Friday, January 29, 2010

Aging Parents

This is a picture of my sweet Mom and Dad! My Dad will be 89 years old in June and my Mom will be 86 in April. They live in the same town where I do, so I see them almost every day. They adore my girls and we have all spent some wonderful times with my parents over the years.

My Mom had cataract surgery in early December and did not get along very well with her surgery. She never regained very much vision in the eye that had the cataract surgery. A week ago Thursday, she lost all vision in that eye and her doctor finally determined that she had a detached retina. Surgery was scheduled for this past Tuesday, January 26th. My sister came to be here with Mom and Dad, so that I did not have to lose time from work during the day. Thanks Cecelia, I was so glad that you could be here! I helped out in the evenings after work.

Mom had her surgery on Tuesday and it took almost 3 hours! The doctor could not promise that her vision will be restored, but we are praying that she will regain her vision in that eye. It all depends if there was any nerve damage to her eye. After having her surgery, the doctor classified Mom's problem as a giant retinal tear.

Mom still drives and my Dad does not, so it would be a really big lifestyle change for them if she does not get her vision back. I have really been lifting up prayers for her that she will regain her vision. My Mom is so independent and it has been hard for her to be the patient this time. She so loves to take care of everybody else in our family, not us take care of her. Mom loves to write cards and letters to friends and family and that is her ministry. Right now she can't see well enough to read or write.

It is so difficult to see my parents aging and needing more and more help with everyday things. I am so thankful that I am here for them and can help as much as I am able. Mom has not had the energy to do as much around her house as she usually does, so I have been helping her with household things. They are hoping to stay independent as long as they can and I am trying to help them as much as possible. I have been working full time since August 2nd, so I have felt a bit stretched recently.

Today I felt bad that I got short with my Dad when I took him out to lunch. I thought I had left the handicapped placard at home and he got real upset with me and couldn't understand why I had left it at home. I snapped back at him and told him that I had my hands full and could not remember everything. I was doing the best I could. I actually felt like crying, but I didn't. My sweet Dad, who would never have said anything like that, is changing. His personality is not what it used to be and it is heartbreaking to see the gradual changes over the past 6 months.

I have so many good friends who are also experiencing the same things with their parents, so we are trying to help support each other. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining, because I thank God every day for the time I have had with my parents. I have 2 wonderful parents who have meant the world to me and still do!!! They provided a very loving home and we have always been very close. I could not ask for any better parents or Grandparents to my children!

I guess all of you who have aging parents would agree that it is hard to see them get older. As adult children, we begin to take on the role of the parent and the parents act more like children. There is such a role reversal. I try not to let it bother me, but at times it is hard not to. I am typically a very patient person, but sometimes it is hard to be patient with them.

Right now I am trying to balance my time and there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day. We are in the midst of a snowstorm tonight. I spent the morning cooking and getting food fixed to share with Mom and Dad. I took Dad to lunch, but Mom did not feel up to going out today. I ended up letting Dad run errands with me this afternoon to get ready for the snowstorm and he enjoyed being out and about. Mom enjoyed the peace and quiet at home.

I am planning to hibernate in this weekend (since we are supposed to get up to 8 inches of snow) and try to get some things done around my house. With Mom having her surgery on Tuesday, I have not been home one night this week until tonight. I am a bit tired, but a weekend of rest and relaxation at home will be wonderful!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friday Fives Again!

I honestly don't know where the week has gone! This week has flown by for me and I wonder if it has for you. I realized when I started to post for my blog that I had not posted anything since last Friday. Sorry gals, the week got away from me!!

My husband was off work on Monday, but I had to work. We had dinner that night with my sweet parents.

On Tuesday, I went out to eat dinner with my dear friends from my former church. We call ourselves the WOW's (short for...wild, old women!!!) These ladies and I have known each other since we all had our babies. We taught Bible school and Sunday school together, were in the same Sunday school class, raised our children together, etc. I think you get the picture. We have been through lots of good times, as well as hard times too.

