Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another Move in our Future

It has been one month since we returned from Los Angeles. While we miss Mary very much,  she is doing well.   Teach for America has had the new teachers training and teaching summer school since June 10th.  She updates us each week and sounds very happy, although she does get a little frustrated with the assigned lessons/teaching plans and prefers to write her own.

We don't hear from Matthew too often, but when we do,he sounds happy with his job and life in Wichita this summer. Here is a cool coincidence.  Jeff did his ROTC summer training camp before his junior year at OU at McConnell Air Force Base near Wichita, KS!  Like father like son!  Different professions same place to train!

Jeff and I have settled back into the empty nest.  I am working one day a week, and like it very much.  I am starting to pick up an extra day of work here and there. So far it hasn't been to hard on my body. Sarah was able to come home for Father's Day and we enjoyed dinner and a movie. Jeff just returned from four days on Mackinac Island with our high school youth for the Michigan district HS Youth Gathering.  From what I hear, it was great. 

Sarah has a  job. She will be the Athletic Trainer for a high school in Michigan.  We are all very happy for her. Tomorrow Jeff and I will be driving down to Toledo to do some final packing and loading up the U-Haul on Monday to move her things to a storage unit near Jackson, MI until she finds an apartment. (We hope that happens this week!)

The weather here is warming up and our fans are going full blast part of day.  I wonder if  we will need to put in our air conditioner this summer?  

That's all my news.  Have a great week! Stay tuned for more news after the move.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another Birthday in the Books

I had a very nice birthday.  First off, after several days of not feeling too well, I woke up without the vice on my head and the phone rang. The clinical coordinator at work gave me the first four hours of work off.  That gave me some extra time for rest, which did me a lot of good.  My blessings continued later that day when I was given the last four hours of my shift off as well.  Thank you!  In addition the weather was nice and I got a lot of fun things on my to do list done.   

Jeff took me to dinner at Red Robin followed be going to see "God's Not Dead". It was very good that confirmed my need to share my story with the writing of a book and increase a caring ministry in our community, hopefully through a support group at our church.  Since it was national donut day, we went to Krispy Kreme for our free donut.  I got two extra, one for my birthday and one with the coupon I had for joining the Donut club.  

Doing a lot of walking this week,  Easter Seals at the Zoo (Wed),  Relay for Life at the high school (Fri), and Alpha Family Center's Life Walk in Greenville (Sat).  There is a Ca Survivor party open house on Wednesday, SCT patient support group on Tuesday and lunches with buddies on Mon and Tuesday.  Thursday is work. Monday and Friday are doctors' appontments. 

Heard from all three kiddos on my birthday. Mary called early and is doing well. Got sunburned at field day at her new school.  They invited her to attend and they even had a catered lunch for all the teachers.  She is excited.  Evidently she and Brandon went to a comedy club and met a"star" from the SURVIVOR show. Yay!

Matthew called me just before our dinner and he is happy with his job and life in Kansas this summer.  That makes me happy too.  We have tickets to go to OK in October to see a show at OU and of course have a little time with Matman. :) 

Sarah has more questions to answer this weekend for the potential job in Jackson MI.  These are the 4th set of questions she had.  These are all, What would you do if... kind of questions.  We are all hoping that she will land the right job soon.  We are moving her out of her apartment June 29th- ??. More importantly it's where will be moving her.  Home?? To a nice new safe apartment?? Only time will tell.  She has been so happy working at her high school.  At the awards night, everyone stood and gave her a standing ovation. She received multiple gift cards, letters and notes, a memory photo album and even an honorary varsity letter.  She was overwhelmed with joy!

Look for updates during the week.  Thanks for everyone's birthday wishes. <3

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fun in Los Angeles!

Our time in Los Angeles was simply marvelous.  We were happy to help Mary and Brandon set up the apartment, shop with them, dine out with them, and see and do lots of sightseeing.  I can't wait to return and hope that I can see the Price is Right and maybe a whale too!

Sunday 5-25    
  • Jeff and I checked out of our hotel, now that the apartment is ready for visitors.
  • Jeff moved the truck which left me driving Mary's car in LA. I survived, but of course I didn't need to go on the freeways.
  • Went to Westwood, saw UCLA Law School and the campus.  Ate at a yummy and affordable burger place, In and Out. 
  • Went to a LA mall where the halls are outdoors, like a terrace. Can say I went to Bloomingdales. 
  • Went to the LA Dodgers Baseball game. The traffice was crazy, the weather was hot but we had a good time!  I love baseball!
  • Finished with dinner at "The Humble Potato" an cool place with American food and a Japanses twist.  I had a Curry Dog.  It was delicious!

