Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy..Exhausted!

I forgot to mention that on Saturday while shopping at Wal-mart, I checked into camera specials. Mary texted Jeff the information and he met us at the store and we decided to buy a digital camera. It is a Samsung and has lots of options and even came with a case! I took time to learn how to use it today after 3 hours of work and a nap.

Sunday was pretty jam packed. We had church and sunday school practice, then packed up Sarah and headed back to Hope College. We stopped for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We left Holland at 5:30 pm and got to Bowling back in Greenville by 6:40 pm. That is a record! We bowled ok, but lost 3. Seems our team brings out the best in the other teams. Before bed we watched the movie "Bride Wars". It was pretty funny.

Today an electrician came and wired and hung a new ceiling fan and light fixture. Jeff did rebalance it tonight and it seems to be working all right. Our front door is getting a facelift too. It is getting stripped and restained. Kids choir and chime team went really well. A new elementary student joined us and did great for her first week. Another student wants to join, but I asked her to wait until after Christmas so I can give better 1:1 time to each of the new people.

Tomorrow I work another short early shift. Then hopefully can get some more things accomplished than I did today. Maybe laundry, make car maintenance appointments, Christmas letter and shopping and preparing for Christmas for the orchestra. I need lots of practice time at the piano. I plan on painting the window frames this week too. I work a whole 12 hour day on Wednesday. Matthew has another orthopedic appointment on Wednesday to check on the bone healing process. Pray he doesn't need surgery.

Mary will be doing some Miss Danish activities this weekend. Two parades and meeting people at Meijer Gardens under the Danish Christmas Tree. The following weekend she will be attending the Men's Glee Club Christmas Ball in Ann Arbor.

Well, I guess that is all for now...we had some snow flurries tonight. Nothing serious or sticking to the ground.


Happy December!


Grace
(Picture taken with new camera)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Day After

Well, we ended up going shopping in Grand Rapids anyway. Sarah's computer has caused her so much grief and frustration, that she went to buy a new one at Best Buy. She got a Mac Book and really likes it. Got a best buy credit card so she could pay 18 months same as cash. Lots of life learning experiences last night. Jeff and I looked for a new camera, but the ones we wanted were all sold out. :(

Earlier yesterday we went to see "A Blind Side". It was a very good movie. We all liked it very much and would certainly recommend it to anyone. We have another Netflix movie to watch this weekend too.

Today's plans are for more shopping. This time Walmart (my favorite), Jerry's paint store and find some jeans for Sarah. We are meeting the Cory's at Pizza Hut for dinner before I go off to work at 8 pm for 6 hours. I hope she comes home on time.

That is all for now. Tomorrow Sarah goes back to Hope and I we will bowl in the evening. 2009 is flying by!

Grace

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Am NOT Going Shopping...

I am not planning on shopping and fighting the crowds of Black Friday. The sales might be good, but I am not going out into the rain/snow mix to wait in line and then find out they are out of the item I was waiting for! I am going to sleep until my eyes open and feel awake. Sarah would like to see the movie "Blindside". Will have to check the movie times. Mary has been invited for dinner at the Cory's. Matthew just wants to do something fun. I like to see everyone happy and healthy.

Our Thanksgiving was nice. We watched the parades in the morning and cleared off the tables. Sarah got some of her laundry done while I was preparing the meal. Norma and Randy arrived at two and we were eating our dinner by 2:45 pm. All of the food was good. I forgot the Redi Whip, so the pumpkin pie didn't have the nice fluffy creamy sweetness it was supposed to have. The four of us bowled on the Wii, and then enjoyed each other's company and shared stories. Brandon came over later and played some mastermind with Mary. Then they invited Jeff and me to play scrabble with them. It was a great game! Brandon won on the very last play to beat me by two points! We did use every letter and covered most of the board. Mary took a picture to document this successful game. Sarah and Matthew played on his new computer game, The Sims. It looks pretty complicated, but I guess it is fun and addicting..Great! (not really).