Wednesday night I ran errands after work. I ate dinner at Chick-Fil-A and ran into a gal that I had been in high school with. I had not seen her since high school (38 years ago), so we enjoyed catching up with each other and hearing about our children. After that I went to visit my dear friend Sherian at her Mom's house. Another friend joined us and we worked on crafts, talked and had the most delicious pumpkin roll and Russian tea. I always love my time out with girlfriends!

Thursday after work I met with some friends and we prayed for a friend's daughter who is battling alcoholism and very low self esteem. She just checked herself into a rehab center today. We know that God will take care of her and she will one day be free of her addiction. It was my night for a haircut and afterwards I picked up my parents and took them out to dinner. My Mom had an appointment today with her eye doctor and learned that following cataract surgery on December 8th, she now has a detached retina. This will require her to have surgery on Tuesday to repair the retina. I pray that the surgery will be successful and that she will get her vision back in that eye.

On a happier note, we are leaving on Friday morning to go to the mountains to visit my sister and celebrate Adelaide's 21st birthday on Sunday!!! I am driving my parents up and my husband will come up on Saturday morning. Our married daughter, Lauren, is coming up on Friday to spend the day with Adelaide and they are going to have "girl time" together. It will be a fun weekend being together with family.

We are following Suzanne again over at Southern Inspiration on the Friday Fives!!! I enjoyed it so much last week and it gives us all a chance to learn more about each other. Just remember to post your answers in the comments section.

1. Are you the leading lady or the best supporting actress? In other words, are you the life of the party or do you wait for her to arrive and then join in the fun?

2. Do you like cool, calm colors or warm, invigorating colors?

3. What do you most look forward to about Spring?

4. What do you like to do best: decorate, organize or entertain?

5. Best snacks for you...sweet or salty?

Enjoy answering the questions, have a wonderful weekend and I will let you know about our trip to the mountains!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fives.....

Suzanne over at Southern Inspiration had a fun game on her blog today that I participated in and I wanted to share it with you too. I always love learning about my followers and I'm sure you do too. Take a moment to look at the questions and post your answers in the comments so that we can all get to know each other a little better!

You can copy and paste the questions in the comment box if you want...I'm all for easy. (Although I couldn't figure out how to do that. What else is new?)

Anyway, on to our Friday Fives....

1. Coffee or tea...which do you prefer?

2. Favorite hobby?

3. If you were given an all expense paid trip, where would you like to go? To an island or to the mountains?

4. You are given 8 hours to spend on yourself... what will you use it for?

5. If you could redo/redecorate any room in your house, which would you choose first?

Thanks for being such great blogger friends!!! Have a great Friday and enjoy your weekend!
After being frozen for the past month, we are having temperatures today up near 60!! Won't that be great? I am looking forward to lunch with girlfriends and then a walk in the park this afternoon! Continue to pray for the people in Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Dozen

I have enjoyed reading the Random Dozen on my BFF Joyce's blog, so I decided to participate myself.
It was originally started by Linda on her blog, A 2nd Cup of Coffee. The topics have been real interesting and it has been fun to get to know the people better.
Who knows, you might want to become a part of the group too and share yourself with others!

1. When was the last time you craved a food - what was it, and did you cave?

Just now while working on the computer I was craving something sweet, so I went down and used my trusty Keurig coffee maker and fixed myself some hot chocolate with LOTS of whipped cream on top! For those of you who know me well, it is no surprise to you that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sweets of any kind. Give me a cookie, a piece of cake, pie, cheesecake, Krispy Kreme donut or chocolate candy and I am a "Happy Camper"!! Growing up, my Mother always made homemade sweets for us at home and I am just a "sweet-a-holic".

2. M & M's or Skittles?

I don't eat M & M's very much, but if I do, I much prefer the peanut M & M's. My favorite candy is a Heath bar or almond joy!

3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?

I have not read it through at one time, although I would like to. As many Bible studies as I have done in my life, I'm sure I have read most of the scriptures, but just not all at one time. I have done all of the Beth Moore studies. I have also completed the entire series at Bible Study Fellowship. I have done lots of other individual studies as well. I really love my small group and being with other women studying the word.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?

