Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We have had a very nice Christmas. This morning we woke up to a lovely flurry of light snow. By 10am we were all up and about, deciding on breakfast options. We ended up with a homemade recipe for cinnamon rolls that was... well, unique. They were pretty gooey and sweet, which could be good in some people's eyes, but may be too much. It was a fun experience to make though, either way. After breakfast was through, the ham went into the oven and we made our way to the tree for the gift exchange. We had quite a few large, suspenseful packages that kept everybody on their toes and everyone was very happy and grateful for all of their lovely and thoughtful gifts. Most of all, we were happy to all be together having a fun time as a family. The smell of  ham was starting to permeate the house so we made all the fixings and sat down to a feast of champions: ham, corn, carrots, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and hawaiian rolls. Feeling full and friendly, we played a family game of heads up, leaving us with two champions in Sarah and Dad. Matt then informed us that the final showing of the day of Frozen would be at 4:10-- in just half an hour! Everyone flurried to get ready and we quickly shoveled the snow off the driveway and sidewalks and made it to the movie on time. It was a cute film, though I didn't stay awake through the middle (not a surprise, with my track record). We came home and spent a little individual time for ourselves-- Sarah and I took a nap, so I can't really say what the others did. It was a nice Christmas Day for the Wilhelm family in snowy Greenville. ~Mary
                                                                       


There are lots of Christmas Pictures on our Family Photo Album.  Enjoy!

Christmas Letter 2013

Rejoice Rejoice Emmanuel!

“Behold, a  virgin  shall  be  with  child, and  shall  bring  forth a son, and they shall call  his  name  Emmanuel, which being interpreted  is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23

God With Us.  I saw God’s hand in every aspect of my cancer journey over the last year. I felt His presence on many occasions. I was never alone. Knowing God was with me and my family was so comforting and gave me a sense of peace. I don’t know how anyone can go through any trial without having God With him. Even in a world filled with anxiety, bitterness and sin, we have so many reasons to Rejoice, especially during the Christmas Season. God sent His only Son Jesus as a baby, true God and true Man, to be the perfect sacrifice in our place to Redeem us from our sins.  The Reward?  Eternal life in heaven, where the Son of God is preparing a place for us!  How exciting! Let’s prepare the Royal Highway.  Jesus is coming again; we need to be ready.

Remission!  We rejoice in the fact that I have been in a complete remission (aka a complete response) from my Plasma Cell Leukemia since 1/29/13 after 4 months of chemotherapy.  My autologous stem cell transplant on 2/22/13 is supposed to deepen the remission for a longer period of time.  There are no standards with plasma cell leukemia, as it is so rare.  So I am taking maintenance chemotherapy orally indefinitely. With God’s help I forge ahead one day at a time adjusting to my new normal.  I am back to playing for church, facilitating orchestra and leading Sunday school at church.  I have also started a new position as a nurse in Surgical Prep and Recovery!  I like the job and my co-workers, but it will take some getting used to the different pace of this unit versus the night shift on post-partum and nursery.

Reverend Jeff’s plate is always full.  So it was fun to get away when we attended a Pastor’s conference in northern Michigan and then a fun-filled time in Oklahoma where we visited Matthew and attended Jeff’s 30 year reunion.  Back at home, Jeff keeps up with church business (God’s business) writing sermons, forming Sunday services, preparing the power point slides, visiting members, volunteering as a chaplain at the local hospital and for Habitat for Humanity. As busy as he is at church, he also finds time for me and activities we like to do together like shopping at Meijer late at night, attending support group at Gilda’s House, watching sports on TV at home or at Applebee’s after 9 pm when we can eat our favorite appetizers for 50% off. He was a wonderful caregiver and quite competent managing all my needs as a patient, wife and mother.

Racing here and Racing there is the name of the game for Sarah.  She has class at University of Toledo for her Master’s Degree in the mornings and then drives 30 minutes to Summerfield High School , in Michigan, where she is the Athletic Trainer.  She has handled multiple injuries with competence and professionalism this year and has a wonderful rapport with the students, coaches, staff and parents!  I know there will be some tears flowing at the end of this school year when Sarah graduates and moves on to another high school and a new set of students.  Finishing graduate school, however, will cause many tears of joy!