Unfortunately, Sarah's computer is not working very well and it is quite frustrating for her. She'd really like a new one, but there isn't much of a fund for that. Jeff tried to fix it and at least discovered what was wrong. Hope we can get it working before she returns to school. She could have been talked into going to a doorbuster for a new computer. I wouldn't be much help since I so little about what to look for in a computer. Her phone has been acting up too, which just compounds the frustration.

I work on Saturday night for 6 hours. Otherwise, we have another day to spend together with family and friends. Matt's feeling well, needing less pain control and managing well with his splint. I am feeling pretty tired so I am going to sign off.

Grace

PS- Some of you might wonder why the Wizard of OZ music? When I was a little girl, I watched that movie every Thanksgiving night while the adults talked. Those darn flying monkey really scared me. Anyway that is why it is on my Thanksgiving music.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It is Thanksgiving Eve! We Are Thankful!

Matthew saw the his orthopedic surgeon this afternoon and once again avoided open surgery for his fractured arm. I guess the plan is to watch the bone get "sticky" to see if they are lining up well. If not, then they will have to fix it. So Matthew is not out of the woods yet, but so far so good. Two more weeks of waiting in the splint before the final decision is made. Thank you for all of your prayers.

Sarah is home. Jeff and Matthew picked her up before the doctor's appointment. She was happy to be with Matthew at his appt and see the x-ray. I got home from work at 6pm and then we all went to Big Boy for dinner. We got home with full tummies and Matthew is playing computer games, Sarah went to a friends house to watch movies and Brandon is home and over singing with Mary. The kids are happy...that makes me happy. I have 2 pumpkin pies in the oven while I blog this message. The dishwasher is cleaning the dishes and the washing machine the towels.

Our kitchen has new windows! They look really nice too. I am going to paint the trim in the kitchen with fresh white paint. I'd really like to pull the paper off the wall, but then I am in for a huge project. Not a good time of year for big projects. Speaking of projects, I made Matthew a soft pillow to elevate his arm on. He likes it and I think it turned out nicely. T-shirts make nice soft pillows!

Tomorrow our friends Randy and Norma are coming for dinner. We are having turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls of course, sweet potato casserole, salad and pumpkin pie! Mmm. I am sure we will find some fun things to do before we finish off the leftovers later! Hahaha! There is a threat of rain/snow mix the next 24 hours. Will we have a white winter? Time will tell.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Gracie et All

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Good Weekend

Matthew is feeling better and adjusting to using one arm. He finally let me take his picture with his splint on. He goes to the Ortho doctor on Wednesday for xrays and the determination of therapy...maintain the splint, cast or surgery.

The Men's Glee Club 150th Anniversary Concert was terrific. Brandon looked so nice and he did great on his first concert. I was so glad that Mary, Matthew and I were able to be at the concert. The auditorium is gorgeous. We had some really good seats. I really enjoyed all of the songs, watching the choir file on and off stage and the pianist was awesome. It was truly an amazing night. We had a lot of fun spending time with Brandon's family on campus. I can't wait for the next concert! More pictures on our photo album!

Church and Sunday School went well. I enjoyed teaching the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den. I played for church and think I did a pretty good job. I am never without mistakes but everyone sang really well. My brass players did a great job too. We should add our flute and strings after Thanksgiving. Jeff's sermon was very good.

This afternoon we got the laundry started, took a nap, Jeff got the Christmas lights up with Mary's help, before the cold weather hits this week. We won't turn them on until after Thanksgiving. I have been good not turning on the Christmas tree too. Greenville had the community wide Thanksgiving service. It was very nice and Jeff and I got to worship together! WOW! From there we went over to bowing and I had a great game..173! Jeff bowled really well all night in the 170's all three games and yes he did beat my game of 173, but that is fine with me. Our team took 3 points tonight. We should have had al four but my last game was 97 and we ended up losing that game by just a few pins. I should have done better.

Now we are home and need to get showered and ready for bed. Work tomorrow at 0500 for 12 hours. Then kids choir and chimes. I will be really exhausted by bedtime tomorrow. That is all.

Gracie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday is Here!

