Sunday, December 9, 2012

Update on Our Kids

Sarah continues to excel at University of  Toledo.  She is on target with her thesis and has one week left of classes.  Unfortunately she can't come home until the 21st because she has basketball games to work at her high school.  She loves what she does and the staff, coaches and kids love her!

 Mary passed her MTTC basic skills test. For all of us non-teachers it stands for Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification. She will be student teaching this coming semester. Time flies! I am so excited for her! She has one final on Tuesday and has a shift at the pizza house on Wednesday evening.  Mary will be home on Thursday! Brandon has been accepted to Georgetown and George Washington law schools.  Waiting to her from Harvard. 

Matthew finishes up his first semester this week and will be home on Saturday and will be home for nearly a month!  I don't hear too much about school, but I guess that might be a good thing.  Another good thing is that his leg/ankle wasn't broken! It was just a bad sprain/strain.  Thank the Lord.  No news on his bike.  Boy, that still makes me mad!

I enjoy seeing the white snow on the ground and look forward to seeing our Christmas Tree up soon!  Not sure how much decorating will get done this year.

Until Next Time~

Grace

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thank you to all who serve and have served in our nation's military and protecting our Freedom!  Special thanks to Bob Scherer, Dan and Lori Brown, Mitch Oliver and my veteran Jeff!  

Jeff and I had a very nice evening in Ann Arbor last night.  We attended Mary's U of M Women's Glee Club Concert.  It was wonderful! Mary looked beautiful and getting lots of her hugs made me so happy.   It was nice to see Brandon and the Cory's too.  More hugs! 

Mary recently completed a project in her English ambiguity class.  It is pretty complicated to this old nurse.  I am just amazed at what she can do!  Have a look at the project: Mary's Garden Path. Brandon has received his acceptance to Michigan's Law School! He is very excited.  Guess the Dean of the Law School handed him the letter in person!  Wow!  He is going to have a very hard decision this winter.

Sarah has turned in a rough draft of two chapters of her thesis about predicting ankle injuries in high school athletes.  Basketball season at the high school has begun for boys and girls, so she is back to afternoon practices.  She loves her work at the high school. The kids love her too.  It's obvious she chose the right profession.  I just talked to her and she is working on a special mission for a special person! 

Matthew is working hard at classes.  Performed a monologue for a class and felt he did a great job.  No news about the bike yet.  Guess there were some tornado sirens yesterday, but no tornadoes, thank goodness.  I sure miss him, but am so happy he is at such a great school. 

That is about it.  Until next time~

Gracie

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Family Update

My last post was October 16th, the day of my bone marrow biopsy.  Three days later I would learn I had Multiple Myeloma with Plasma Cell Leukemia, requiring immediate inpatient treatment.  Today I am home and recovering and preparing for Round 2.  I will be using caring bridge to update my medical status, but will try to update family life here as necessary.

Jeff is doing a wonderful job taking care of me, the house and church.  Flushes my central line like a pro and keeps track of all my medicines. 

Sarah checks in on me throughout the week and had begun writing her thesis.  Chapter One: Introduction.  Hoping it is going well for her. 

Mary is home. She has baked cookies, started the laundry and is cooking dinner!  We all enjoyed a pizza dinner last night.  She will need to leave after lunch tomorrow. Mary will be singing with the UM Women's Glee Club Concert next weekend.  I hope to be able to attend.  Dr Brinker doesn't want me to miss it.  I need to stay healthy!

Brandon was interviewed by Georgetown Law School with all but an official acceptance. Sounds like an awesome place of opportunities.  He has been accepted to UCLA, but I told him that is too far away..LOL.  

Matthew is doing well at OU.  He ran his first 5K today in less than 30 minutes! Woohoo! Last night he rain in some sort of zombie survival run. Came out with torn jeans...Guess he had fun.  He's looking good for now...Matthew is participating in No Shave November.   We will see how he looks by Thanksgiving... Mountain Man Matt?  He makes me smile.....always.

Sammy did fine at the kennel for nearly a week. Looks nice after getting groomed. It is obvious he is glad to be home.  Just like me....




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jeff and Grace at the Pastors' Conference

Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island

Friday, October 5, 2012

An Anniversary, Tigers Win, Family Update

Yesterday was the anniversary of our engagement.   It's amazing that I still remember that 28 years later. My first dinner at the Officer's Club, being speechless when he proposed and hearing the waitress coach me "say yes, lady, say YES!"  Then the people dining  around us cheered and the waitress brought us a bottle of champagne "on the house" to celebrate!  We then hurried off to get my ring sized, but I couldn't part with it, so I wore it home instead.  Evidently our families knew what was happening that weekend, and were waiting for the announcement.  Stevie Wonder's song "I Just Called to Say I Love You" came on the radio and will  be a special memory each time I hear it until I die. We set a date for our wedding quickly, April 13th.  It would be spring break so family would be able to come!  I didn't want to get married in the summer down in South Florida...it is just too hot! I didn't want to be grumpy on my wedding day.


The leaves have turned color early this year. We are going to Mackinac Island next week and hope that the leaves are still on the trees and that we can enjoy their beauty.  The temperatures have also gotten cooler.  The highs are in the 50's.  Still waiting for the first hard frost.   I am happy for the cooler weather.



How about those Tigers!  Back to back AL Central Division Champions!  Miguel Cabrera wins the triple crown for the first time since 1967! That is the highest batting average, most home runs and runs batted in for the season.  Now they have to keep playing stellar baseball to be the American League Champions.

It is obvious that I am having trouble blogging more frequently.  I am very sorry.  So, for this entry I will update our lives, person by person.

Jeff:
  • Ran in a 5K Mercy Run and came in first in his age group.
  • Continues to be the chaplain for our local Habitat for Humanity
  • Helped our 3 kids move in to their college homes and assisted with furniture moves and assembly.  
  • Busy with church activities especially since we have two services now.
  • Given three weather presentations about weather and the military, hurricanes and tornadoes. I was able to attend the presentation to the American Meteorology Society.  Nice!
  • Taking me to Mackinac Island this week, while attending a pastor's conference.
  • Taking good care of the grass.  We had is aerated and seeded.  Lots of watering!
Grace
  • Still working at Metro Health.  Love my job and the people I work with.
  • Directing a new year of Sunday  School, Children's Church and Orchestra.
  • Still adjusting to the empty nest situation.  Less laundry and cooking which is nice, but I sure miss my babies.  I still get very sad and can't wait until I get to see them even if it is one at a time.  A hug is a gift!  In the meantime, texting,phone calls and skypeing keep us connected.
  • Have had lots of doctor appointments and blood draws lately. Guess I have some anemia and larger proteins floating around causing a little concern.  Seeing a hematologist now to figure out what to do about it.  Will keep you updated.
Sarah
  • Celebrated her 23rd birthday.  We sent flowers (a surprise) and a box of gifts.  
  • The coaches love having her as an athletic trainer. They love the way she communicates with them.  She has had lots of experiences already and handled them well with professionalism.
  •  Sarah has been home a few times since her move to Toledo.  
  •  I know that she is happy the Tigers are in the playoffs again.
Mary
  • She is back to being busy at the University of Michigan.  5 English classes, Secretary of the Women's Glee Club, K-Grams, working at the Deutsche Schule in Ann Arbor and was recently hired as a waitress at the Pizza House just a few blocks away from her house.
  • The house buddies are doing fine, taking turns cooking and keeping up with MOST of the chores.  Guess they still need to work on dishwashing. She has begun looking for a place to live next year already.  Places get filled up quick in a college town.  Most people make arrangements for housing about this time of year for the following year.  I think it is crazy, but I guess necessary.
  • Got some really great news yesterday.  Brandon has been accepted to Law School at the College of William and Mary, Thomas Jefferson's school!  Williamsburg, VA is a nice area too.  Of course he is waiting to hear from more schools in the coming months. 
  • Brandon and Mary are planning to come home next weekend for the fall break.  Yay!  Wish I didn't have to work that weekend. Guess they are working too.
Matthew
  • Is loving the University of Oklahoma.  He has posted some great pictures too.  Take a look at his facebook!  We are now Sooner Parents and very proud.
  •  He has been involved with all of this season's productions and has had lots of work on the set for the opera. I sure wish we could go and see it!
  • We skyped with Matt and it was so nice to see him! Can't wait for a hug from him at  Christmas.  He has an airplane ticket for mid December.  Yay!
  • Please continue to pray for his buddy Mitch who is deployed in Afghanistan.
Closing Thoughts
  • I am getting sick and tired of politics.   It amazes me how "blind" people are to the truth. Thinking of coming up with top 10 things I want people to know along with a question that gets them think!  
  • Need to get up off the couch and do laundry, quicken and grocery shopping
That's all for now....have a great weekend.