Reading and writing, (aka English) will be the subject matter Mary teaches at a high school in Los Angeles, CA. She was offered and accepted a position with Teach for America earlier this fall.  This means she will teach for them for the next two years.  We plan to ride out to California with her in late May, perhaps be on The Price is Right, spend time at the beach and of course help Mary move into her apartment.  Mary reports for work June10th.  Until then she will be completing her final semester at the University of Michigan, doing her student teaching, leading the Women’s Glee Club and working at the Pizza House.  I am proud to report that she has passed her teaching certification tests to teach English and History in the state of Michigan and already passed the general teaching certification test for the state of California.

Regal Cinemas was happy to have Matthew working over the Thanksgiving holiday. Besides working at the movie theater, he works as an undergraduate assistant at the scene shop for the OU theatre department. He is doing well at school and appreciated as a perfectionist in his work on stage. It was nice seeing Matthew last October, visiting his apartment, watching him play softball, enjoy his favorite eateries and just hanging out when he wasn’t busy studying or working on the fall production, Carousel, as the Props Master. Most of all, he can’t wait to be home for Christmas and New Year’s since he spent the summer working in Norman.  He will be happy to have nearly a month in Michigan with family and friends.

We hope that you had a wonderful year and that 2014 will be a blessed one! You can keep up with us @:


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Time!

It has been nearly a month since my last post.  I am sure there were things I wanted to write about that will get missed.  But as I try to keep up with my chores and activities, I don't always get to writing everything down here on my blog.   So, I will have to update you with my standby "bullets".


  • Thanksgiving was fun. We spent the day with our good friends the Clarks.  It's always good to be thankful with friends. Little ones included!
  • Our Tree is up, my Christmas Cards are done and most of my shopping complete, wrapped and sent in the mail! 
  • Work has been kicking my butt!  Have back pain and fatigue afterward. I continue to plug away and will work toward completing my orientation and get to my regular schedule of one day a week.
  • Mary and Matthew are home from college and since received news about their good grades!  Sarah will be home next week. 
  • We have had some big snow storms.  There is another storm heading this way this weekend. Sounds like a White Christmas to me!

  • Jeff donated blood today and received his 1 gallon pin!  I am so proud of him.  I won't be donating anymore, obviously, but could be the receipiant one day in the future.
                             

 Well I am pretty tired.  Need to load the dishwasher and get to bed. Maybe I can update a little sooner next time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Look's Who's Back to Work!

I have one week of my new job under my belt.  I am liking it a lot and my co-workers are very nice, helpful and welcoming.  It was a very busy week and I was very tired at the end of each day and had some back ache too. But I felt much better in the mornings, ready for another day.  All in all it was a good week.  I wonder how busy it will be this week.  It is so nice that my department is closed on holidays and weekends.  Taking call for a few times each year isn't bad at all.

I ended up staying with Mary in Ann Arbor for three nights last weekend.  The Leukemia Lymphoma Conference was excellent. I am so glad we went and will receive continuing education credits too!  Sarah met us for dinner at Olive Garden in Ann Arbor and then all three of us had a little down time before Mary had to work.  Sarah and I kept busy working on some projects/homework that we brought along and watching TV together. Both of us were planning on leaving Sunday afternoon, but bad weather rolled across Michigan and Ohio and we decided to stay put and be safe, especially after dark when the possibility of "invisible" downed tree limbs and such was real and a high wind advisory was put in effect until Monday morning.

Jeff arrived home safe and sound Tuesday late afternoon and it has been interesting having to share a single vehicle with me being back to work. So far it has worked out fine, however we are looking for a new set of used wheels to trade with Mary, who has been driving my cute little Prius since May.  Once we find one, Jeff will drive it for a few months to make sure it is safe and reliable before making the switch.  With my work hours ending in the evenings, we have been enjoying eating out together.  Jeff enjoyed tasting four different beers at our local microbrewery.   Tomorrow I am off from work, so I can actually cook!  I think enchiladas sound good.