When my alarm goes off in the mornings, I am up and out of the bed. I hit the floor running and I don't stop for the rest of the day. I am also a very happy person in the morning when I get up and I am ready to tackle the day. For those of you who know me well, you know that I really am a night owl too. I stay up late and get up early. I just don't require a lot of sleep, although when I do go to sleep, I am out like a light. I have been known to nod off sitting at the computer!

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?

Cruising is my all-time favorite way to travel. I went on 2 cruises when I was in college and that got me hooked! My husband and I cruised twice before children. In 2000, our whole family (my hubbie, our 2 girls and 1 boyfriend... now husband, my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece) went on a cruise together for Christmas. We had the time of our lives and are still talking about what an amazing Christmas we had that year. We want to do that again sometime.
I never have any trouble with being seasick and they treat you like a Queen on the ships. Great food, entertainment, beautiful beaches, sunshine, etc. Cruising is certainly a wonderful way to travel! I hope we can go again soon.

6. Who is your favorite actress?

That one is hard, because I have a lot of favorites. I have always enjoyed Meryl Streep. Her role in Julie and Julia was so good! I can't wait to see her new movie, It's Complicated. I also love Sandra Bullock. She deserves an Academy award for her role in The BlindSide. She was awesome!! I have also always loved Julia Roberts. I could keep going with listing favorite actresses, but I will stop. There are just so many great ones to choose from!

7. ___________ is something that I will just never understand?

Math is not my subject, never has been and it never will be. I could never help my children with any of their math when they were in school (even elementary). As they say, I was behind the door when the math brains were passed out. Don't get me wrong, I can balance my check book and pay bills, etc., but when it comes to figures, I would rather do anything but that. My daughter is an accountant, but she sure didn't get her math skills from me. Thank goodness!

8. How much of a technology junkie are you?

If it weren't for my 2 girls, I would be totally lost in the techno area. I was behind the door on that one too! This past year with learning to blog and do Facebook, I have really been stretched in the techno area. I have "cheat sheets" to tell me how to do things on the computer, because I have a hard time remembering everything. There are still things that I have not mastered, but maybe in time. (Thanks Lauren and Adelaide for your patience in helping me. I know it is hard sometimes when I just don't get it!) I'm trying!!!
I have learned to Text out of necessity. Now I love texting my girls and also my friends. My girls both have iPhones and they want me to get one, but I have not tackled that one yet. Maybe someday.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?

I LOVE greeting cards. I love to get them and I love to send them to people. I send LOTS of cards. I send so many that I keep a journal and record each month who I send cards to and what the occasion is. I send cards to my girls to encourage them and to let them know how proud I am of them.
I buy so many cards, that I have them organized in plastic shoe boxes on my shelves in my office. (Birthday, sympathy, thank you, get well, thinking of you, friends, holiday, miscellaneous, etc.) I am constantly shopping for cards and putting them in my boxes. I will read lots of cards before I find just the perfect one to send someone. I like to have cards on hand when I need them to send out.
I also enjoy making homemade cards. For fun, I go once a month to take a class and make cards. We have made some really pretty cards!
I got my love of cards and my letter writing from my Mother. She is almost 86 years old and her ministry is sending cards to people. She hand writes notes or letters in each card that she sends.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?

I get my hair cut every 5 weeks. I will be getting a haircut this week. I got my hair cut a bit shorter this past time and I plan to have mine cut a little bit shorter this time too. My hair grows so fast. It was really short about 6 years ago, and my girls suggested that I grow it out and have a change. I have enjoyed it longer, but now, as I said, I want it a little shorter. As women, are we ever satisfied with our hair? If mine is curly, I want it straight... if it is long, I want it short, etc.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?

I love shopping for a good bargain. I am a thrifty shopper and I love to get a good deal on whatever I buy. I like to get the most I can for my money!

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?

I always make sure that I have my cell phone. I make sure that the coffee pot is unplugged, my flat iron is unplugged and that the door is locked. I also make sure that the dog is OK.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 Resolutions!!!

Here's hoping 2010 is off to a good start for everyone! It has certainly been a cold start for most all of us in the US, that's for sure. Even some of my blog friends in Florida are complaining about the cold temperatures.

