Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Take the Good With the Bad

Our van needs a new alternator and battery. It is still running, but we know that it has to repaired. Especially since we plan to take it on vacation in a few weeks. Sarah went to the doctor today for gastric reflux. She had some symptoms years ago and then went away. It came back and she has had some bad tummy aches. Doctor put her on Prilosec and ordered a Swallow study. Darn! She really didn't want to go through that again. Otherwise no other symptoms that would indicate that her connective tissue disease has worsened. She still gets purple fingers, but no ulcers! Yay!

I really enjoyed today's weather. Cool with some sunshine. I got to sleep until 0830 too! Mary drove me into Grand Rapids today for more expressway experience. She did fine! We had a nice lunch at Steak n' Shake. Their menu is better with more affordable prices. The Prius is working well. Everyone is happy. Jeff enjoyed the conference for the most part. He comes home tomorrow.

That is all for now. I work in the morning!


Monday, June 29, 2009

We Won!

Mt Calvary pulled out another win tonight. As usual, we started off a little shaky. The score was 5-0 at the end of the 2nd inning. We came alive in the 4th inning and scored 4 runs and then 2 more in the 6th, in addition to holding the other team at 5. Way to go team! They are awesome. Sarah pitched another great game too. Yours truly had a couple hits, got on base once and then struck out her third at bat. I waited too long in the count, and panicked a little. I can always find an excuse. Matthew got on base all at bats and played out in R field. He is very cooperative and played wherever I needed him!

Work went fine today. I called the office to talk to the director of nursing about the meeting last week only to find out that she is no longer with the company. Looks like the "mean" lady might be the new boss! Watch out! We will see what happens.

That is all the news for the day. Just wanted to pass on the good news about our team!


A Wonderful Weekend!

We had a very nice weekend! Saturday I got up and made some brownies for part Brandon's graduation gift. The afternoon was spent at another graduation open house and then we went to a nearby church for a musical concert. Jeff spoke for the event. He did a great job and used the story of being out on the family boat with his dad and brothers when a storm blew in. A favorite of ours. Dinner was served and we were off to a Whitecaps baseball game. It was Thrivent Night. It was pretty warm but in the shade! We had a winning ticket and got a baseball cap. We were glad when there were some light showers! The game went into extra innings and we ended up losing 5-4. I hope that our softball team can win tomorrow night!

Church went well. I played for the service. Seems like I have more trouble with introductions than with playing the hymn for them to sing! The congregation is forgiving. I enjoy playing the clavinova. We had lunch at Subway. Jeff left for the Michigan District convention and the rest of us headed out to Brandon's Open House. We had a very nice time. The food was very good, lots of fun pictures to look at, videos to listen and watch and outdoor games to play. Matthew spent ~3 hours swimming in the lake, kayaking and went along on a pontoon ride with me and some other folks. After we got home, we watched some TV and I heard from Jeff. He reports that the first night of the convention was very good! YAY for a GREAT Sunday!

I wish I could say that Friday was a good day too. I had an interesting day at work. The nursing compnay supervisor came out for a visit and can say that she was condesending and hard to get along with. I am not going to go into detail, but I couldn't wait for her to leave. It was a long day. We drove into Grand Rapids for dinner at the Olive Garden and enjoyed a meal then shopping at Kohl's for some needed clothes. Matt drove home with Jeff riding shotgun. It was a ride to remember! Matt had to drive through construction on the expressway with curves and such, at night! He is getting some good experience.

Tomorrow I go to work, Sarah has therapy and of course our softball game in the evening. I hope to update soon after!

Guess that is it for now. Have a good week!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Licensed Driver!

Mary passed her road test this afternoon and is now a licensed driver. She can drive alone now! I know it is exciting, but a little scary for parents too. They are all growing up fast now. We went to the secretary of state office and did the paperwork and got the picture taken. The driver's license will come in the mail in about 2 weeks. We are having Chicken Crescents for dinner in her honor!

We watched Grand Torino last night and really liked it. Would encourage people to watch it. There are some funny parts, but it is a good story with excellent acting from Clint Eastwood. I think Jeff is trying to find a way to use it in a sermon.