Gracie




                                                                              

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exhausting

You know what is exhausting? Life.  Too much change and too many good byes to the special people in my life in a short amount of time. That's where I was yesterday.

  • I was missing my kids, sitting in church alone. So I decided to sit with my buddies the Clarks. It was nice having Jack there keeping my company. Still, I missed Sarah, Mary and Matthew. Almost became reminiscent of when they were young sitting in church with me. Now they are off  starting a "new" life.  So proud of them, but miss them so much. My eyes got teary.
  • Guess what yesterday was?  Farewell to the Clarks!  They are moving to the Lansing area which is a really good thing for them as a family.  What that means for me is that Jack won't be coming to play with me anymore, no more softball with them, no more VBS fun and there goes another family that means so much to me.  More tears..A video tribute plays...more tears.
  • This was all happening knowing that Matthew's best friend, Mitch, is deploying to Afghanistan. We have known that for a long time, but reality hits and more tears.  He is a wonderful young Christian man.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Matthew could use them too, as he is very concerned about his buddy.
  •  Had some time to relax before playing for chapel at long term care. Came home to a bunch of doggy accidents that is very abnormal for Sammy.  He seems better today.
Didn't sleep too  well last night or this afternoon. It was a blessing that I was cancelled at work. Don't know if I will sleep too well tonight though, because sub-conciously I will be listening for the phone.  I hope it doesn't ring.  Jeff and I did enjoy some time at the club and then ate grilled hot dogs in hawaiian hot dog buns.  They are delicious!  Tigers lost, I didn't cry, but I am quite frustrated with the Tigers these days.  Hope they can pull it together and at least earn a wild card spot in the post season.

Tomorrow, I will start on my new and updated "things to do list" before an afternoon nap. I will work tomorrow.  On Call on Wednesday.  I do get one more Jack day on Friday! :)

Thanks for listening! Know that I doing ok today.


Gracie

Thursday, September 6, 2012

UMWGC in South Africa- The Yellow and Blue



See the whole article at UMich LSA.  Mary is quoted a few times! Be sure to click on the LSA in the upper left corner and see the home page.  Nice picture there!

I Corinthians 15


52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Frustrations, Frustrations!

Today has had it's frustrations.
  • My back still hurts, couldn't see the doctor.  Called to let his nurse know.  No response.
  • Getting ready for Rally Day.  Lots of clean up and throw away needed.  
  • Laundry in waiting. Won't do it in the dark, afraid the bats might come out.
  • Watching the DNC..wow they are really nasty.  No voice for the unborn and the far right hates the democrats. These guys are nutso.   The thought of John Kerry as the next Sec of State is scary.
  • Stop blaming Bush...I am sick of it.
On a good note,
  • The kids are doing well at their schools
  • I got a nice haircut.
  • Shopping is done.
  • Errands are getting done, slowly but surely.

Looking forward to a nice Thursday. How about you??

Gracie

Monday, September 3, 2012

September is Here!

Well, I was finally able to access my own blog and decided it was about time that I updated it.  Thank you to all of those who read it, for being so patient over the past two weeks. Looks like the last time I blogged,  we were still in Oklahoma. Matthew didn't even move into his dorm yet.

OKLAHOMA HIGHLIGHTS
  • Matthew moved in to Walker Tower (Jeff lived there too, 30 years ago) with help from us and some nice young men from a fraternity.  It wasn't until later that we realized we could have rented a dolly!  We didn't have that much to haul so we moved everything in one load. Later he had everything put away the way he wanted, just as he always does.
  • We enjoyed a night playing some video games, eating pizza, driving go-karts and hitting balls in the batting cage before we stopped and bought Matthew a new Schwinn bike at Target on the way to campus to drop him off. He had Drama orientation in the morning.  Unfortunately, I got a call from Matthew reporting that his new bike broke after two blocks.  He walked to orientation and Jeff and I went to get the bike.  It was  unrepairable, so we returned it and got Matthew a nice, reliable bike to use on campus.  
  • Jeff and I drove to Dallas Friday afternoon and spent two days with his sister Kathy and family. We had fun watching Hannah play volleyball and eating barbeque dinner together. 
  • Sunday morning we drove back to Norman for church and then more time with Matthew.  We went to a few bookstores and helped him get his books and then had CiCi's pizza before heading back to Michigan.  
  • I was sad leaving Matt behind, but I know that he will do great at OU and especially bond with the people at the School of Drama.  Mr Orr, the director, recognized us at an eatery the night we arrived. Pretty impressive.
SURPRISE!
  • Jeff and I had a nice ride home Monday, stopping to see my Alma Mater, a Mexican Lunch and a little subway for dinner.  We also stopped in Holland to pick up a few things that Sarah left at the house she lived in during the summer.
  • It was about 11 pm when we rolled into our driveway.  Brandon's car was still there, and I was excited to see Mary and her best friend.  When we walked in, we had a bug surprise~they had torn down all the wallpaper off the kitchen walls and repainted it.  Our downstairs bathroom was done too!  They look great.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
  • A week later, the three of us drove to Detroit airport to pick up Brandon and Mary's friend Leonard. It was a surprise for Brandon who thought his friend wouldn't be moving back to Ann Arbor till later in the week. After a few delays, we made it back to Greenville with a plan to make it the best surprise possible.  Luckily, Brandon invited us to come over and see his China pictures so the plan worked well and we had a fun with the reveal.  Jim took all of us on a pontoon ride before we went home for rest.
  • Tuesday we had the Cory's over for a Korean meal, a tradition, before the move back to college.

  • Wednesday we headed out a little later than planned and arrived to Mary's new house around 2 pm.  She will be living with 5 friends, including Leonard and Brandon.  It is a big place and quite nice for it's age.  We had some lunch late, then did some needed shopping.  Jeff hung a shelf for Mary before we left around 6:30pm to go to Sarah's JV football game.  We saw the last few minutes of the game, and her office/clinic at the high school. It is pretty neat to see Sarah at work and the place where she spends her time.  Had dinner with Sarah and crashed at her apartment overnight.
  • Thursday we went back to Ann Arbor and helped Mary with more house stuff. We needed another shopping trip and more work on the shelf by Jeff to make it sturdy for Mary's clothes.  Things were shaping up nicely before we left and she has a real nice group of friends to live with this year. We got home by 10 pm and got ready to face another day. This time as empty nesters.