Matthew went to school today and did fine. It was just a half day today. I worked a half day too. Then Jeff and I went to parent/teacher meetings. Both Mary and Matthew are doing great! Matthew was worried about PE, but not to worry. His grade won't suffer because of his injury. We met some parents that heard of Matt's accident and I guess there were several kids ready to take out the "tackler". we are hearing more and more that lots of kids get hurt in this game. Hmmm. All the teachers were complimentaryof both Mary and Matthew.


After conferences, our whole family (- Sarah)went to dinner at El Rancho. It was pretty good and then Mary wanted to buy a camera so she could take pictures the rest of the year and more importantly of tomorrow's concert at the Hill Auditorium (acoustically perfect) and her friend Brandon dressed in his tuxedo. Her new Canon camera is nice but very tiny. Sarah is going to stay at college, and now Matthew will be going to the concert with us.


Now Matthew is sleeping after some pain pills, Mary is making a little tote for her camera on the sewing machine, Jeff is at work and I am of course blogging. I will need to work on my sunday school lesssons and music. I play for church sunday too. I will probably watch some TV and just rest too. We'd like to watch our next Netflix movie, Star Trek, when Jeff gets home.


That is all for now!



Grace

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Good Night for Mary

Mary received acceptance to the University of Michigan today! Hurray! She has been waiting for that email for several weeks now. Mary is on Cloud 9! We are happy for her too.

Matthew is doing ok. Has little tingling in his 4th and 5th fingers. Talked to Doctor on call and reassured me that it is probably due to some more swelling and to make sure it is kept elevated. Reviewed reasons to call doctors this weekend.


That is all.. Hail to the Victors!


Grace

A Bad Day for Matthew

While I was at work yesterday, I got a text message from Jeff telling me that he was at the ER with Matthew. Evidently during a game of air force football at P.E., he got pushed down and fell on an outstretched arm.

The rest of the afternoon for Matthew and Dad were getting pain meds, reducing the fracture at our local hospital, only to find out that it was not successful. So the drove down to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids and were preparing for the next reduction when Mary and I arrived around 6:15pm. This time they had him under some pretty strong sedation and reduced the fracture again under flouroscope. The senior resident, Dr Tanner, felt as though the reduction went well, but that it was pretty unstable and that he would most likely require surgical repair. All the doctors and nurses were very nice. We had a choice to stay and have the surgery today or wait until Tuesday as an outpatient. We thought we should just stay put and have it fixed and taken care of. Plus Matthew was really zonked out from the sedation. I didn't really want to take Matthew home like that. He rested pretty well last night getting pain meds twice. Early around 0500 another resident, Dr. Bradley, came to let us know that all the doctors would be looking at his xray and then coming up with a plan. The attending, Dr Gelbke, came around o700 and explained that the reduction was very good from last night. That left us with 2 options: Go ahead with the surgery, noting risks of anesthesia, nerve damage and bleeding. OR Watch the fracture "like a hawk" and see if there would be any shifting of the little fragment that caused some numbness in his fingers prior to the reduction. What a decision to make so early without Jeff too! So the doctor, Matthew and I decided to wait and watch, as even if there was some shifting it wouldn't effect a surgical repair a week later. So we are back home and he is doing pretty well. He has a splint on and is keeping it elevated nicely. Needs to take pain meds regularly and he does sleep a lot.

Because of this "mishap", Matthew missed his PLAN test, a Village Green performance and opening night of the play (he is part of the stage crew). We aren't sure if he will be able to help out at any of the 3 shows. Most importantly, we need him to rest and protect that arm so the bone pieces don't shift and he dodge the surgery all together.

I work for 4 hours tomorrow and then parent teacher conference. Mary is going to pick up Sarah on Saturday morning so she can attend the Glee concert with us. Jeff wants to Christmas lights up this weekend before the cold wet weather gets here for Thanksgiving.

Better get going,

Gracie

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ugh!

Jeff had to take down the unfinished mailbox and take it back to Lowe's. It wasn't a good product at all. We were very unhappy with it. Too bad...We will have to find another one.

Surprise!