Sammy got all of his shots this morning and got groomed too. He looks nice! Heartworm test was negative! Sammy is healthy! Yay! He will be 10 years old in a few months. He is still pretty hot with Michigan temperatures of over 90 degrees. We have only one window A/C unit upstairs. So we are tolerating warm temps in the house too. The basment is nice and cool!

Better get going!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home From Work

Just got home from working a night shift with my little patient. It was a good night. She was sleeping when I arrived then woke up and stayed up most of the night. At least it help keep me awake. I also keep an alarm going during the night on my phone, just in case I get tired.

Yesterday I got a lot accomplished too. Mary had strings practice and then finished sewing a dress. She wore it to the wedding that she and I played for. The wedding was simple but nice. Mary played Canon in D with me. I did an adequate job. The bride was happy. It was so hot that my fingers and hands were sweaty. Excuses! Excuses!

I will sleep for about 4 hours, and then go back to work for a few hours so that my friend can go to an important appointment. Mary is going to spend the day with Brandon. It is his 18th birthday today! Tomorrow Sammy goes to the vet/groomer, I get a 2nd key for the Prius. Mary takes her road test tomorrow at 1300 hours. Any prayers are welcome. Back to work on Friday. This time a day shift.

Weekend activities are 2 graduation open houses and a white caps baseball game. It's Thrivent night! Jeff leaves on Sunday for the district convention. The weather has been very hot, in the 90's. Our A/C in our bedroom is running and the fans are circulating the air pretty well. I am anxious to get more toward the 70's or low 80's.

Better get some sleep!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Game to Forget

We lost our softball game. It was a very frustrating and disappointing game. Our opponents' sportmanship was less than acceptable and they nit picked every possible rule they could, even with a score of 11-0. The last two innings we pulled together and scored 6 runs and avoided a shut out, which made me very happy. I told the team that I was happy with their ability to play with integrity and that we can be proud of ourselves. I don't know why it takes us several innings to get our gloves working well. Sarah pitched another great game, all 7 innings. Jeff, had an awesome catch and slid into 3rd and was safe. He has some wounds to show for it! Matt threw some long hit balls back into the infield and got a great hit tonight! We have a great team and I am proud to play with them! I played catcher the whole game and had some good hits, but only got to first once. Poor Sarah said softball wasn't fun tonight, that makes me sad, since she loves the game more than anyone I know. I didn't make her happy when the other team called her a "daisy"!

The weather is hot and humid. We turned on our A/C in our bedroom and have the fans positioned on both floors for good air flow. Tomorrow will be another hot day. There is lots to do. Mary has her quartet practice, then a wedding, and I work night shift tomorrow night. I hope to get some extra sleep sometime. Guess I should call it a night. Need to shower first though after a long battled game.

Feeling better,


Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

We had a really nice Father's Day. Church was very nice and then we had lunch together. Now most fathers would like to relax and have a nice dinner. But our dad ran in a relay! Jeff ran 5 miles through west Michigan in a bright green shirt carrying a token torch showing Michigan the Jesus loves them! The run will travel through Michigan until next week when the district convention commences. The weather was sunny and hot. There were many hills through the countryside. We passed several Amish families, some in their carriages, some walking one with a wagon full of cute little children. I guess one horse got a little spooked when he saw the bright shirt. Next time he saw a carriage, he kept his distance and stopped while the horse passed. The van that accompanied the runners kept him well hydrated and made sure he was ok. Jeff ran those 5 miles in less than an hour! How wonderful! He was tired, but had fun. We drove along in our Prius, encouraging him along the way. Sarah took pictures. Hope to have them posted soon. There might even be a video! The next runner showed up as Jeff finished at an Amish farm and he ran the last 10 miles! He is a pastor from Cadillac. We stopped at Wal-Mart after the run and got a few things. Mary was happy there was still a material department there. She is anxious to sew another dress. We found some pink and brown polka dot material. It will be very nice. From there we went to St. Peter's Lutheran in Big Rapids, MI for a small rally. On our way home we stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and then had Ice Cream Cake and played a little on the Wii.
What is on today's docket? Well, I will be practicing for the wedding, Sarah has therapy and then the rehearsal. This evening is another softball game. Our record is 4-1! I have a few players that need to start praying with us if they want to be playing with us! Tomorrow is the wedding and I work night shift afterward.
I guess that is all for this Monday Morning!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain Rain and More Rain!