THIS WEEKEND
  • Sarah came home for three nights.  She was able to see her friends at Hope and here in Greenville.  I had to work Friday and Saturday night. Both nights went by quickly, but Sunday was very busy in the special care nursery.  Better than being bored, right?
  • Sunday we went to church and a birthday party.  It was pretty fun.  Sarah had been wanting a steak dinner for a while, so we drove to Grand Rapids to Outback for dinner. The bloomin onion was good and the salads came out, but then we waited for our steaks for a LONG time. The manager came and apologized and said she would take care of or whole meal! The steaks came out a few minutes later, and mine was cooked well done instead of medium. Sarah asked for medium rare and she had a steak that had a little bit of medium, a little bit of medium rare and maybe a little rare too. It was a disappointment.  Along with taking care of the bill, they gave us a voucher for the next visit.  We gave it to Sarah to take to Toledo, so she can take some friends for Steak next time she wants some. 
  • When we got home we finished watching the Tiger game with a win!  Today they weren't so lucky and lost by 1.  Oye! 
  • Sarah left just before lunch and headed back to Toledo. She had lunch with a best friend from Hope, now attending MSU Law School.  There was football practice this afternoon and no injuries.
  • College football this weekend went ok, I guess.  Gators won, Sooners won, but Michigan lost to Alabama.  They are a hard team to beat too!  Hoping the rest of their season goes better! Our family football contest is up and running, there is still time to join annd play.
LOOKING AHEAD
  • Working my third Friday in a row, but had 5 nights off in a row. Watching my favorite little people a couple days this week. 
  • Rally Day is next Sunday, so I will be working on getting ready for another year of Sunday School.
  • Regular chores, an oil change and a haircut are part of my week.
For now, I think I have everything covered.  Have a great night and Happy Birthday to Eric and Leslie whose birthdays came and went and I have yet to send their cards out!  They are coming!

Love You!

Gracie


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Boomer Sooner!

The last few weeks have been crazy and overwhelming!  I never want to do another garage sale as long as I live! So many hours looking through our stuff, set up and organizing, then sitting out in the hot weather waiting for customers.  We had a low turnout and ended up donating most of the stuff to goodwill in the end. Couldn't even sell TV's for 10 bucks!

In the meantime, we have done tons of laundry, helping Matt pack his stuff, the Olympics and working a 3 day weekend right before our trip with my emotions on a roller coaster of happy and sad. I have decided that I have more tears of happiness and excitement than sadness of empty nesting. Notice I said more, because I still have the sad ones too, memories of them being small and now they are grown up and I won't have them home every day after school.  I always loved when they came home from school.  I still do, I just have to wait months instead of hours.

After a long weekend of work and minimal sleep, Matt, Mary, Brandon, Jack, Jeff and I went to Craig's Cruisers, Matt's favorite, which happened to be his half birthday.  We had lots of fun eating pizza, playing games and driving the go-karts. When we got home, it was back to work finishing the laundry, packing making lists, cleaning and paying bills.

Tuesday morning came quick, again with minimal sleep, and we were packed up, said good bye to Mary and on the road by 0830 EDT.  We drove until 3:30 pm CDT, where we stopped in St. Louis.

First we did a little shopping at Union Station then headed to a Cardinals baseball game.  We had so much fun! Home Runs, Fireworks and even watching all the people was great entertainment! I think there was only one family of Diamondbacks (aka Dbacks) who brought posters, spelling D-b-a-c-k-s. For nine innings they "fouled" up the spelling and timing of using said posters. It was so funny.  Even the people next to me couldn't help but chuckle along at their crazy mistakes. The Cards won an got nine hits during the game,  which equals a Krispy Kreme donut special! Spent the night in Cahokia,IL resting up for another day's drive.

Which brings us to today.  We were back on the road by 10 and drove another 8 hours before arriving in Norman, OK.  We had a very nice dinner at the Interurban Restaurant, where we enjoyed fajitas and chips and salsa.  Braums is the place for ice cream, so we stopped there for dessert and then went to WalMart for the first time this trip.  The Comfort Suite Inn is our home away from home.  We stayed here back in March when Matthew had his interview.  It is a nice place.

Tomorrow? This is what is planned so far:
  • Meet with an academic advisor.
  • Get Matthew's OU ID card
  • Move in to his dorm
  • Shop for more needed items, including a bike! 
  • Buy books??? 
Supposed to be hot with rain in the afternoon. Maybe that will hold off till late afternoon.

Check my facebook for more frequent updates of our goings on, and the photo album has plenty of photos. Say a little prayer for me, my back has been hurting for the past several days. Ibuprofen has kept the edge off.  Hope I can be of some help moving tomorrow.

Better get some sleep!

Gracie

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Accomplishments

Things are getting done, and I feel a real sense of accomplishment.  Laundry is done, bills paid, quicken is at a manageable place, garage sale partially set up and ad in the paper and I haven't missed too much of the olympics.  I folded a ton of clothes for the sale this morning, mostly donations from Mary.  Still have to price everything! Thanks to being cancelled at work last night, I was able to get a few more things done.

For now, I need to go the store and also pick up my garage sale kit from the newspaper.  Then napping is necessary so I can work tonight and tomorrow night.  Time is going to fly!  Anxious to have Mary back from her trip.  She is a great organizer!  The Law School Tour blog is great, be sure to check it out and see all the nice pictures!  Sarah is doing well in Toledo and has begun work as an Certified Athletic Trainer. Woohoo!

Have a  nice day!

Grace

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Good Sunday Morning!

Well, I woke up before my alarm and couldn't go back to sleep, so I thought I get up and watch the olympics and get a head start on the day.  The next two weeks are going to be pure craziness!
  • Work Mon-Wed nights this week, then have a garage sale this weekend. We have found lots to sell, but set up and advertising needs to be squeezed in somewhere between sleep and the work schedules of the whole family. Mary won't be home from the Law School Tour until Thursday or Friday! 
  • The following week I am on call Sunday and work Monday and the whole weekend! We will need to get everything ready for Matthew to head to Oklahoma on Aug13 or 14th.  Move in day is August 16th.  That isn't too far away.  
Sarah's move to Toledo went pretty smoothly.  Everything was packed up well and with the help of Matthew and Sarah's friend, Jason, the loading of the truck went pretty quick. We were on the road just before lunch and arrived in Toledo just before 5 pm.


The apartment is very nice and they began to set up after we moved everything in without our extra men.  Of course a trip to wal-mart was necessary, esp since there is no lighting from the ceiling in the living room and bedrooms. Sarah found some shelves that included a lamp, so that worked out really well.  We spent the night and then spent Thursday helping wherever we could. Sarah took  us to the University of Toledo campus, where we met some very nice people.  It is a very nice campus indeed!


Sarah met with her "boss" while we were packing the truck Wednesday and received a lot of information. She still needs to meet with the Athletic Director from her high school, since he wasn't able to attend a meeting that day.  High School people usually have a month off during the summer.  Sarah worked yesterday at the college doing athlete physicals. I think she will be working this week as well.

Now that the Olympics have started, it is hard for me not to watch everything.  But then I remember the first few paragraphs of this entry and know that I need to get down to business.  I do have a lot of the laundry done, and I think I have a good handle on what we need to sell, but setting up is going to be hard.  Since all of us are working, we need to start early and work some each day on it.

I have been feeling a lot of stress and anxiety.  The empty nester reality is coming and it makes me sad, although I am very proud of my kids and am excited about their next endeavors!  So I am trying to stay positive and think of the happy instead of the sad.  Easier said than done!

