Tuesday, July 31, 2012


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!


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! 

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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!