Well, we had some nice weather at the beginning of the week, and have had lots of rain today! God did provide a window of hot sunny weather for VBS's last day. We have had thunder storms but no damage in Greenville. Sadly we did hear reports that buildings at Hope College are flooded. Sarah's dorm room is on the 1st floor this year! Clean up is already in motion and I am sure everything will be ready for move-in day.

Sarah's job hunt has proved fruitless. Most places aren't hiring or are waiting another month which doesn't help her at all. Our one hope for an outside scholarship ended today. Not sure if it is worth looking for jobs in Grand Rapids is worth it right now. She will definitely need to work this fall in Holland. My job hunt isn't much better. Just goes to show that no one is hiring in W Michigan right now. I will have 30 hours of work in this week which is good. Guess I will need to schedule as many hours as I can.

We got our Prius back this afternoon. So far so good, although the drive home isn't too far. Will have to take it for a longer ride tomorrow. I am so glad to have it back! Sarah drove it today to Physical Therapy for her knee. Mary will take her road test on Thursday. She practiced driving yesterday with Jeff and did pretty well. She has decided to take the test in the Camry. Matthew is always willing a pleading to drive somewhere. He is doing well.

Well, guess that is about it. Need to practice for the wedding, work tomorrow evening and work on errands and chores. I can always be busy! Blessings!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good News!

Matthew and Mary received their report cards today. They both did great! Mary had straight A's with GPA of 3.9 and is ranked 7th out of 282 classmates. Matthew had A's and B's with a GPA of 3.4. He got an A on his physics exam! That was a hard course for freshman. Great job to both of my high schoolers!

A Proud Mom!

Sammy Has A Fan Club

We had a lot of fun with our cousins the past 2 days. They got the grand Greenville tour with new and exciting information that Mary had in her head. Katherine went to VBS and Logan worked as a helper with Matthew's group, a bunch of kindergarteners. We grilled, had ice cream and played Wii games and Scene It. Sammy was treated like royalty. He got so much love from everyone.

Both evenings there were some ball games going on. Monday our church team won 17-8. We seem to start out a little shaky, but then pull it together and put on the heat with good hitting and fielding. I even gave away a game ball. Our right fielder made some awesome catches in defense and made a great slide to be safe at 2nd. Sarah had a great game too. She could have gotten a game ball too, but we only had one and she is my co-coach, so I thought it would cause a conflict of interest. Anyway she pitched the whole game and caught 3 line drives to the pitcher. She was just awesome. You can tell she is passionate about ball! Last night Sarah umpired a rec game and most of us saw the last part of the game. Fatime and I went to pick Mary up from her Segment II driving class.

Driving class. Matthew is done with segment one and has his level I license. He has been driving around town and doing a good job. He can't take segment 2 for six months. Mary is now eligible to take the road test. She wants to practice some parallel parking and backing up parking before scheduling the test. Jeff will have to go with her because he can stay quiet during the test unlike her mother. Mary is anxious to get her license so she drive out to her friends and not have to ask for rides anymore.

I will be playing for a wedding next week. So I need to be practicing some music daily so the wedding won't be remembered with bad music. Mary is going to play some cello with me I think.
Some disappointing news comes from our Prius. We got it home and drove around that night and we still experienced some minor electrical issues. The good news is that they are fixing it and even gave us a loaner to drive while it is getting fixed up. I can't wait to get it back. I have almost forgotten that we have a 3rd car.

Just for some closure, church went well as did the chapel for the Assisted Living center. We also enjoyed the choir party. We had good food and fellowship, a pontoon ride, paddle boat rides, volleyball and a fun game where you throw golf balls on ropes at a ladder. Sounds wierd but it is fun!
I am working early tomorrow for 3 hours and then 11 hours on Friday and 6 on Saturday evening. Have to pay for college, cars and show choir!

