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.