So, let the craziness begin.  I will take one step at at time and prioritize what's important!

Say a little prayer for us during this month of transition.  Hope to write soon, but can make no promises right now..

Time for Church! 


Gracie
Lots of pictures in our online photo album!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Time Has Come

Sarah's first day of work is tomorrow.  It is also move-in day at her apartment.  Obviously, she can't be in two places at one time, so her family is going to step in and do the move for her.  We are picking up the truck this afternoon and will load up her own bed and a futon to take to Toledo tomorrow.  Then we will drive to Holland tomorrow to pick up the rest of her things and her room mates things too.  We hope to be in Toledo by late afternoon.  I will try to take some pictures and post them for you to see!

Mary left early this morning on her trip with Brandon and his dad.  They are heading to the Northeast US, visiting quite a few law schools.  Mary has set up a blog so you can read about their experiences and impressions.  Here is the link: Law School Tours 2012.

Work has been busy.  One good thing about a busy day is that time really flies!  I am working with Hailey on Friday and then 2 or 3 nights at the hospital next week.  We are also planning on having a garage sale next weekend with the proceeds going to the University of Oklahoma. We have found quite a few things that I think will sell pretty well. 

Glad to report that Jeff's mom is out of the hospital and rehab, back at Aunt Bobbie's house.  She is still wearing the boot on her foot but is now able to put full weight on it.  Things are moving in the right direction.

Will update as much as I can as time allows.  Have a great day!  Time for the Tigers baseball game, with two new Tigers.  Hope this was a good trade and that the Tiger's keep winning!

Gracie.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Loose Ends Tied Up

I feel it is necessary to tie up the loose ends from this weekend.
  1. After a security snafu at Dulles Airport resulting in Mary and another girl in the group missing their flight,  Mary arrived on a later flight around 2 pm.  Brandon was there to pick her up and bring her home.  She had gifts for all of us, lots of stories to tell and pictures to show.  Our traveler fell asleep before 10 pm tonight (4 am African time).  Hope she gets some good sleep .
  2. Sarah surprised us and came home around 3 pm and stayed for dinner before heading back to Holland. We ate JET's pizza and bread sticks together. It was yummy.Time is going by quickly now before her move to Toledo next week.
  3. Matthew hasn't had a fever all day, but his throat is still sore and has ulcers on his tonsils and throat with white drainage.  We will see how he feels in the morning to determine if he goes to work, and completes his testing for what we hope to be his last visit to the Oncologist on Tuesday.
  4. We received word from Jeff's brother Greg,and his Aunt and Uncle that Marlene is in the local Wisconsin hospital ICU for a blood clot in the lung.  She is receiving medicine to break up the clot and has thus far had promising results and resting. His mom had some surgery done on her foot about a month ago.  Jeff will be driving to Wisconsin tomorrow morning to help out with his dad, for several days this week. Please pray for healing and quick recovery.
I think that about does it...I am going upstairs now where it is nice and cool.  We're having another heat wave!

Gracie

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mary's Journey Home


Mary is on her way home.  She left Cape Town around 9 am our time and arrived in Johannesburg two hours later.  Now she is over the Atlantic Ocean heading towards Senegal where they will refuel before flying across the ocean to Washington DC.  Checked the weather in DC and there are chances of thunderstorms, so we shall see what happens in the morning. If all goes as planned, they will change planes in DC and arrive in Detroit at 0940.  Just after our first church service starts.  Guess who is playing the clavinova?  Me!  I tried to find a substitute, but had no luck.  Brandon was more than willing to go early in the AM to pick Mary up and bring her home!  Yay!  Hope to have lunch together when they arrive. It will be nice to have her home!

Matthew is still feeling pretty sick.  His throat is very sore and has some swelling esp on the right side.  Been on antibiotics for 24 hours.  Sure hope is feeling better soon.  Will have to make a call to the doc on Monday if he isn't better.  On a good note, Matthew did get his OU dorm room assignment in Walker Tower (like his dad) and will share a room with Michael Nunez.  That is all I know.  He barely feels good enough to check email.  Doesn't even "play" with his new iPhone much.

Sarah's report to work day happens to be right on her move-in day in her new apartment.  After lots of frustration, I think we have the basic logistics in place.  We will rent the truck and load her stuff from home on Tuesday night, while she drives to Toledo.  Then Wednesday we will head to Holland, pack up her stuff and then her new roommate's stuff too.  We hope to arrive in Toledo Wednesday afternoon.  For this to work, organization of household goods of both Sarah and Lauren is key.

Well, I need to go check the dryer soon, practice the piano some more and do some shopping.  Need to be home by nine.  Brandon will be driving our car to pick Mary up.  Sure wish I could ride along.  Oh well, all is well for now.  I will see her tomorrow, Lord willing.  Pray for everyone's safety over the next week and a half.

I will update travel reports as needed.

Gracie

Friday, July 13, 2012

Plans Can Change at the Drop of a Hat

Today started out pretty regular. Matt and Jeff went to work and Jack came over to stay with me for the day. We start the day off with reading Brown  Bear Brown Bear and a round of listening to "the Victors".  He is singing along with Mousercise and is beginning to follow the exercise directions.  Then Matthew came home sick and fell asleep on the couch and little Jack in his crib.  Within a few hours,  Matt woke up with a fever of 101.3. Darn.  Not  too long after, Sarah called and said that her boss wants her to be at work at 0900 on July 25th.  That was supposed to be move-in day at her new apartment. So, we had some changes in plans:

  1. Matthew and I didn't play church softball tonight. Good thing I had the line up and positions ready and Jeff was willing to step in for me.  Everything worked out and MCLC wins again! I did laundry instead. 
  2. Sarah has more logistical planning for her move.  I don't blame her that she is upset that her boss gave her less than 2 weeks notice about her expected arrival date. I did some research on moving trucks and a few ideas that could make the move work.
I had a few interesting busy nights at work.  That certainly makes the night go by faster, but I don't like to sit and chart everything.  I am going to have to find a way to keep up with that better. Sometimes it is unavoidable.

I didn't hear from Mary today, but I always feel like no news is good news unless I missed a planned communication. So tonight I will have to fill in what's been going on in South Africa.  Thursday's events included:
  • Cable Car ride to the top of Table Mountain.  With good weather, you can see Cape Town and it's surrounding suburbs.
  • Lunch on their own.
  • Choral Cultural Exchange with a school
  • Concert at the JL Zwane Center. Singing with several other groups from around the world, including Australia!
  • Stay at the Holiday Inn Cape Town.
The girls are probably getting up right now for Friday's activities.  It is 7 am there and breakfast is at 8 am and a trip to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. There is a workshop at 4 pm and the final concert after dinner (lunchtime for us).   The Ihlombe Festival Farewell Reception follows and the girls will be traveling by noon Saturday (6am for us).

I will be watching the flights closely Saturday and Sunday, since I need to drive to Detroit to pick her up by 10 am.  Church in the car!


Exciting times ahead..wonder what kind of logistical changes will take place?  I will keep you posted.

Gracie

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Look What I Have!

UM Women's Glee Club Travel Blog

I Skyped with Mary this afternoon and she gave me this address to their travel blog!  It's nice.  Wanted to share with you now.  I will be writing a new entry tonight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Now in Capetown!

