Monday, March 31, 2008


Last week when Keith's dad was ailing my sister told me a story that broke my heart. Apparently, when he first came to the hospital he was fine but within an hour the bleeding started to really make his condition deteriorate quickly. His daughter, Janis, whom I just adore...she is just an awesome person had arrived and the doctor asked Ken if he knew who she was. He said he did but when asked what her name was he answered with , " I have no idea." Janis then said, "That's ok Dad, tell them my nickname" Ken didn't know that either. He ended up being vented later that day and then dying. Before we went to Detroit I kept thinking about that and he just broke my heart. I hated that was her last interaction with her father. Especially b/c that isn't like him at all. So, on Weds night she told a story that just floored me. Her cousin came up to her at the funeral home on Tuesday night and said that he had a dream that he felt he needed to tell her about. He dreamnt the night before Ken died that Ken came to him in his dream and said " You have to tell Janis "Patottie" and then he said toots and that in his dream Ken died. He didn't know at the time that his uncle was even in the hospital. The next day he got a call from his mom telling him the news and the dream suddenly made more sense. Apparently her cousin had a dog called Patootie and Janis was born around the same time as the dog and suddenly the dog's name became her nickname..go figure! She took such comfort from that revelation. It was if her dad was saying, " I knew who you were,I just wasn't able to tell you." Such a simple story but adds such comfort to everyone involved. Another interesting story is that when they took him off the vent his heart immediately stopped beating. The neurologist said that he has never seen that happen in over 30 years of practicing medicine. Keith laughed at this fact because Ken was never one for long goodbyes. When he was at a family gathering and he was ready to go, he was gone. They took his quick goodbye as I sign that he was truly ready to go home and that he was ok. I know we will all be ok as time goes on!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Being the strong ones?

My mom and I just got back from Keith's dad's funeral today. We left yesterday morning to drive to Novi to help my sister and her 6.5 year old and 3.5 year old and Keith's sister Janis's two kids who are 7.5 and 6.5. It was nice to be able to help them out. Apparently the took the kids up to the funeral home on Tuesday night and my niece Claire was really struggling with seeing her Papa like that. We stayed with them during the day yesterday and the things the kids were saying just about broke my heart. They all seemed quiet and down and random comments about Ken would just kind of pop out. Claire found some pictures of Ken and said, "That is when we use to have good times, not anymore now that he's dead we won't have anymore." I reassured her that Papa was in heaven where its a good time 24/7 and that he wouldn't want us to be too sad for too long. That right now everyone is sad but to rest assured that their are plenty of good times to be had. Janis's little boy Jacob said to me,"I am really sad, I am going to miss my Papa so much" My mom and I joked that we were the ones who had to be strong and keep it together b/c the kids had been seeing their parents and grandma so distraught but the honesty of a child's grief can really get you!
It was a beautiful service that truly honored all Ken was...he exemplified what it means to have a servants heart and will be greatly missed!
Thanks to wonderful Grandma Barb and some babysitters all remained ok on the homefront. Tommorrow I am going to Union Pier with the girls from my Steering Committee from my MOPS group, it should be fun. Then, Saturday we have a wedding to go to. Its been a busy and draining week so tommorrow I am hoping to just relax!! Have a good weekend!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ken update

Keith's dad died last night. Obviously everyone is sad that he is gone but glad that he didn't have to suffer any longer or live a life that had no quality to it. Apparently the stroke would have left him pretty impaired. My mom is flying up here tommorrow and she and I are going to Novi Weds and Thursday for the wake and funeral. We're pretty much at my sister's disposal with whatever she needs as far as help with my niece and nephew who are 6.5 and 3.5.