Well, I have been working on crossing things off my to do list, but the list keeps growing.  Slowly but surely, I am making progress.  Everything takes time. Lots to do tomorrow:

  • Last Physical Therapy!
  • Water Aerobics.
  • Wrap Presents (that's right I have started my shopping!)
  • Call Social Security
  • Bake and Cook
  • Car shopping??
  • Laundry
Wow I had better get to bed.  Aren't my slippers pretty??  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I have so much to be thankful for this year.  Just being here is one of them!

Gracie

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happenings

Can you believe  we are half way through November?  Hard to believe 2013 is coming to a close.  Time keeps flying by and so does the activities of our lives.  Here are some highlights of the last week and the week to come!                  
                  
  • We met Sarah in Ann Arbor last weekend for Mary's Glee Club Concert. We all enjoyed dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings before the concert began at 8 pm.  I can't believe that three years have passed since I first moved Mary to Ann Arbor in 2010. Now she is the president of the Women's Glee Club and has the honor to direct the beloved "Yellow and Blue". As you can see, she did a beautiful job: Click here to watch!
  • Jeff is in Florida this week to help out with  his mom and dad while she is recovering from knee-replacement surgery.  It is pretty strange to be in my big house all alone. I am getting some things done that I normally wouldn't do.
  • I have a new nursing position at Metro hospital in  Surgical Prep and Recovery. Orientation begins on Tuesday.  I am a little nervous but very excited to be a nurse again!  I went through my nursing stuff and have everything organized for my first day.
  • This weekend I will be heading back to Ann Arbor.  Mary and I will be attending a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society conference in Troy, MI.  It starts early, so I will stay with Mary on Friday night and drive to Troy together first thing Saturday morning. It should be a good day.
  • Monday is my Myeloma Support Group.  Instead of going alone, I think I will invite a friend to go along.  Then it's Tuesday, my first day of work and pick Jeff up at the airport on the way home!

That does it from chilly Michigan. The temps are going to rise the rest of the week, might get up in the 60's on Sunday with rain. I prefer a sunny 45 or 50. Right now it is 33 degrees.  Think I will sleep in my sweatpants tonight.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Oklahoma! It was the best!

First of all let me say that we had a WONDERFUL time in Oklahoma!  The alumni events were fun and our time with Matthew priceless.  I smile just thinking about it.  I would have loved writing each night about all the fun times we had, but I think a brief summary with bullet points will have to do.
      

  • THURSDAY started early with a 0630 flight.  We had a 3 hour layover in Chicago and got to OKC around lunch time.  Ate barbeque at Billy Sims' restaurant.  It was very good!  We spent time at the Softball Hall of Fame and the Cowboy Museum with a personal tour from our long time friend Don, who is the curator.  The highlight of course was meeting up with Matthew at his apartment.  It is very nice and well maintained.  Thursday is softball double header.  It was a little chilly, but we enjoyed watching both games.  There is one hour between games, so Matthew took us to Diamond Dawgs for a light meal.  He had fries, I had the Wonderboy, a hot dog on a stick coated with Cap'n Crunch and deep fried. It was delicious.  Jeff had the Bambino, a dog with pulled pork on it.  We both loved it.  Of course after the second game we went for a late dinner.  Where? Buffalo Wilds Wings.  I tried some wings, but boy they were spicy.  So I got some plain ones.  It was a very fun and hap hap happy day!
     

  • FRIDAY was Alumni Day.  Breakfast, tours and a lunch at Lloyd Noble Center.  It was very good for banquet style food.  All the alumnus were recognized and had their picture taken with President Boren.  We took advanatage of the organ concert before lunch, which was outstanding and spent the afternoon at OU's Natural Science Museum.  The night finished with a meal at the Union with casino night. No money needed! They gave us chips and you won tickets to put in for drawings, a signed football, money for the bookstore or a paver at the stadium.  Neither one of us won anything, but came home with some nice free giveaways.  

