious. Walter wanted to tell him yes on the spot but I was not ready for that.

We went home and began talking about it. Then we decided to get some more advice. Walter called Pastor Nolan (someone we like to call our dad because he is so special to us) and talked with him. We discovered the day before that his rental house in our little city was vacant. After getting some advice from him, Walter asked him how much the rent was on his house. It was in our budget! And, better yet, he was willing to rent it to us!!! Hooray!!

A couple of weeks later, we began the process of moving.

It was a slow move over many days. On a side note - I'm not sure which kind of move is best - moving everything in one day or moving a few things over many days. It's all HARD work!

The Lord worked out everything. We had the money to pay our attorney for his services and we had the money to move and pay rent. We are now living in a home that is 16 years newer than ours was. It's also MUCH bigger and MUCH more beautiful than ours. We are on a very quiet street now with no neighbors right next to us. I can FINALLY park my car in the garage (hooray! It's so nice to get into a car that is cool instead of sweltering!)!

The Lord has something in store for us - Walter and I can feel it. We just don't know what it is yet. Though the way is humbling for us, we KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have done exactly what God wanted us to do! We have had complete peace about all of it.

Blessings until next time!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Building Character heart breaks because of things my children do that end up teaching them a very hard lesson.

Phyllip got a stereo last Christmas. We've told him that he can use it at night several times a week. He sleeps well with music playing. Tyler, on the other hand, HAS to have silence to sleep. And since they share a bedroom, this has been an ongoing struggle with them since Christmas night.

So, they were, once again, arguing over the volume of the stereo last night.

Tyler got out of bed to turn it down. Phyllip blocked him.

Then, Tyler said, "If I touch your stereo, I will give you all of my legos (and believe me, he has A LOT!)."

Phyllip said, "Ok."

Not 10 seconds later, Tyler gets out of bed again and TOUCHES the stereo! Yep, you read right! He now owed his brother ALL of his legos.

Walter and I knew nothing of this deal until this morning.

Tyler desperately tried to get out of the deal. Walter and I talked to him and pulled out all of the details and.......told him he had to be a man of his word and give Phyllip his legos. (Can I just tell you how heartwrenching it was to break Tyler's heart like that????? He sobbed for over an hour. His eyes were swollen half shut.) He did give them to Phyllip.

Walter and I told him he should have thought about what he was saying before he made an agreement like that. In the end, he KNEW that he was the one to be upset with and no one else. I think that's the thing he had the hardest time with; knowing that he couldn't blame anybody else but himself.

Building character in our children - it's hard sometimes. But when they're adults and they have good character, it'll all be worth it!

BTW, Phyllip has been kind enough to give some of the legos back to Tyler - now that's good character!