At least we know Ken is happy and healthy at home with Jesus!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I just spoke with my mom who spoke with my sister a little while ago so I now have some more details about Ken's condition. Apparently he did have a stroke. He had bleeding on both sides of his brain. So, it looks medically grim, but all of us who know and love Ken know this man can defy any odds. He is a fighter and I truly believe that he can survive this. My head tells me this, but my heart hurts for everyone closely involved. I am sure most people don't really even care that much about their sister's inlaws, but Keith's family seems like my family too. They are so caring and nice. In fact, Joan, Keith's mom had just called me a few weeks ago to see how I was doing with the surgery. He is only 69 and I am sorry, that is to young to die or have no quality of life.
I just continue to lift everyone up and prayer and BELIEVE he can and will be healed!

more pics

Can you not upload more than like four pics at a time?? I never can!?

Easter in the tundra!

That is what it seemed like on Friday when we received a whopping 14 inches of snow!! Today its been nice and sunny though...good! Hopefully we can melt this white stuff once and for all! We had a very enjoyable Easter. It started with Easter baskets for the kids. Matthew got candy and a Mr. Potato Head. Caroline got candy, which daddy will mostly eat and the movie Dumbo. Then it was off to church and then back here for a big ol'supper. My turkey turned out well! I highly recommend both the roaster and the stuffing it with cut up lemons, oranges and rosemary! YUMAROO!
Here are some pics from the past week and today! One is of me and a new top I bought for my birthday which is on Tuesday. This year for the first time in 20 years I wasn't in tears trying to find something to wear on Easter. I have very vivid, traumatic memories and not having anything that fit. It was so nice today to have several choices!
Update on my prayer requests, Ken is still sedated. Please pray specifically that he would wake up and recover FULLY! and of course, let us not forget


Friday, March 21, 2008

Please pray

Hello all
Please pray for my brother in law's dad, Ken. He was in Home Depot yesterday morning and felt ill and fainted. He was taken via ambulance to the ER where they discovered he had bleeding on his brain. Over the last twelve hours things have progressively gotten worse. He is now on a vent and is unresponsive. Just yucky stuff!
Also, please pray for a girl who went to my highschool who was vacationing in Cancun, MX and contracted some kind of bacterial infection and on life support. She is 30 weeks pregnant with her second child, she has a nine month old. They finally we're able to airlift her to Grand Rapids yesterday I think so hopefully now she is getting better care. I feel like everytime the phone rings or I check my email its really bad, scary news. I do take comfort in knowing that b/c of what Jesus did for us on this very day we can look forward to a world where there is no more death or machines helping pregnant women stay alive.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I love Holy Week.. I usually try and mix it up and go to more traditional churches throughout the week. But, yesterday our church had a converted Jew speak about the signifigance of Passover in the Resurrection story. It was AWESOME!! I think if I could do it all over again I might go to IWU and major in Old Testemant studies, is that even a major? I find myself fascinated by the history and the relevance of the Old Testament. Having recently studied Genesis and Exodus in Bible studies, I had the background to truly understand the circumstances of the Passover celebration. The speaker had a thick Russian accent so you had to pay close attention but it almost had me in tears by the end. It was one of those moments when your feeling like, "How could people NOT believe that Christ was the Messiah?" Tommorrow night I am going to a Good Friday service at an Episcopal church. It should be interesting. I was raised Episcopalian and have found myself missing the tradition of that denomination lately. I never thought I would say that!
In other news, we started Matthew's OT on Wednesday. It was interesting to see what they do. They did things like brushed his body with a surgical brush in a rhythmic pattern,made him swing and listen to "Special music". He did pretty well with most of it. I have to do the brushing and special compressions to his joints three times daily. I thought maybe he was calming down a little but today he jumped into a pond...yes you read that right, JUMPED INTO A POND! We were leaving my girlfriend's house who had just cut Caroline's hair. They have a little pond in their front lawn. Matthew ran away from me and then as he ran back towards me, I saw him look at the pond with that "I am about to do something naughty"look and in he went! Completly submerged! I was right there and pulled him to safety. His startled face was priceless and his lost sucker and freezing cold body being stripped of icy clothing was, I think, punishment enough! Thankfully, I had a sweater and blanket in the car. He said to me, "I can't wear this, its not for little boys, its for mommies!" I was proud of myself for not freaking.
This weekend we're staying her and having Jeff's family over for Easter. I am making a turkey for the first time ever...YIKES!
Have a wonderful Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why I love Matthew

I am feeling bad for always complaining about my little boy. The last couple of days he has been saying some really adorable things..