That is all. Have a great day!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Golfing in the AM

Jeff and I golfed with our friends Randy and Norma today as a fundraiser for Camp Concordia. We had a lot of fun! We didn't win, but still had a great time. I had some really nice drives and even a few good fairway shots. I now like my 3 iron. Jeff did better with the pitching and putting. Randy did win $10 for a great story. He drove the ball and it hit a tree then bounced back into the fairway and all the way back to the green. We had hot dogs at the turn around and then grilled burgers after the tournament. We are back home and tired. Jeff rested before heading over to church for weding counselling.

Matthew has his permit and is asking to drive all the time. Everyone wants to drive my new car, the Prius. It is a pretty cool, although we are dealing with some ABS problems. The dealer is going to look at it again on Monday. I guess one of sensors needed replacing, but evidently there is more to the story. I drove to GR yesterday and got over 40 miles to the gallon. I filled it up on Wednesday night and it is still registers a full tank. I probably only used 2 gallons to get to grand rapids and back.

Work was fine. I fell on Thursday going into church for quilting. I saved the brownies I made, but tore the knee right out of my pants and scraped up my knee and bruised the other. Needless to say, I couldn't crawl around the floor like I normally do. I work Monday and Friday this week. Just found out that one of my patient's doctor was a med student at St Louis Childrens Hospital when I worked there in 1998! I thought he looked familiar. I looked him up on the hospital website and true enough it was George from St Louis!

Tomorrow is church, chapel in the afternoon for the retirement home and a choir party. VBS starts Monday morning. We are anxious to see our cousins again too!

So Long from Sunny Michigan!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lots of News

Church went really well. The orchestra did a wonderful job. We had many compliments and I think we will plan to do this again sometime. I did drop a large music book on the keys of the clavinova during communion, and heard a few chuckles.

Birthday Cake/UP!
After church we got home and had some lunch. Mary made me a birthday cake while I took a much needed nap. She had the kitchen all cleaned too! Brandon and Nick came over to sing with Mary and the rest of us went to see the movie UP! I thought it was good, but as Mary (saw it earlier in the week) says it is kind of a sad movie for PIXAR. We came home and had delicious Devil's Food cake and then played a game of Cranium.

Softball in the Rain
Monday is softball day. It was pretty rainy most of the day, but being the die hard ball players, we waited till we got to the field to see if we could play. With dark clouds all around, we started playing and our team was up to bat first. The skies opened up and the heavy rains came down. The spectators gathered up the children and took cover, as there was a tornado watch and we heard a bit a thunder. The two teams decided to go ahead and play anyway. During our first at bats we scored 2 runs and then just as quickly the rain stopped and God sent a beautiful double rainbow! Our opponents had outscored us during the first half of the game, ahead 7-3. We came back and pulled ahead by 1 by the 6th inning. Our gloves were better and we had our bats on the ball. At the bottom of the 6th it was 10-8. We had our work cut out for us! Well we did it! We came from behind and won 17-10!

New Toy!
Our family has enjoyed playing the Wii I purchased with some christmas money last winter. Our fun was limited since we had only one remote control device. So for a birthday gift I bought another controller that came with 9 more games! Now we can play against each other instead of against the system (except for Bowling and Golf). We had a lot of fun playing games for several hours. Matt killed me in baseball. I really need to practice hitting. Matt is pretty good at all of the games. Sarah has had practice too, so it is fun to watch both of them duel.

I'd like to have a word with the FAFSA people
I have decided that the financial aid system for college is really a mind game. It really irritates me that the govt can decide how much we can afford for college. So we are using our thinking caps to come up with a game plan for college this year.

Sarah has applied for several jobs with responses that usually sound like, we will be calling people in 3 weeks, or sorry we aren't hiring. I continue to hit brick walls with my job hunt as well. I was able to speak with someone at one of the hospitals that took my name and promised to send it on to the recruiter. Course, if I work another job, then the govt will think we can pay even more for college!

Well the Prius is ours. We got it this afternoon. It looks so nice and runs well. I am going to have to get used to the brakes and gas pedals as they are more sensitive then the windstar.