       

  • SATURDAY means football!  Took a shuttle ride to campus and stopped by the meteorology building, watched the parade and had lunch at the  Boomer Bash in the union.  it was there that I got a text from Matthew that the he was released from work to go to the game with us!  First we had to wait for an hour or so for the rain stop. It was quite a game, with moments where I worried that the Sooners would lose.  They came back with a stellar play and ended up winning the game!  Matthew returned to work but soon after called and said he could have dinner with us, so we went to Yamato's Japanese Steak House. It was delicious and as usual, fun to watch them cook and had way too much to eat.
                                                                             
            
  • SUNDAY ~ The Lord's Day.   Matthew was able to have an early breakfast with us before his call time for rehearsal.  He is the prop master for the musical "Carousel".  It kept him pretty busy while we were there, but he managed to get away and spend some time with us. We are thankful the director for letting him off early on Saturday so he could have fun with his parents.  Since Matthew was busy all day, we took time to use the hotels exercise room and walking/jogging path.  I walked over mile.  The weather was beautiful on Sunday.  Remember our friend from the Cowboy Museum?  We drove to to see and his wife, Val, at their church's trunk and treat.  It was a huge success. It was nice to visit with them afterward at their home.   No trip to Oklahoma is complete without some Braum's, so we stopped and had a bite to eat and some delicious Braum's Ice Cream.                                                    
                                                                                             
  • On MONDAY we finally got to sleep in.  Jeff took me to the National Weather Center for a tour which was pretty cool.  I bought a few cute souvenirs too, with flying cows on it!  We met Matthew for early dinner at one of our campus corner favorites, O'Connels.  Their burgers are delicious!  I had a ranch burger. Oh sooo good!  Jeff was nice enough to share his onion rings with me.  Another trip to Diamond Dawgs was in order for unlimited soft serve ice cream. Oreo bits, chocolate sauce and sprinkles made my sundae perfect.  By then it was time to get Matthew back to rehearsal.  We stopped by our car to give him a basketball we bought for him to use at the courts of his apartment complex.  He needs something fun to do to help break up the business of school and work. He was happy to get the ball, but we were all sad for our time to end. I have hugged him a dozen times!  I miss him already.
                   
We traveled home Tuesday and I was able to stop and get some lab work drawn and a TB test done.  Wednesday was my day for therapy, shots and zometa. You can read about that on my caring bridge.

In other news:
  • I had a good meeting at Metro Hospital about getting back to work.  Since I can't work in the childbirth center anymore, they are looking for a position that will be good for my re-entry.  
  • Mary has been offered a position to teach HS English with Teach for America in Los Angeles.  She is very happy, I know Brandon is too.  He is doing well, but very busy with law school at UCLA. Next week is her first glee club concert as the president. I can't wait!
  • Mount Calvary's Trunk and Treat was a huge success.  Lots of kids and families.  Jeff certainly didn't look like himself.
  • Matthew has three shows of Carousel under his belt tonight as Prop Master.  Hope all went well. I am sure he did a great job.
  • Sarah's final football season with Summerfield High School as Athletic Trainer. Now they are gearing up for basketball.  Hopefully there won't be as many injuries that there were with the football season.  She takes good care of those kids.
                                                                                         
  • Our new appliances arrived Friday not without some problems.  Although Home Depot said installation was included, the delivery man said he is not allowed to work with the copper tubing connected to our fridge. He also said he couldn't, wouldn't disconnect our old dishwasher. What???  Evidently, it wasn't on our ticket so we didn't pay for it. After several phone calls, they did disconnect the dishwasher and moved it to the garage as he did with the fridge after Jeff disconnected the copper tubing from the ice maker.  As of now, the fridge is working and we do have working water/ice maker, but the dishwasher is sitting in the kitchen waiting for the plumber to come on Monday to install it.  We will have him check the fridge too.
That's all...I will try to keep you updated as needed. Have a great week! Be sure to check out the Family Photo Album!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Appreciating Pastor's Appreciation

There are so many holidays and awareness days and months for this and for that, even a hot dog day and a  left-handers a few months ago.  How can anyone keep track of all this craziness?  October has:  Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Mental Illness Awareness Week, Fire Prevention, Breast Cancer, Dental Hygiene, Down's Syndrome, Infertility, Domestic Violence, Lupus Erythematosus, Physical Therapy, Spina Bifida, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), American Pharmacist and Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month and even Pastor Appreciation month!