In thinking about resolutions for the new year, I am planning on taking advantage of this cold weather and my time indoors to get things better organized in my house. I am tired of having so much "stuff" and things that I don't really need or use. I am going through each room and getting rid of things that I haven't used in a long time. I am pretty good about keeping my clothes closet purged of things that I don't wear, but I need to organize my craft items that I have for knitting, quilting and card making and get a better handle on all that stuff.

I also am working to try to get my recipes retyped and put in notebooks so that my favorite ones are readily available and easy to read. Lots of my recipes are on small index cards and I hate to admit it, but I am getting older and my eyesight is not what it used to be and I like having my recipes printed larger. I am retyping them on the computer and putting them in plastic sleeves to go in notebooks. In the process, I am throwing away recipes that I have never used or will probably never use.

There has always been something about a new year, new month, etc. that makes me want to clean out, straighten out, organize and just have a fresh new start on the year. I always like to get my "spring cleaning" done in the winter when I have to be inside and then when the weather gets nicer in March, I can be outside doing things in the yard and enjoying walking at the park.

I have my whole preschool classroom in one side of my garage where I normally park my car, so needless to say, that needs going through as well. For some of you who are new to my blog. I taught preschool for 16 years, but lost my job at the end of the school year due to downsizing at the preschool. A teacher can accumulate LOTS of stuff over the course of 16 years. Some of my really special things I will have to keep, but a lot of the things I am going to donate, so that it can be used by others.

As you can see, ORGANIZATION is my key word for the new year. In the process, I hope to simplify my life and try to slow down a bit. I go 90 mph most of the time, so this will be a hard thing for me to do. In getting my house in order, hopefully I will have more time for the fun things that I enjoy doing... quilting, knitting, card making, cooking/baking, reading, Bible study etc. Plus, I especially enjoy my time with friends and family.

With being more organized, hopefully I will have more time for ME! My personality is such that I always want to be doing something for other people and I tend to neglect myself. I hope in 2010 to be able to do more for myself and to enjoy this life that God has blessed me with. As many of you know, I am a cancer survivor and I cherish each and every day that God gives me!

Here's hoping that you all have a wonderful 2010 and that you live it to the fullest each day. A favorite verse I have taped to my computer is: I Thes. 5:16-18

Be JOYFUL ALWAYS, PRAY continually, give THANKS in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!!!!!

Love & blessings in 2010,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hello 2010!!!!

After a 2 month sabbatical from blog posting, I am back up and running. I hope I haven't forgotten how to do everything! I still haven't found my camera cord, but I haven't given up hope. I think the cord has just been misplaced and has taken up residence in a comfortable place in my house where it doesn't want to be found. In the meantime, I'll have to resort to old pictures that are already uploaded or no pictures at all.

We had a nice Christmas. In fact, we have all our decorations out and the tree is still up and lit. I always keep my tree up until Epiphany. I love Christmas so much and I hate the thought of taking down the decorations. Why is "de-Christmasing" never as much fun as putting everything out in anticipation of Christmas day?

Adelaide leaves to go back to college this weekend, so that will give me something to do once she is gone. I am already sad to think that she will be leaving!!! My nest will be empty again.

I can't believe that I have been blogging for a year now!!! Where did the past year go? I have met so many amazing ladies via my blog and have made so many wonderful new friends. Many of you are just like family to me. We share laughs, prayers, tears of joy and sadness and we all help each other through this thing called LIFE!!! Through your blogs I have learned so many new things, gotten some wonderful recipes, traveled the world, seen prayers answered, and just enjoyed life!

Thanks to all of you for your friendship, your kind comments and your zest for life! God is good and he constantly amazes me at how he puts people in and out of our lives whether it be in person or via the blog world!

I have had the pleasure of meeting one blog friend and I hope to meet more this year. It was an awesome experience getting to meet someone in person that I already felt like I knew. I still want to post the pictures of our visit when I can upload them.

2009 had some challenges for me, but it also offered some new opportunities as well. God doesn't promise to make life easy for us, but He does promise to be there with us every step of the way. In my heart, I feel like 2010 has some great things in store for me and I am thankful for a fresh start into a new decade of my life! I have so very much to be thankful for! God has blessed me!