Driving Students
Matthew passed his writen driver's test and is done with his driving class. Yay! Tomorrow we will go to get his permit/license from the Secretary of State. Then he can start driving with us in the car. I hope I am ready for another young driver! Mary takes Segment II of driving class next week and is then eligible to take the road test. She can't wait to drive by herself.

Upcoming events
I will be making dessert for our quilting lunch tomorrow. It is the last potluck until the fall. We will either brown bag it or go out together for a DQ footlong hot dog. Mary is going to a White Caps baseball game with Brandon tomorrow and Sarah has an umping gig. I worked last night and again on Friday during the day. The Stanley Cup final is Friday night. Will the Red Wings win? Saturday is a golf tournament and Sunday is chapel for the Long term care facilities and a choir party out at a lake. Then we look forward to having Jeff's cousin, Jim and his family here to visit the beginning of the week.

Orthopedic Update
Sarah had her R knee examined today and the orthopedist said she has pain in her knee because her loose joints. With all the stress when climbing stairs and playing ball, it resulted in patellar tendonitis. She will get some PT for 2-4 weeks and also wear a patellar strap to keep the stress off of that tendon. Icing and Ibuprofen is something that she has already been doing and can continue to do. The good news is that she can keep playing ball, a sport that she loves!

Well, I am sure I will update soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

We Had a Fun Day

Well Orchestra practice went well and service should be nice tomorrow. We played pretty well together for not having rehearsal most of the month of May. After tomorrow my responsibilities will be reduced to staffing kids church for the summer.

We got the car back to the dealer. It should be ready on Tuesday. We will decide then if we will purchase it or not. I do like the car very much and miss having it in our garage.

I practiced pitching some softballs this afternoon and I am too inconsistent to pitch for the team as of right now. Sarah did well and Matt did too. We will see how Monday's game goes and switch some players around.

Birthday dinner was at the Texas Roadhouse. All of us had delicious steaks, bread, potatoes and an onion blossom thing. After dinner we went out to a bonfire at one Mary's friend's house. It was nice to get to know some new people.

All in all it was a good birthday. Now I will have to wait another 365 days for number 47! Thanks to all for the birthday wishes!


PS: Mary decided against the self study summer spanish and has dual enrolled at the community college for Spanish this fall.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's My Birthday!

The first thing I did on my birthday is get my hair cut and styled. It looks nice. Starting to grow out some of the layers again. I have orchestra practice in a few minutes and then we will take the Prius back to the dealer. We had it overnight. We like it a lot and hope that they can have a few things corrected so we can buy it! Later is an graduation open house and then we are going to dinner tonight. I am considering Texas Roadhouse, Red Robin and On the Border. The weather is beautiful and I just might practice my slow pitching skills this afternoon, so I can use them in an upcoming game. My left thigh muscle is still tight and sore. I hope that I can play on Monday.

I'll type more updates prn.

Gracie, RN

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today was very productive. I made lasagna rolls for quilting lunch, worked on music for Sunday and am working on the last load of laundry. This afternoon Matt had driver's training, and we took a look at this Prius right here in Greenville. It is very clean. There are more miles, but that makes it more affordable. I also know that Toyotas are great cars, so even with more miles I know I can depend on it. We should know if it will be ours in the next few days. I think buying local is a plus, that way I wouldn't have to drive to G.R. for any needed service.

Tonight we went to the High School Jazz Band concert. It was great as always. The weather was great and time flew by and it was over. Brandon did a very nice job singing with the group. He also plays the keyboard. I'm thinking Mary should sing with the group next year. Matt is done with band. He doesn't really want anything to do with it. We are keeping the trumpet and Jeff wants to learn to play it. The mouthpiece is stuck and I still have to get to the music store to have it repaired.

Mary had a meeting with the guidance counselor and the spanish teacher this morning. Mary wants to get some foreign language credit on her transcripts for college admissions. So she will do independent study for Spanish I and take a profieciency exam this fall. Sarah can help her. Then she will take Spanish II in the fall. She will have Independent study english, Pre Calculus, Chemistry, Orchestra, Village Green and Government one semester and Music theory the next semester. Matt had his last finals today and school is officially over! He is very happy.

Driving is going pretty well. Matthew has one more week and then Mary will have a week of class. She will be eligible to take the road test after completing the 3 day course. We have been practicing parking procedures.