Mary and Matthew told us that they had a BIG surprise for us when we got home after bowling. We usually go out to eat afterward and the kids will meet up with Randy, Norma and ourselves. Last night we ate at the Reopened Big Boy! It was ok, as usual, and we had a nice time visiting. When we got home the Christmas Tree and some decorations were up! That was a surprise. They did a great job. I finished up some things this morning after I got home from work. It will be hard not to turn on the lights, but we decided we will wait until Thanksgiving for that. There are a few Chrsitmas things that didn't make it upstairs yet, but we have plenty of time to get it up and done. Jeff wants to put up the outside lights soon too, before it gets too cold. As for now, he is putting up a new mailbox. We really needed a larger one, even the postman asked about getting one for all the mail we receive. It has taken longer than expected because the directions might have well been written in Italian. Couldn't say Greek, Jeff can read that!

We have the home improvement bug (plus tax credits for energy saving upgrades). This Friday we are having some electrical wiring done is Sarah's room which will include a ceiling fan with a light! Woohoo! Then with in the next few weeks we will have our kitchen and backdoor area window areas replaced. I won't need to roll up kitchen towels for the drafts anymore! I will be painting the trim in the kitchen before the windows go in. Next year we would like to repaint/wallpaper the kitchen and put up some drapes in Sarah' s room. So many things I'd like to do, especially redo the dining room. Strip the paint off the wood and change the ugly wallpaper...Patience!

Our weekend was good. I think we got a lot done. Hard to remember now that the new week has started. Matthew had to work at the school play rehearsal both Sat and Sunday, not the way he'd really like to spend his weekend. Church went well as did the Friday movie event. The chime team played well and the choir sang very nice too. I have been working hard at music lately. I am playing for this Sunday's service, the Sunday School Christmas program and we have a pretty hard Orchestra song for Christmas. I have also been planning a few special music ideas as well. The laundry got done and I finished Sarah's pillow. It turned out fine. I think she will like it. Mary is sleeping on it right now.

I work the next two days for 12 hours and again on Friday for just 4 hours. That is ok, though as I bake for quilters this week and need to start that painting. Now it is time for me to go pick up some pizza for dinner. Have a great evening.

Grace

PS..Thanks for your prayers for Andrew. He continues to have good progress.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quilt Top Almost Done!

I had a good morning at work, got some work done around the house and enjoyed time with Mary at her lunch time. She has been coming home for lunch each day. Sent Sarah a care package and then off to quilting. We had a nice chicken lunch and then I got to work! I have 2 of the 3 borders on the quilt top today. Next week I will put the last border on, and decide if I will tackle some cornerstone blocks in the corners. I want to, but I need lots of help. My quilting buddies are always there to help me through.Thanks guys. The name of the quilt design is around the world. Perhaps you can see that in the center is a moose square and then white circle around then green around then moose....etc...
Tonight we had hot dogs for dinner and then we watched the movie "Valkyrie" with Tom Cruise. It is about a coup attempt on Hitler and his regime. I think it is a very good movie. Time to send that one back and wait for the next movie on our list at Netflix.

Sammy hasn't felt too good today. His stomach is making all kinds of noises. No orchestra tonight, but I did work on some songs at home and have a few ideas for special music during the holidays. No work tomorrow, so I can work on laundry, sewing project and music. Then tomorrow night our church is hosting the movie "Expelled" for the community. I saw a clip and I am anxious to see it. Please pray for Sarah's friend, Bev. Her dad died earlier this week. :(

That is all for now...

Grace

A Bright Shiny Day

The weather is chilly with a beautiful blue sky. It is a lovely day...although I did have to scrape frost off my car the past few mornings. I need to start building more time into my morning routine to include warming up the car.

Before I go off to quilting, I thought I should share some good news with you. Mary received her latest ACT scores and got a 30 (that is up 2 points from the last time)! Yay! Now we are just waiting for her acceptance to University of Michigan. Central Michigan has already accepted her and University of Oklahoma should be sending their decision as well. I still don't know why anyone wouldn't want such an exceptional student!