Jeff and I don't expect any gifts or recognition for our service to the Lord in His House and to His flock. That doesn't stop our members from expressing their thanks to us during the month of October. We have received gift cards to restaurants and a beautiful hand made natvity!  I have decided that I am going to display now and enjoy it, instead of putting it away for a month.  The congregation usually has a Sunday with cake for us and that hasn't happened yet, so I better be ready tomorrow since we won't be here the last Sunday of the month. I spoiled the event last year after the diagnosis of cancer and it's immediate hospitalization for treatment.

  Sarah has had a few rough weeks with multiple injuries at football games practices along with the woes of writing a thesis.  Mary enjoyed her time with Brandon in L.A last weekend including a night at Conan O'Brien. (I would rather see the  Price is Right).  Anyway, she is back in Ann Arbor and had her interview with Teach for America.  She will hear where their offer of a teaching job is located on October 31st.  Matthew is doing well at school and is looking forward to our arrival next week.  Me too!  The Opera is playing this weekend and it has a beautiful set.  Matthew told me that it was the main project for most of the summer. I am so proud that Matthew had a hand in it!  (I'm smiling!)



Jeff is at "The Big Day of Serving" in Grand Rapids today, helping with the packaging of more dinners for Kids Against Hunger.  I dropped him off at a local church at 0630 and will pick him up around 6 tonight. Until then, I have been doing bible study, blogging, cooking and baking and have the laundry downstairs (thanks honey!).  I still need to go shopping, pick up my prescriptions and go for a walk.  It sure looks nice outside!  

Hope you day is a great one!  I don't need a certain day to remember you, because I remember you and pray for you each day!


Gracie


Hoping the Detroit Tigers can even up the playoffs tonight.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Been a Year!

One year ago, Jeff and I attended the Pastor's Conference on Mackinac Island. It was centered around Prayer.  It was an emotional time for us as we awaited news from the oncologist's office. Since then, my prayer life has blossomed and I will forever remember feeling the power of prayer at the Mission Point resort. It has surely been a year of prayer and the strengthening of faith.



This week we attended the All Pastor's Conference at Boyne Mountain Resort. The trees hadn't changed color as much as I thought, but it was still a beautiful setting and other than one day of light rain, wonderful weather.  Instead of awaiting news on cancer, we were thankful and rejoiced with those we prayed with last year about my current remission.

The topic this year was about Spiritual Disciple, with Rev. Dr. Kleinig, from Australia, as the speaker. I enjoyed listening to him and hearing his teaching.  He often made sure he was using American English, which I thought was cute.  Sitting for prolonged periods was hard on my back and I ended up returning to our room after lunch each day for a nap.

Our pastor from Jeff's field work church during seminary, Darryl Zimmerman was there to speak about Relieving Stress.  He is now serving with Grace Place and his presentation was very good. It was nice to talk to him during some free time to catch up with family news.

Jeff and I enjoyed using the outdoor hot tub, more like hot pool.  Even though it was chilly, the hot water felt good and ensured our body stayed warm while drying off.  I took advantage of the nice weather and took some pictures on a walk back to my room before my nap.  They had 6 passenger golf carts for rent to drive around the resort that I know Matthew would have loved!  I would have had fun too, but everything I needed was in walking distance so we saved our money.

For the first time I know of, the pastors and wives came together for a service project.  We packed over 10,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. It was a fun time and for a great cause. Jeff and  I weighed the packaged dry meal to make sure they were exactly 390 grams.  It was tiring for me, especially with the tables being a little low causing more back problems.


I would be remiss if I didn't mention baseball. Many pastors were keeping track of their favorite teams, with the Tigers being most popular of course, throughout the conference. I made a few new friends through keeping informed of the progress and ultimate win against the Oakland A's in the playoffs. Now I am here watching game one ALCS against the Red Sox.

I reached another milestone this week; I got my first haircut since my diagnosis with cancer. My hair started growing about 3 months after my stem cell transplant and after 5 months of growing, it needed a trim and a shape.  My hair stylist did a great job. Not too much different, just looks more like a hair style instead of hair growing after treatment.