Today at the mall in the dressing room as I tried on a top,
"Mommy you look beautiful!"
Yesterday while Jeff was giving him a bath and almost fell into it while getting up
"Whoa daddy! Be careful, if you fell on my you'd crush me!"
Sunday after church carrying a gigantic palm he'd received,
"This is my palm to welcome Jesus on his donkey"
This morning while snuggling
"I want to give you kisses and huggies and eat you all up for lunch!"
We went to see the Easter bunny this morning and to ride the carousel. Both the kids were awesome!
Even better, Matthew is taking a nap today! Blessed be!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Fever

The Simpsons are aching for Spring! Thankfully, we have been blessed with two beautiful days in which we were able to be outside. We went on long walks and to the park. Just when I thought I would have an easier summer..CAROLINE! That little stinker is such a pain in the way she gets into everything that she is not suppose to but I have to say she is so cute doing it!! Today at the park the kindergartners were playing on the playground and about ten of them were lined up to take their turn on the slide. Did this deter Caroline from climbing UP the slide...never! She screamed when I kept repeatedly kept removing her head and shook her head NO! Oh well, I have been blessed with extremly active children what can I say!
Tommorrow we're going to an Easter egg hunt. I have enlisted Grandma Barb to help rear the troops. I don't know how people with more than two kids ever do things alone! (Jeff has to work in the am. ) Tommorrow night I am going out to dinner with some girls from church.
In the "gastric bypass" world things are going ok. I am now down nearly 70 pounds. Even my skinny clothes I had are getting big..yipee. But, the most exciting part is that I am enjoying working out again. I have gone on several good long walks at a pretty good clip and it feels glorious. I mean the difference between walking without 70 pounds is substanial. I feel so light in my shoes! I even had a desire to run, but was reminded by the jiggling buttocks area that I will definetly be needing spandex under the running pants before I run an marathons! TMI!! I feel good and am excited for Spring and my upcoming birthday money to buy some news clothes!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mr. Sensory Seeker

Don't you love how parenting goes with the good comes the bad. Today very much exemplified this for me and my dear little Matthew. He has been getting speech therapy for the last 18 months. He has excelled in this and pretty much speaks like your average almost three year old now. When I first started thinking about getting him evaluated I got all types of feedback varying from supportive to "your crazy" looks. It was definetly the best decision for him. His therapist, the beloved "Ms. Karla" told us today that she is most likely going to dismiss him in May. This is the first time she has done this in many years she said! Yeah Matty Man!!
So, his speech is well in check. But, his behavior...not so much. As I have eluded to in many a post, he really has been driving me insane. So, after discussing it with some girlfriends I decided to have him evaluated for a sensory disorder. Today we met with an OT and Matthew I proud to say was in rare form..he was terribly behaved! I obviously hate when this happens but it was kind of nice to be like, "This is why we are here!" She asked me what I wanted Matthew and Jeff and I to get out of therapy and I was saddened by my answer. I told her that I am not enjoying being his parent as much as I used to. That its exhausting dealing with his tantrums, crazy behvior and aggression. Case in point, while in Midland we took a walk to my friends parents house. As we were leaving, I was buckling Caroline in her stroller when crazy man took off running. He got about a 45 sec headstart which was enough to have me chasing him almost an entire block! Thank goodness I have lost close to 70 pounds or I think he'd still be running. When I finally caught up to him I was so mad I wanted to strangle him. I kept telling him how he can't run away from mommy and daddy b/c he could get hurt and finally I just blurted out, "A car could hit you and you could die." A little to abrupt maybe but I think he got it b/c now whenever he sees a car and we are outside he will say "Careful mommy, there is a car, I won't run so I won't die" GREAT!:(
Anyways, the OT evaluated him and diagnosed him as a sensory seeker. I am still researching what this means but for now it means he will go to see the OT once a week. I am praying that this helps him better able to control his crazy little body. I just want him to be the best Matthew God created him to be. I just want to be the best mommy God desires me to be. Right now..I think we're sadly 0 for 0!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Very Healthy Girl!