U of M Women's Glee Club moved on to Capetown today.  They should have arrived already and hopefully, everyone has their luggage!  According to the itinerary, they will be attending and participating in the Singing Dinner event with all the participants at the festival.   Mary made a friend from New Zealand whose name happens to be Mary.   Glad to hear they are making friends from around the world! Mary also wrote that the animals at the safari hotel were making lound noises and wondered how she would get to sleep. Can't wait to hear all about it in person and see her pictures.

I had a nice night at work and need to sleep for another shift tonight.  Matthew is working, Jeff is working and Sarah will have to leave later today for Holland.  Trying to get other things done in the meantime. 

For Now,  Goodnight!


Gracie

Monday, July 9, 2012

Luggage Arrives!

Mary sent a message today letting us know that most of the luggage arrived (12 of 15).  Unfortunately the director's suitcase wasn't one of them.  Mary said she was going to take her shopping.  She is still working on all of the troubles during the festival.  That is all I know for now.  Don't even know if Mary's bag showed up.   Today is safari day.  Going for a two hour ride to see the animals and then relax at the resort.  Sounds nice to me.  If anyone is wondering they are six hours ahead of us and the season is winter.  Temps are in the 60's.

I am trying to get some things done before I nap and go to work.  This is my Monday and Tuesday work week.  Then I am off until the next week.  So far I think I am on track.

Sarah came home last night and we all went to see the Amazing Spiderman movie.  I liked it very much. Of course, they left it open for a sequel.

Better get working.

Gracie

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tale of Travel & Cooler Weather

The fireworks on the 4th of July were very nice, but just being with the family makes it better.  We were also experiencing a heat wave of near to above 100 degree temperatures. We got home and watched some TV, lit some sparklers waiting for Mary to come home from Brandon's.  She was invited to watch fireworks from the Cory's pontoon. Spent an hour or so talking before heading to bed. Mary's big trip started on Thursday.

As planned Jeff Mary and I left for the Detroit airport before 8 am so that Mary would not be late. She organized this event and needed to be there on time.  We made good time and had a little breakfast at a Tim Horton's (a first for us).  It was good, nothing fancy.  Greenville has one being built here near Wal-Mart.  The check-in went pretty smoothly and we took some group pictures, gave Mary a hug and waved to her as she left the security area.  Jeff and I got acquainted with the parents of another singer and we prayed together for before we departed.  It was after lunch with Jeff that we started getting texts about flight problems:



  • Their plane that was to take them to Wash DC was grounded in Ft Wayne and they would be missing their connection in DC.  Directed to new gate to get assigned to a new flight.  
  • New plan was to fly to NYC then on to Zurich.  Fly to Johannesburg the following day.  Hey, that might be cool, get to spend  some time in Switzerland!
  • Nope.  Not enough seats on the plane to NYC for the group of 15, so they flew to Newark instead and then to Zurich and Johannesburg.
  • Never mind. Not enough seats to Zurich. Flew to Washington DC.  Promised accommodations and flight to Johannesburg Friday.  Arrived at Dulles and they would not honor the promise of a hotel, so they had to spend their money on 4 rooms. No  boarding passes to S. Africa yet either.
  • Friday started out with news that they were on the flight at 5 in the afternoon. Later, however, S.African airlines said they were only on stand by while United said they were confirmed.  Splitting the group might be the only solution. One group leaves on Friday and one on Saturday, 24 hours later!  Some girls said they would go home instead of wait 24 hours. After all they would be missing at least 1.5 days already, including Group dinner for all participating in the festival and touring Soweto, where Nelson Mandella's home is.  
  • Poor Mary, she worked so hard at making this happen and the airlines had everything all messed up!  Travel Agency had a representative at the airport working.  
  • Then we got the call from Mary...all the girls got on the plane and they were finally headed to Johannesburg.  Praise the Lord!Wonder if they arrived in time to get to their first concert?
  • I followed their flight on line and they arrived safely Saturday afternoon.  Haven't heard anything from Mary, but I take that as a good thing.  Hope they got there in time for their first concert.
  • Planned events for Sunday: Church at St Huberts Roman Catholic Church where they will sing a few songs. Concert #2 in the afternoon and workshop, experiencing cultural dances and sing of traditional S. A. tribes.  Group dinner then transfer the Heia Safari Ranch.  Safari Game Park is planned for Monday.
 I started working with Hailey again yesterday. We had a nice day and it was nice to be back with the family.   I will only be working a few days a month.  Sarah texted me and asked if we still wanted to go to the Whitecaps Baseball game even though it was over 100 degrees.  She added that tickets were only one dollar because of the heat.  An extra plus was that Willie Horton would be there for Tiger Friday and sign autographs! I got so excited!  So many memories of going to the Tigers games with my dad and brothers when Willie Horton played Left Field.   Couldn't wait to meet him and get an autograph. We met up with Sarah and had a bite to eat and then on to the ball park. We were a little late, but only 15-20 minutes.  I got in line to get autographs (for Dave and Dan too i f possible) and had crumpled piece of paper Sarah had in her purse. Next thing I know, a whitecaps employee comes up to the line and told us the line ends..here. I was two people too late.  Needless to say I was crushed and even shed some tears over the whole affair.  After I recovered, we had a fun time at the game in the 100+ degree weather and watched the team lose.  It wasn't until till late in the game that the announcer gave us the news that the temperature had gone under 100. After the game we had ice cream and came home and went to bed. So glad we have an AC unit in our room.

Today I finished the laundry, did some work with Jeff on Quicken and answered email.  Took a nap since I am on call tonight.  So far so good...wonder if I will get a call in the middle of the night? The weather has finally cooled off to the 80's and we have our windows open with a little breeze blowing by. A lot more tolerable.

Guess that about does it.   Hoping I can sleep well during the night.

Gracie

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

It has been very hot here the past week.  It just about reached 100 degrees today, the 4th of July! I love my brick house.  Even with only one A/C unit upstairs, the house is tolerable.  The fan seems to be helping a lot.   Sammy camps out in front of it most of the day.

Jeff started the day with a bike ride and I got a few things done at home. We played a game of Scattergories too.  Went shopping in the afternoon, mainly looking for a wind breaker for Mary to take with her to South Africa tomorrow!  We didn't find one, but Sarah brought hers home and it seems to fit well.   Sarah worked today at the marina, then drove home for the night.  She said her house in Holland was very very hot.  So we were all together for the 4th, had burgers and dogs on the grill, corn, watermelon and a smores cookie recipe we made on the grill!  It was ok. Probably won't make it again though.  I like roasted Marshmallows, but I don't get into smores too much.

Now the sun is setting and we are heading to see some fireworks!  I hope there is a bit of a breeze to offset the warm temperatures.  Mary is heading out to see Brandon and enjoy fireworks with his family on their pontoon!  Fireworks on the lake.  Should be beautiful.

Jeff and I joined the local fitness club last week and have been enjoying the pool and exercise equipment. I got some new clothes to exercise in, and a new swimsuit. Ordered online.  Hope it fits!  Mary and Matthew have been going along with us. Mary and I went to a water aerobics class. What a workout.  Lots of the ladies just move around and talk...I tried to stay focused.  You know how I like to talk.

Work has been going well for all of us.  Staying busy and making money.  The girls are doing well as waitresses. Matthew keeps the childcare kids at Mount Calvary happy.  I work with amazing nurses and have been very happy with my job at the hospital.  I will also be caring for Hailey a few days a month.   Church activities keep Jeff and me busy with God's work.  I don't look at it like work, enjoy planning and organizing sunday school and VBS.

Well, we are off to see the fireworks.  More later? Check back and see!

Gracie

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Open House a Success!