Before                            After   
The kids are doing well. Sarah has been especially busy with her studies and high school football athletes.  There seems to be a lot of injuries this year.  Lots of good experiences, but you certainly don't want your students to get hurt.  She has an excellent relationship with her high school and they would love to find a way to keep her on next year.  Sarah would like that too, but is more than ready to be done with her formal education.  I am so proud of her perseverance in staying in school to get her Master's degree.

Mary has several days of student teaching done and has the responsibility as Glee Club President this year.  The director is on sabbatical, so her leadership skills will come in handy.  She recently wrote her first article as the UMWGC president in their newsletter, Arioso. The fall concert is next month, and I am looking forward to attending.  She traveled  to LA this morning to spend a few days with Brandon at UCLA.  I expect a report full of fun and joy.  I do believe that Mary will have an interview this month with Teach for America and hopes to be placed in an LA school next fall.  Boy, her college years really flew by quickly.

Matthew reports that things area going well and his grades are good.  I know that he likes living in his apartment and occasionally cooks for all guys who live there. I was asked to bring his quesadilla maker with me when we visit just two weeks from now.  I just can't wait to see my boy and give him a huge bear hug!  Besides seeing our favorite son, we will also be attending the OU Alumni weekend.  Jeff graduated 30 years ago! Does that seem possible?

Happy Birthday Mom W!  Hope your day was happy!

I think that about does it. Things here are pretty good and stable.  That is fine with me.
~Gracie

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Updates on the Family

Another weekend and another fun birthday party at the Clarks.  The food was good, the cake delicious.  I love chocolate cake.  Most importantly, it was so fun to play with the kids and spend time with the parents and family.  We had an extra reason to be happy, Sarah was at the party too.

Little Jack got so sad again when we left, he didn't want us to leave.  I wished Sarah would have come home for the weekend, but alas, she went back to Toledo.

Speaking of Sarah, she is busy with her work.  Couple of fractures, concussion and finding part of cast in the garbage isn't something the AT likes to see. She handles everything in pretty good stride and continues to plug away at her thesis.

Mary student taught this morning and felt very positive about it.  I guess she will teach one hour for the next few days.  She has a busy schedule, but will get a break in a few weeks and travel to LA to see Brandon and perhaps even be on The Price is Right.

Matthew has been working the lights for the Oklahoma Ballet the past two weeks.  That gig will fulfill his show requirement for the semester.  Of course he will still be working in the scene shop and at the movie theater.  We will be going to OK in late October for Alumni weekend and to see our boy.  I can't wait!  Matt called me yesterday to get advice on cooking.  That made me so happy.  Last year he learned laundry, this year now that he is in his own apartment, he is cooking. He loves it!

Jeff and I are going about our routine: church work, exercise, physical therapy, meetings, appointments, dinner and movies!  We try to do some fun things too! We will be going to the Pastor's conference next week.  The fall colors should be beautiful!  The leaves are starting to change here and falling to the ground. Happy Fall!

My job is still on hold.  We do know that I won't be returning to the OB department, so my  position will be released. :(   Next month we will see how my arm is and base my job potential at that time, and see where I can fit in at Metro, nursing or non-nursing.   In the meantime, I need to start working and focusing on the present, what I can do now and not worry about the future or dwell on the past.  So I have been reading the bible a lot, doing a few studies and even started writing a book with Mary as my co-author.  I have the itch to do some sewing too.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Art Prize

Grand Rapids hosts an event called Art Prize each fall with all kinds of art work from all over the world.  The art work is at many venues, the art museum,  outside on the sidewalks and street corners, along the river just to name a few.  Today Jeff and I had lunch at the Art Museum with Hope College and learned about the new art museum that will be built and open in 2015.  Afterward we took some time to see some of the exhibits.  It was a beautiful day and we had a nice time.

See more pictures on our family photo album!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Birthday Weekend!

Friday was a fun day.  I visited my wonderful friend from work and we had such a nice time. She baked me her famous chocolate chip cookies and played one of my favorite songs. After I got home, Jeff and I had spaghetti supporting the Lions Club, went to the high school football game and did shopping at Meijer.