Jeff wore his Class A uniform to the Veterans Day service yesterday to Concordia University Ann Arbor. He looked so good in his uniform. I told him that I miss seeing him in uniform. He got a free meal at Applebee's yesterday. Mary volunteered at Pizza Hut yesterday at a sponsored fundraising event for the Senior Mystery Trip. While I am glad to support the cause, the pizza wasn't that good. I should have skipped pizza hut and ate with Jeff at applebees. I went along with him after choir, but just had a drink and shared a appetizer with Matthew.

Guess that is all the news for now...Have a great Donnerstag!

Grace

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Martin Luther!

My brain has been on overload lately. I think about too much for too long, even about things that I have no control of. You know what comes next right??? Worry and concern. Jobs, school activities, music, chores, health the list goes on. Each day I do remind myself that I should "cast all my cares on Him for He cares for me". Reading Andrew Polzin's caring Bridge journal also helps keep my grounded as I need to have faith and trust in God. They are sure going through more than I am right now! Praise God for all of my blessings.

Nykerk was fun, but the class of 2012 didn't win..Their play was awesome! I wanted to get Sarah's care package together to deliver, but ran out of time. The pillow I was making for her isn't turning out right and I ran out of stuffing. Matthew was "missing" for a while until he called from his friends house. He thought he told us about it, we don't remember..Wolverines lost.

Do I sound like Charlie Brown or Eeyore or what??? How about Gators win! We had a fun time with Sarah! Mary had a great time at the Big House and Ann Arbor with Brandon. GO Gators! They won! Whew! That is better... Bowling was ok, we split the points. I bowled all three games over 100! Kids choir and chimes went well last night and the chimes will play "Fairest Lord Jesus".

Still looking for new opportunities to further my career. Had my glasses fixed and they feel a lot better. The frames got bent up pretty bad. Mary still waits to hear from U of M. Need to go shopping, put laundry away, work on some music and sleep. Back to work tomorrow by 0500!

Trying to keep my smile!

Grace

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Michigan

It is going to be a very nice Michigan fall day. Blue sky, a breeze and temps in the 60's! How nice for this nice weather to fall on the weekend! A great day for football in the Big House~Go Blue! Mary is Ann Arbor to attend the game with Brandon and his family. She has her nice blanket she made, with grandma's help, eventhough she probably won't get too cold there today. I know that she will have a great time, even better if they win! Matthew is out with the Village Green collecting pop cans for a fundraiser. Jeff is going out for a run before we both have lunch with Thrivent at the Winter Inn. I love their burgers and steak fries!

This afternoon we are going to Holland for the Nykerk Cup. We will meet Sarah for dinner and deliver a few needed snacks and a small personal project we are doing for her. I still have laundry to fold and a sunday school lesson to prepare. This week's story: Hezekiah Prays. I don't even remember Hezekiah!

Thanks for all your prayers for our friend Andrew. He is making some progress and even opened his eyes for his mom. Guess he is still on pain meds and some sedation meds. If you'd like to read an update, here is the link: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/polzin/journal.

I continue to job search. Seems no matter where I apply, I get the same response, "You weren't selected", not even for a phone call. As much as I love my patient, I need a change and a challenge. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Need to run in order to accomplish today's events. Go Blue against Purdue. I guess if they can win today they go to a bowl game! I'd be remiss if I didn't say GO GATORS!

Grace グレース・ウィルヘルム

Thanks to Justin Zachow for typing my name in Japanese. I don't have the Japanese word processor. I love it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Before the Weekend

Wednesday was a good but long day. I worked for 12 hours with a very energetic little girl and then came home and ate frozen pizza made by Mary and then off to choir for a couple hours. Had to watch the last baseball game of 2009 as the New York Yankees won over the Phillies. Next year, watch out for those Tigers!

I had a good report from the foot doctor this morning and won't be needing a cortisone shot. If my feet plateau with moderate heel pain or if they get worse then a shot will be needed. I sure do not want that! I finished the main portion of my moose quilt today and will start bordering next week. Lunch was very good chicken and rice and then I picked up Mary from school so she could tutor this afternoon. She had a hair cut before she went of to Spanish class at the Community College in our newly repaired van. All the dial are correct and we even have new keys! I sure hope this fixes things "permanently".

