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.