Saturday Jeff rode his bike in the annual le Tour de Donut here in Greenville.  The ride is 32 miles and  has two stops requiring the rider to eat at least one donut before continuing.  It is a fun time and the weather was nice. I went shopping for new slightly smaller clothes in between the stops. So everyone wins!
 

I played for church for the first time in almost a year.  I think it went pretty well and enjoyed playing for the Lord this morning.

Sunday after church we drove to Ann Arbor, picked up Mary and then headed to Toledo to celebrate Sarah's birthday.  We had a lot of fun, first at bd's mongolian barbeque for dinner and then eating Mary's delicious and moist chocolate cake at Sarah's house.  Matthew joined us from OK via face time so we had the family all together.  I am a very happy mommy!  It's been a great weekend.






You get a crazy hat to wear at the restaurant.  I said she looks like princess amadala from star wars. We have two beautiful girls!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to SARAH...It was a joyous day 24 years ago, the day she was born in the Land of the Rising Sun!  Omedeto Gozaimasu!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Collage Card


PUZZLE PIECES



I went to Gilda's House yesterday for a class about feeling and dealing with cancer and grief.  I am not sure if I did my collage card like the rest of the class, but I am very happy with it and it represents how I feel so well.

Can you make any guess about any of it's meanings? 

The picture includes: stormy background (including some tornadic winds), God, a lamb, happy black and white dog, three children, flowers, koala, anemometer and kiddie border.

Stormy background: I have had a stormy last year. Blown around leaving life as I knew it in pieces.

God: All powerful and has directed my life through the storm, safe and sound.

Lamb: The little lamb is me.  I am in God's loving arms.

Dog:  First, it represents that I'd like things to be more black and white, but it has proved to very gray. There are no hard and fast answers. Secondly, he makes me smile, and I need to keep doing that every day, no matter if life seems gray.

Three Children: Two girls and a boy.  Wonderful memories of our three children growing up into who they are today, awesome!  It also represents my looking forward to grandchildren one day, hoping that I will be able to hold them and play with them. 

flowers: Take time to enjoy the small things.  Seeing the first flowers of spring always brings a smile and a sign of life!

Koala:  I think they are so cute and had the exciting experience of holding a koala when we were in Australia, Sarah in one arm and the little aussie in the other.

Anemometer: Of course it's an instrument that the love of my life uses in his weather world. It  measures wind speed.  Life has been a whirlwind at times, then a waiting game at others. I am still learning patience!  

The kiddie border: Well, it represents kids in general.  I love kids and babies.  

So that is my story behind the collage card.  Tomorrow church orchestra starts and Friday I am going to visit a friend from my work.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Canadian Brass


Jeff and I were able to attend the Canadian Brass concert at the Performing Arts Center at Greenville High School. It was awesome!  I didn't take my camera or iPod since pictures and videos are usually prohibited. Anyway, they welcomed pictures, so I used my cell phone and had pretty sad results.  Everything was small. I shared the best I had plus some I found online from Thursday's concert.  The music was stellar and the performers interactive. During one song, the Tuba Player came and played sitting in the audience.  The other 4 stood around the auditorium.  I took a picture of Jeff with their French Horn player. All of the instruments are 24 K gold plated! Just beautiful! One trumpeter, played the piccolo trumpet.  I never heard of that before. It was quite amazing! The other trumpeter has perfect pitch and sang a high C during the Carmen opera performance. Incredible! Everyone had a prop as a costume, Captain, brown women's wig, blonde women's wig a matador and even a bull! If you ever have a chance to see them in concert, I would HIGHLY recommend seeing them!


Watch a video taken at our concert lasts Thursday.  
(hear the piccolo trumpet!)


Jeff ran in a 5K this morning to benefit families that are homeless.  He was happy with his time right at 30 minutes!  I stayed home instead of going to watch, since it was a cold morning!  Some areas had frost!  I have a sweatshirt on today.  I think it was in the 40's! At least the sun is out and shining bright! Fall is here. Even some of the leaves are starting to change.

Have a nice weekend!

Gracie