Thanks to those praying for our friend Andrew. He made some awesome progress today as they art starting to bring him out of sedation. Andrew followed commands like "wiggle your toes", "squeeze my hand" and my personal favorite "smile". Praise the Lord. Please keep praying for Andrew and his family as the road is still a very long one.

Tomorrow I work for 8 hours then I hope we can watch our Netflix movie. Matt wants to go to a zombie hunt game. Saturday Mary goes to the "Big House"in Ann Arbor to watch Michigan play Purdue. Matt has a pop can drive. Jeff and I are going to a Thrivent Lunch and then off to Hope College for the Nykerk Cup. The freshman class competes against the sophomore class (Go 2012!) in song theater and oration. Evidently it is quite the event and Sarah's roommate is part of the competition. Sunday is Preschool Sunday and the Praise Team will be leading the songs.

Well, eventhough I don't need to be to work until 8am, I had better sign off.

Grace

PS - Picture is from the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Came~They Stayed...

Can you guess??? Jeff and I heard bats early this morning from their favorite spot, the space between our ceiling and the floor of the attic! Somehow they got it, and remembered how much they liked our house. Seems like this is going to keep happening...I guess I should just name them and call them pets..hahaha!

The kids had the day off from school and we had a nice time together in the afternoon. I had to work in the morning and get my teeth cleaned. Matt worked at the theater in the scene shop. By two we were on the road to Kalamazoo to see the Air Zoo. General admission is free till the end of the year and we wanted to see what it was like. Well, it is great! Mary and Matt rode in the simulators and we all watched a 4-D movie and rode a corny space shuttle ride the the space station. I really liked all of the different planes to see and got pictures of Mary and Matthew in some cockpits. There were pictures of people I recognized from history or movies about true stories (i.e. The Right Stuff and Gen Doolittle from the Pearl Harbor movie). The pinnacle seemed to be the spacewalk experience. You get strapped in and you walk around the circle. Only once you get to a certain point you don't walk, you flip over! Evidently the astronauts use this to learn to walk in space. I prefer to walk on land! Still it was A LOT OF FUN! Enojy the pictures and video. LOL!

video

We stopped at Bennigan's for dinner and had lots of food. Mary had pot roast, Jeff had a new kind of burger, Matthew had chicken strips and I had fajitas! If that wasn't enough we stopped at Rosie's too for ice cream! They were delicious. At home we watched the World Series and then off to bed.

Today has been a good day too. The sun is out, I got a nice hair cut, made lunch for Mary and had lunch with my golf friends. I am getting a lot of the things accomplished today that was on my list. I need still need to cook dinner, shop for a few things and maybe start the laundry.

Please pray for Andrew Polzin, the son of our pastor when we lived in Georgia. He was in a car accident and sustained a severe head injury. They all need our prayers. Thanks! I have been keeping up on http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/polzin and I am amazed at their strong faith and witness at such a difficult time. Their journal entries are truly inspiring! They are ministering to me as they go through a place I hope never to walk. God Bless them!

Tomorrow I work 12 hours, then choir and praise team. It promises to be a busy day.

Just in: Our vans dials are all screwy again, even the speedometer, and will be in need of repair immediately! Darn!

Gracie

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November

Sunday morning church went well and the kids sang Awesome God wonderfully! The Jonah story went well, and sunday school christmas program practice #1 was productive. I am in charge of music this year. Afternoon was nap time and chill time for all of us. Bowling was good for me. I bowled a 169! Our team lost 3 points last night. Jeff bowled well both at the tournament and last night. Both of our averages went up! Mary is home safe and sound from Ann Arbor. She goes back on Saturday for a Michigan Football game at the Big House! That will be exciting!

I worked this morning and then had a dentist appointment. Mary is working on Spanish as there is no school today. Matthew is working at the scene shop at school. We might go to the Air Zoo this afternoon in Kalamazoo. Just depends. I do have choir/chimes tonight. Lots going on, will keep up abreast of all of the activities. Have a great day!!

Grace