Matthew's Graduation Open House had some beautiful weather and where friends gathered to celebrate.  Mitch surprised Matthew with a phone call Friday night saying he was going to make it to his party!  That made his day..he wasn't supposed to come home until Monday, but worked it out so he could be here.  He is an awesome friend.  Mary and I worked hard on making mini chicken crescents and most of the decorations. The video Mary made about Matthew was well done and enjoyed by all.  Wish you could see it.  So, now that all of the graduation festivities are over, we can focus on the rest of the summer:
  • Mary's trip to South Africa in just a few weeks.  
  • Our planned garage sale to benefit Matthew's tuition for OU.
  • Church softball
  • Moving our kids...Sarah to Toledo, OH, Matthew to Norman, OK and Mary back to Ann Arbor.  
  • Learning to be a happy empty-nester.
Sarah is working today..Mary is working today and I am working tonight.  I was on call, but have already been called in for the beginning of the shift. Mary is hoping to get off early so she can spend more time with Brandon on his 21st birthday (today).  Matthew is home keeping busy in his room and will be going to a white caps baseball game with his buddies tomorrow. That will be lots of fun. We will be glad to have Sarah home for our make up softball game on Tuesday.  Mitch and Shoeny, another player that has gone off to college, will be here to play with us too!  Should be a great game! Jeff is off to the Michigan District conference this week, so he will miss the game.

Suppose I should get some sleep.  Have a great day!


Gracie

Lots more pictures on the photo album.
http://wilhelmjg.shutterfly.com/

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Well, after many good intentions, I did not keep up the blog as I wanted around Matthew's graduation.  There was just too much stuff going on and things to plan for, especially while working and sleeping in the midst of it all.  So my apologies.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
Today we honor our fathers.  I couldn't be more blessed.  Jeff and I were both blessed with wonderful christian fathers.  I miss my dad and wished we could have had more time together and I know how proud he would be of all of his grandchildren.  His influence on my life will never die and I am proud to have been his daughter on this earth.

Sarah, Mary and Matthew are just as blessed to have Jeff as their father.  We have shared many wonderful times together and look forward to what is in store in the next chapter of parenting for us! I have been going through old photo albums and can only smile and chuckle and I page down memory lane as our life as young parents.  Time flies and now we continue to grow and mature according to God's great plan for us.

GRADUATION CONCLUSION
Two weeks ago Matthew graduated from high school.  We were so happy that his grandparents and godparents were here to celebrate. We enjoyed meals together, got free donuts at Krispy Kreme on international donut day (bought some too), and even had the chance to celebrate my birthday!  Graduation service was very nice with a reception to follow.  The weather was very nice for the commencement exercises and the speaker did a fine job.  Matthew was a good sport and let us take pictures.  He just wanted to go home.  It was sad that my mom's foot became so swollen and painful that she could not walk on it or attend the event, but we are glad that GHS had a live feed on the computer so she was able to watch from our home! She is doing better and we are certainly glad about that.  Be sure to check out the family photos.

BIRTHDAY
Jeff and the kids took me out to dinner at "On the Border" and then a White Caps baseball game. We had so much fun.  The 'Caps won and we enjoyed the fireworks show afterward.  Mary made delicious cupcakes too!  We were also gearing up for VBS.  Lots of last minute planning along with a full weekend of working nights.  Mary and I did a lot of sorting of household goods to sell at our planned garage sale.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
After that last 12 hour night shift Sunday night, I drove straight to VBS and was up until 3 pm.  It didn't seem too bad while I was up, but catching up on all the sleep took a few days.  Lots of naps.  In any case, SKY Vacation Bible School was a success and 70 children, crew leaders, station leaders and parents enjoyed the activities.  We were able to collect over $110 dollars for Lutheran Malaria Initiative to send mosquito nets to Africa in helps of preventing the transmission of this disease with just a single bite.  I think the kids really enjoyed the science station, rather than doing a craft.

EMPTY NESTER IN TRAINING
Last night I had a taste of empty nesting.  It was just me and Sammy at home.  Jeff was at work preparing for today's services and the kids were all out of the house.  Sure was quiet.  The movie "The Blind Side" was on and at the end she takes Michael to college.  It made me think of taking Matthew to OU in just a few months.  It won't be easy leaving my baby so far away from home.  So I combat that with the fact I know all my kids are thriving and shining. OU will be a great experience for Matt. I won't have so much laundry to do either!  LOL.  Will I remember how to cook for just two??

Well, I had better go.  Off to our late summer service (we have two this year) and then Sarah will come home later this afternoon to celebrate Father's Day!  Hooray!

Gracie

Friday, June 1, 2012

Baccalaureate and Baptism Birthday

Mary's Baptism Birthday was a nice one.  We had a nice day together, made a cake, chicken crescents and then at the delicious Devil's Food Cake after we watched a picture show of Japan.  Sarah took so many beautiful pictures!

Baccalaureate Service took place after the Chicken Crescent dinner and before the picture show.  It was a nice service with a student led praise team.  It was pretty quick too, 30 minutes!  We were happy that Grandma and Grandpa Wilhelm could be there with us.


I worked very hard at communicating with and making sure our softball team had enough players tonight while we were at Baccalaureate.  I received a phone call from our score keeper that the other team claimed I called their coach and "cancelled the game".  That never happened.  Why would everyone be there if I had called??? Something else for me to follow up on and resolve.

My pink eye is resolving, but my allergies are terrible.  The weather is cooler here with occasional rain.  It is supposed to be a little warmer and sunny on Sunday for graduation.  Let's hope the forecast only changes for the better!

Looking forward to my Mom, Dave and Leslie's arrival tomorrow evening.  The time will go fast as always but we will have fun together never the less.

Better finish folding the laundry.

Gracie

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Graduation #2 Approaching

We have been counting down to Matthew's graduation and we are just days away!  Last week was awards week and I kept a pretty good diary of that week.  This week I worked over Memorial Day and now have the rest of the week off and don't work until Monday, June 4th.  WooHoo!

Grandma and Grandpa Wilhelm are here now and will attend baccalaureate with us tonight.  Unfortunately, we will miss a church softball game which is fun for all of us. Jeff has been very busy putting the service together tonight and we are looking forward to a nice service  to start off graduation weekend.

Grandma H, Uncle Dave and Aunt Leslie will arrive tomorrow evening.  It will be nice to all spend time together. Mary and Brandon will be going to a wedding on Saturday.  Sunday morning I play for the graduation service along with the orchestra.  Rehearsal went well last night.  Graduation starts at 1500, but some of us need to be in line by 1330 or 1400 to make sure we get a good seat in the gym.  Weather is supposed to be sunny and 75.  Matthew wants to eat at buffalo wild wings for dinner.

Sarah had a wonderful time in Japan and took lots of pictures.  I think she has just about beat the jet lag that comes with all the travelling.  The good news is that she doesn't have to work until next weekend. More time with my girl and that makes this mama very happy!


Gracie

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guess Who I Talked To?

Sarah is safe in Los Angeles. Talked to her on the phone for about 15 minutes.. I am one happy momma!

  1. Sunday School prep is done and ready to go tomorrow.
  2. Prepping for VBS in progress.
  3. Practicing the piano in progress.
  4. Quicken postponed.  Again!

Gracie

A Better Tracker for Sarah's Flight

Delta Flight Tracker

My regular flight tracker page has failed me.   It is not up to date or reliable with this international flight.   Use the delta tracker instead.  Upcoming flight numbers are:
  1. FLT 1254 from LAX to ATL
  2. FLT 2239 from ATL to GRR (home)
Sorry for the problem.