AMEN!! That is what the doctor wrote on Caroline's height and weight slip today! All of her various "issues" seemed to be resolved or treated one way or another. Meaning glasses for the lazy eye, tubes for the ears, no peanuts for the allergies:)! She weighed in at 27 pounds and is 31 and 1/2 inches long. She is still bigger than most 16 month olds. It was nice to just have a normal appointment.
Tommorrow the kids and I are treking up to Midland to visit some of my old high school friends. It should be crazy busy but also fun! I will take lots of photos! I just realized I posted alot this week!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Who me?

Caroline is such a stinker when it comes to climbing! She constantly tries to climb on top of the kitchen table! Matthew is still not napping and we have had major issues lately. He is like a wild horse at time that will not be broken! I have asked my Bible study to really pray for me and him and our relationship. It was so bad yesterday that I was crying to Jeff and said that sometimes I feel like I can't be an effective mom to him. He gets under my skin worse than anyone I have ever known and this causes me to feel so badly. I just completly lose my temper with him. So, today I just would put him in his room when he was really naughty and just stop and ask God for help. Obviously it worked! Actually after Caroline went to bed for the night we had some really sweet time together. One day at a time, ok really more like one second at a time!!:)

Hearts beyond the veil....

I can't say enough times how much I have learned from my Beth Moore Bible study. Last night I was so moved by something she pointed out that I wanted to blog about it. Last night we discussed the veil that seperated the alter of sacrifice from the alter of incense and the ark of the covenant. Beth discussed that the veil basically represents the promises of God and how we can have confidence in His words. That we are roped to something beyond the vail that will ALWAYS hold us up. An anchor for our tossed and tumbled souls is what she said. That hopelessness will always make your soul sick. We need to remember that God never has a bad day, God never gets too busy. Most importingly, God WILL NEVER PROVE FALSE!
She brought our attention to Psalm 73 which states the following:
14 All day long I have been plagued
I have been punished every morning.
15 If I had said, "I will speak thus"
I would have betrayed your children.
16. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final
I will admit when I first read this scripture I was like, "HUH?"
But when she further explained it I was truly moved. She said that basically the writer of this Psalm was like, "Listen God, I have been good and faithful,even through the crappy events of this world and especially my life. But, I am a little more than irritated with my state of affairs. Yet, I don't complain outward because I don't want someone who is weaker in faith to doubt you." The most important point she made was that the writer took his DOUBT to God. The best place to take it!
In light of what some of my friends are struggling with as of late, it was so nice to hear this and to maybe be able to offer this insight to them because lets face it, when you know people who have been through hardship after hardship you run out of things to say. I love the analogy of being roped to God that He will never let you go.I imagine the writer of the psalm yanking really hard at it to maybe even get away as if to say.."UHHHHHHHHH!! God I am so frustrated! Make it better! NOW!! or I will cut this rope!" Aren't we blessed to have a God who will never let us cut it and will never let go!?


Sunday, March 02, 2008

A night away

This weekend I went to Chicago for a girlfriend's baby shower and to visit with some old friends. The weather was great for driving and I had a great time. I ended up staying at the baby shower for almost four hours and catching up with some old work pals. Then, I met up with one of my closest "Chicago" friends for dinner and I spent the night at her house. This morning I met yet another girlfriend who is pregnant with her first baby,to give her my maternity clothes. We also did a little shopping. It was nice to "escape" from the kids for a night. It was so nice to have adult conversations too. I love having lots of friends from various "places" from my life. I was joking that if they ever ended up in one room it would certainly be interesting. There is such a range but I like to keep things hopping!!
This week is pretty slow for us. Caroline has her 15 month check up, almost two months past due. Hopefully they won't discover anymore medical ailments!! Have a good week!