Well, I am working at 0500, so I am going to end this post. I'll let you know what happens with the car.

Good Night!

Grace, who is 45 for just 34 more hours!

Just To Let You Know

We are deciding whether to get another car. Initially we were going to trade the van for a "new" one, but found out we wouldn't get very much for it. Our van has over 150,00 miles on it. The more we thought about it, the more the plans changed. I had the idea of getting a "new" car for me and letting the kids drive the old van, which is fine with them. This is better because of insurance costs. The first car we tested was the Kia Spectra. A brand new red one with great incentives! It was ok, and I could walk away without feeling a need to buy it. Whew! Then we stopped at the Toyota dealer. I love Toyotas. I saw a nice little Matrix, but Jeff has been interested in getting a Hybrid. So they showed me the Prius. What a cool car! It drives really nice and I was so much more interested in the used Prius than the new Spectra. No, we didn't buy it, not yet. Jeff has done a lot of homework on pricing, interest rates and insurance. We may go drive this white one later today. By the way, the Matrix smelled of cigaretter smoke! Yuck!

Today. It will be busy. Cook for quilting, school runs for Matthew. Drivers Ed, car shopping (maybe), dinner and then the annual Jazz Concert at the gazebo in the park in the evening. Brandon will be singing many songs. Yay! I forgot we are invited to an open house too! Sarah has to ump a game. Of course I still have laundry waiting for me downstairs. I work early on Friday, so I can't stay up too late!
Speaking of late, I am tired! Better get some sleep. Wonder if I will hear our bats? The bat man came and found another nook where they might be getting in. He says he will keep coming until they are gone. The waranty will be good.
Sandman is coming! Night!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Let's start with the GOOD! Graduation was very nice. We arrived early to see if there were any tickets to the gym available. I think we were even closer in line this year than last year for Sarah's graduation. Anyway, we were talking with the people behind us and told them our saga, and low and behold, they had two extra tickets! We were sooo grateful when they gave them to us. Brandon's family arrived later, so we were able to get them in line with us and we all sat together. The address was well done by one of Mary's favorite teachers. The band did a great job playing pomp and circumstance while the graduates received their diplomas. I think Matt said they played it 29 times through! Luckily, there is a rotation system in place so that all of the musicians don't have to play the whole time...~30 minutes! The weather was nice so we were able to get a nice picture of Brandon and Mary afterward. On a side note, the mouthpiece on Matt's trumpet is stuck! Even a mouthpiece puller couldn't get it free. We will have to go to the music store and see if they can remove it.

The BAD... Although our softball team is amazing..we lost last night 17-6. We played the best team in the league with 15,000 players (it seemed) and some of their calls were not so good. They are really liberal with their strikes, balls and safe calls. Sarah pitched at the end of the game and was awesome! She has earned a permanent place on the mound! We had some good hits, but they had better gloves last night. I hit one to the pitcher then took a walk at my last at bat. Jeff and I only batted twice last night. That should tell you that we weren't getting lots of runs!

The UGLY! My poor leg hurts terrible. I was walking like I was 110 years old. Limped through most of the game. I pulled my quadriceps femoris (thigh muscle) of my left leg at work 3 times in the past week. It was sore before the game and just got worse each inning. My right foot has chronic heel spur stuff going on. I do feel better this morning and am back to my almost 46 year old gait.

Kids have half days today, tomorrow and Thursday. Then summer vacation! Yay! I have places to be, so I am off to the shower! Have a great day everyone!

The Safest Place

A good friend of mine sent this to me this morning. I loved it so much, I wanted to share it on my Blog....

How to stay safe in the World today

1.. Avoid riding in automobiles because they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents.

2. Do not stay home because 17% of all accidents occur in the home.

3. Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks because 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians.

4.. Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water because 16% of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.

5. Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in Hospitals. So, ... above all else, avoid hospitals.

But,.... You will be pleased to learn that only ..001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders.

Therefore, logic tells us that the safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church!

....And.....Bible study is safe too.

The percentage of deaths during Bible study is even less.

So,Attend church, and read your Bible IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!