Grace

Matthew's Trip

Matthew got home last night around 0230. He was happy and talked a little about the trip and then gave Sammy some "boy and his dog" time before going to bed.   This morning I found this paragraph about the trip:

 GHS Senior Mystery Trip Class of 2012 · 150 like this
All survived the marathon Senior Mystery Trip. Our first stop of the day was Michigan Adventure. It was a great time, since the lines were short the the sun was shinning. At 4:45 pm the seniors boarded the buses for their next destination, the LST 393. Muskegon's history decommissioned warship. The students enjoyed an awesome meal, catered by Cole's Corners. The seniors were then entertained by Kramer Entertainment. Ending their time on the LST with a dance party complete with a photo booth. At 11:30 pm the seniors were once again back on the bus heading to their third destination. Weren't they surprised, when the buses headed back to Greenville. The students were met by fireworks at Klackles. The students enjoyed breakfast with a twist. Their faces were priceless when they found out they had to caught their pancakes. Thank you Chris Cakes for ending our night on a high note.

Good luck and congratulations class of 2012!!!!!!!


Sarah's Japan trip has come to an end and the first leg of their journey home has begun.  The plane has left the gate, but has been taxiing or waiting to take off for the past 30 minutes.  You can track her flight at FlightAware. It is quite interesting watching their flight cross the ocean.  She is leaving Japan on Sunday early morning and arriving LA Saturday evening.  That's crazy.  Jeff called from Japan when Sarah was born almost 23 years ago in the evening, but you knew of her birth on your Saturday morning!  All that time zone stuff aside, I am so glad everyone had a good time and experienced so much. I am a little sad that it has come to an end for them.  Now, Sarah will have to get over her jet lag and will start working at the Anchorage Marina in Holland like last summer, until she moves to Toledo at the end of July or early August.


Jeff says he feels better this morning, after having another day of fever and chills. I sure hope he can finally get rid of this illness. Matthew continues his 2nd antibiotic and I am fighting to stay healthy in the midst. Mary has been working long hours at Jimmy's, so she isn't home too much, esp in the evening.


Today:
  • I need to finalize my Sunday School plan for tomorrow as well as be prepared for a VBS meeting.  SKY starts June 11th!
  • Work on Quicken and Bills
  •  Hang up my clean clothes!
  • Practice the piano.
  • Get organized for the months ahead..graduation, parties, moves for my college kids and work!
I just checked the status of Sarah's plane.  They are still waiting for take off!


I'll be updating as each flight ends and a new one begins!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR BROTHERS, ANDY AND BOB!  Have a great day!




Gracie

Friday, May 25, 2012

Matthews Swingout GHS '12




It is a beautiful and quite warm day for Matt's swingout from high school.  He looked so nice in his cap and gown.  Wow my boy is all grown up.  The whole assembly was very well done.  Good speeches, especially the farewell. It was stellar.  Then the Class of 2012 left the gym and we took tons of pictures that I have posted on the online photo album and Facebook.  By 12 noon Matthew was on Bus #2 with his classmates for their mystery trip.  Word came from a chaperone that there first stop was Michigan Adventures, an amusement park. I am sure that Matthew is having the time of his life!  They have two wooden roller coasters.  The weather is perfect too!

Mary was off to work by 11:45 am and probably won't be home until late tonight.  Jeff is feeling better and took the Camry to walmart to get a new battery and a few groceries. Sarah's trip is coming to a close and soon she will be making the long plane trip home.  She will need a lot of sleep.

So, it is quiet at home now. A preview of our lives this fall as empty nesters.  I'm not ready...no choice. My kids are ready to be out on their own and  they are soaring to new heights.  I need to let them fly!  I am so proud of them.

Our summer will be busy with work, activities and moving our kids to their respective colleges.  Are family vacations a thing of the past?  Mary will experience her trip to South Africa in July.  In the meantime I can keep busy with VBS, planning a few parties for my graduates and getting a garage sale together.

I will update when I know anything new!

Gracie

Matthew's Last Day at GHS

Today is Matthew's Last Day of high school. Time really flies..my mom told me that when my kids were little and I wasn't so sure about it.  She was right.  I can't believe my baby is all grown up.  We are very proud of all of Matt's accomplishments and are excited about his future at University of Oklahoma. 

Swingout is just a few short hours away.  I will listen to the Star Wars song as the class of 2012 processes into the gym and enjoy the last assembly of our children's high school years.  Afterward, we will take lots of pictures and wave as he gets on the bus for his Senior Mystery Trip.  I hope he has a lot of fun.

Next, Boomer Sooner!

Gracie

Softball~Stories~Swingout

Tonight was our second softball game. We played well and although we don't need to report the score, we came out on top again.  Our team has really meshed and have good offense and defense.  Next Thursday is Baccalaureate, so the team will be missing several team members and without a regular pitcher.  Yikes!
Another entry to the A-Train Blog arrived this evening.  You can read it at Hope Rolls #7. There are some awesome pictures to see too! They are really seeing and experiencing a lot.

Matthew "swings out" of high school tomorrow.  He will wear his cap and gown and three students will give a speech.  After swingout, Matt will get on a bus with the rest of his class for the Senior Mystery Trip.  A last time for the class to have fun together.  I am excited for him!  Hope he has a great time. He won't get home until 3 am.  Matt and I went to JCP in the afternoon for a white dress shirt and tie and I got a new pair of sandals.  Then less than an hour later when he wanted to leave for the ball game, the camry wouldn't start. Another dead battery.  Guess we will have to buy a battery for the white car too!  Jeff or I will drive him to school tomorrow.  You can watch Matthew's swingout at Greenville HS Events.  It starts at 9:15 am. 

I managed to get a few loads of laundry done, had lunch with Mary at church with the quilters/staff, and made a poster for our new summer kids church volunteers.  Of course, some time was spent working and reworking the lineup and positions for the game.  Our weekly ice cream after the ball game is always fun.

Tomorrow afternoon and Saturday need to be used to prepare for Sunday School and Church, Quicken and bills, putting clothes away and VBS stuff.  Sarah arrives home Sunday by noon and I will be working that night.  It is supposed to be hot!

Mary is still at work and I am waiting for the dryer to be done.  Matthew fell asleep on the floor and will need to be ready for swingout and the mystery trip before he leaves for school in the AM.  I guess I should take a look at his cap gown!  Jeff went to bed when we got home.  He can't seem to beat whatever bug he is fighting. Started a new antibiotic again.  I hate to see him so sick and pale.

Praying for health, safety and happiness.

Grace

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Academic Day and Japanese Immersion

It's another sunny beautiful day here in Greenville.  It is supposed to get hot, so I had better take some water with us to our church softball game tonight.  I will be missing at least 4 players but will still have plenty to play. Jeff continues to fight some sort of infection, so I hope that he can still pitch tonight, otherwise it will be me or Matthew.

Matthew had another good day at honors week.  He received an award for his GPA,  a letter of congratulations from the President and his silver cord that he will wear with his cap and gown tomorrow at swingout and on Graduation Day, June 3rd.  He's done a great job and has received a few more scholarships over the past 24 hours!  Boomer Sooner!  Mary received one too!  Go Blue!

Sarah continues to have fun and squeeze in everything possible while in Japan.  Reading about her journey makes me want to go back.  I love Japan so much.  After checking for a blog over the last 24 hours or more, a new post arrived while we were at the Awards ceremony.  Read all about their Japanese Immersion Day!   Hope Rolls #7


Now it is time to head off to lunch at church. Taking Mary's brownie dessert and ice cream!

Have a great day


Gracie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

No Error This Time

This morning we arrived for honors week, scholarship day and there was no mistake this time.  Matthew's scholarship was #2 on the docket.   We are very happy and proud.

Heard from Sarah this evening, which is tomorrow morning.  She had been shopping and thought of me when they found a  sock store!  Even sent me a picture.  Not exactly sure what they are doing this morning and afternoon. 

Got the laundry almost done, did a trial run of min chicken crescents. Matt wants them for his open house.  They turned out very nicely as a finger food. Now the question is, how many mini crescents do I need to make?

Still need to write bulletin announcements. Mary made some chocolate fudge pie for dessert tonight and for the Thursday lunch tomorrow. Painter coming in the afternoon to finish the damage from the water leak.

Tomorrow is another day of Honors.  Matthew will be recognized for his academic accomplishments!
It can be seen LIVE at 0845 at Academic Awards.

Gute Nacht! Oyasuminasai!

Gracie 

We finally took pictures of the theatre plaques.  Matthew is the Oustanding Technician and Mary received the Director's Award in 2010.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There Must Have Been an Error

Well, we got to the awards day today and wondered what award might be Matthew's today. We thought that it was going to be an attendance award since Matthew had perfect attendance this year.  That moment didn't come. Only perfect attendance for all four years.  Looks like the School Office made an error when they sent us our notification letter.  It was still a nice morning.

There was a young lady in the bleachers that kept clapping for no reason except to get attention or as Mary thinks to make her hands red. It was driving everyone crazy.  Nearby teachers just sat with a sort of stare.  Occasionally they looked in her direction, but no action was taken until a teach from a different section marched over and marched her and her friends out of the bleachers to the principal at the exit of the gym.  Way to go Mrs M!

It is a beautiful day here in Michigan and I think I am going to clear out some closets in preparation for our garage sale, finish the laundry, write some bulletin announcements and get organized for VBS and summer sunday school.  That is plenty to do!

Tomorrow is another awards day. It is scholarship day. Let's hope the school didn't make another error, Matt needs those scholarships!  

Gracie

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wow! Some More Stories From Japan!

The A-Trainers are spending some time at Technos College now that the weekend is over.  Check out the most recent entries here:

Hope Rolls #5 
Hope Students help Technos Students learn about taping.


Hope Rolls #6
Hope Student Jordan becomes a star



Tomorrow is Day Two of Honors week.  We were notified that Matthew will receive an award.  We have no idea what it will be for.  Stay tuned or watch LIVE on Tuesday at 0845at this link. Activities Leadership Day.

Have a Great Tuesday.  I'll keep you updated!


Gracie

Outstanding Technician Award (1).AVI

Welcome Monday Morning!

Today begins Honors week at Greenville High School.  Leadership Awards in the Fine Arts, Choir, Band, Orchestra and Theatre.  Matthew is all dressed up this morning in a blue shirt and tie.  He will be receiving an award, just don't know which ones.  Here's the good news,  you can watch it LIVE at 0845 at http://www.mhsaa.tv/greenville/events/35172.  Jeff, Mary and I will be in attendance. Tuesday is Leadership Day II, Wednesday Scholarship Day, Thursday Academic Day and Friday is Swingout! Swingout is the seniors last day and go on their last class trip.  Matthew will be receiving awards Mon-Thu!  We are so proud of him!

Last night a NEW ENTRY on How Hope Rolls in Japan was posted.  Eva really has a knack for writing and it is a very interesting read.  I was very proud of Sarah's remarks.  Some pretty nice pictures too.  Here is the link: How Hope Rolls #4.  What a wonderful experience for them all! They sure had some good Sumo seats!

I have the rest of the week off from work, so I am planning on planning VBS, and Matt's Graduation Open House.  Of course there is always laundry and bills.  We are also trying to clear out unused things in plans of having a garage sale with the proceeds put to the OU fund! 

Better get ready.  Get the camera and the tissues!  It's a great Monday!

Gracie

PS: You can access the A-Trainers Blog anytime with  the link under Look and See.  Subscribe at the Hope Rolls site and you will receive emails each time a new entry is uploaded.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A-Train Visit Takao and Giants Baseball Game

Sarah and her friends did a lot today.  They are already sleeping on Saturday night and will wake up on Sunday morning as I go to work the night shift!

The Blog is so well written with great information!

How Hope Rolls in Japan #3

I am so happy for our Sarah....Look at that smile!

 Gracie

News From Japan

Sarah sent a few emails to me last night.  She sounds like she is having a great time.   My favorite so far is:

 "We leave for the baseball game in about 30 mins. I'm very excited and will probably spend too much money there. Oh well. You only live once, right? "


Here is the link to the A-Train Blog: How Hope Rolls in Japan:

A-Trainers Japan Blog

You can subscribe to the blog at the bottom of their page and get automatic emails when it is updated.  Enjoy! I have a link for it under Look and See too.

Got to get some sleep after a good night at work.  Work again tonight in the nursery.  Yay!



Gracie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birthday Hurdles

Mary's 20th birthday had it's share of hurdles. 

It started out well after she spent the night in Holland where Sarah and Mary did errands in downtown Holland that included coffee at lemonjello's and shopping at the Apothecary Gift Store, where Sarah bought Mary a present!  It is very nice. A sort of wallet/ID holder from Vera Bradley all in Maize and Blue! 

Hurdle #1:  Jeff was still pretty sick. Meds weren't working and he went back to the doctor. His throat was swollen up enough that the doctor wanted a  CT scan of his neck.  Concerned about a possible growing abcess that could potentially narrow his airway. So lunch plans changed to late afternoon dinner plans and I went to the hospital with Jeff, while Sarah and Mary did a few errands for me and had a little bit to eat.

We got home just before 3 pm, and Jeff felt good enough to ride along for birthday dinner and taking Sarah to the airport for her long awaited trip to Japan.  While in the car, the doctor called and said their was no abcess and that he should start on a new antibiotic. Ok.  Things were going better.

Hurdle #2:  We had to order and enjoy dinner at Red Lobster in 45 minutes, so that Sarah could get to the airport. We took some pictures, had fast service and good food and were in the RAV4 with  a few minutes to spare! 

Hurdle #3: The RAV would not start, and we could not get it to jump either.  Sarah and the rest of us were sick, how would we get her to the airport? Called a few taxi, too long of a wait.  Sarah called her friend at the airport and a grandpa offered to come and rescue her and get her to the airport.   Meanwhile, Jeff called USAA to get help for our car. Within 5 minutes car rescue arrived. Miraculously, the guy was just across the street getting ice cream when our call came through. He had a super duper jumper box and had us running a seconds.   We could follow grandpa and see her off at the airport.  That is exactly what happened, only Jeff had to drive in circles to keep the car running while the rest of us ran in and gave a few more hugs and took a picture.  I was glad to meet the professor that was going along with them.

So, mission accomplished. No more deadlines.  The car is running and we are on our way home. Until hurdle #4: The electric goes haywire several miles from our exit home.  Oh no!!  Luckily we made it to the dealer where we bought the RAV and they were still open. Turns out our battery needed to be replaced.  So we waited in the service area for 30 minutes while we got the car back in shape.

Finally, we celebrated Mary's birthday one more time with birthday brownies and ice cream.  They were delicious.  We sang and she blew out a candle I wrote 20 on!   I wanted there to be more celebrating and less stress, but we made it over the hurdles and had a nice end of the day. Mary and I watched her birth video and had a few good laughs.  It will always be a day to remember.