Tuesday 5-27
  • Housekeeping and lunch.
  • Back to Westwood to clean up Brandon's campus apartment followed by a delicious meal at Kushi's, specializing in Korean and Japanese food.  
  • Got on a bus for the Billy Joel concert at the Hollywood Bowl!  It was an awesome concert.  He is a great entertainer.  So glad we went.   However, the ride home was certainly memorable. When we arrived at our bus, it was broken. We waited 45 mintues for a new one, while watching eveyone else leave on time.  Needless to say there were several unhappy customers.  We got back to our car late, so I said, "let's go to Randy's  (24 hour) Donuts!  When we arrived, they only had 3 kinds of donuts.  We decided to all get the same two and perform a taste test.  We all picked the same winner!
Wednesday 5-28

  • We really enjoyed trying the local (non-chain) restaurants around Mary's apartment, which is just across from LAX.   Today's lunch was BBQ.  It was very good and reasonable for the amount of food.
  • Walked off all those calories in Hollywood, walkin the  Stars and Hand Prints in cement.
  • Back in the car,  we drove up to Mary's school, James Jordan Middle School. It reminds me a lot of my middle school, St Marks in Hollywood, FL.
  • Last stop was Santa Monica Beach.  I was sure to get sand in my shoes to make sure that I will be returning. After all, we were leaving in the morning.
Thursday 5-29
  • A quick ride to the airport from Mary, stood in a slow line to check our bags, and then a quick trip through security.   
  • The plane was packed and there was quite a bit of coughing and sneezing.  I was wearing my personal air purifier, but decided on wearing a mask as well.  
  • Had a nice lunch at the STL airport before boarding our slightly delayed flight to GRR. I missed Mary a lot, but was happy she has her best friend out there with her, we didn't leave her out there alone.  I was also glad to sleep in my own bed.
It was a really fun time.  Why not take a trip out to LA and vist Mary and Brandon.  They will show you the sights.

My Awesome Oncologist

Cancer and Hematology Center of W. Michigan

Click on the link to see a three minute video.

From a happy patient!

California, He We Come!

Well, I will be 51 before I am done writing this entry, so I am determined to catch up our life story before more celebrating.  Life at the Wilhelms sure has had lots to celebrate over the past few months.

Now on to our story...

Day 1:  May 20
We headed out of Greenville toward California as soon as everything was packed, bills were paid and the GPS's programmed and synchronized.  We stopped frequently, as the truck had no cruise control and frequent leg stretching is necessary.  Stopping point for the first night on the road: Hannibal, MO home of Mark Twain and Col. Sherman T Potter from my favorite shows, M*A*S*H*.

Day 2: May 21
McDonald's was a lucky stop for us.  Mary's phone had decided to stop working and needed to be restored.  That was no simple task.  Mary had to get her computer from the car and spend 45 minutes with a verizon person to get her phone working again. Thanks Mickey D's for having great wifi!

Our destination on this day was Wichita, KS, Matthew's summer city.  It was great to see him. We walked around Old Town and had pizza at Old Chicago and ice cream at Coldstone Creamery.

Matthew needed to stop at wal-mart so we tagged along.  After saving for a long time, he finally bought himself a new TV.  It is quite nice and makes him happy.  His old one is an old honking big one! We are happy for him.  We took him our inflatable queen size air mattrass for him to use this summer, so we also got him a new sleeping bag to lay on top of it. On the way to see his summer house, he took us by the Musical Theatre Wichita, where he works as a carpenter.  He likes it very much. Before we knew it, it was time to say goodnight.  It was a wonderful time together.

Day 3: May 22
Started with a delicious made to order free breakfast at our hotel.  The rest of the day we spent driving and driving and driving. We drove through several storms that seemed to be around us, yet only driving for a short time in the rain. Saw some awesome lightning too. We all the driving, Mary didn't want help driving her car, not because she was afraid of my driving, but because she wanted the bragging rites to say she drove the whole way.  I told her I would support her endeavor!  We stopped in Albuquerque to sleep.

Day 4: May 23
Grand Canyon Day. We couldn't drive so close and not see this wonder of the world.  I had seen it back in 1972 with my fmaily and grandparents, and was more than happy to see it with my honey and sweet sunshine. Although there wasn't much around, some of the rock formations God created were spectacular.

We parked the moving truck in Williams, AZ so we could driving up to the Canyon together. It was just as wonderful as when I saw it before. A little more commercialized, but you can't change the Grand Canyon. Again, there was rain all around, but we managed to see it and get on the road before it could wash us out.  LOL.  Saw some Elk along the road back to Williams, so of course I had to have some pictures.  Our smart phones have been a great camera for us too.  We had dinner back in town at Pancho MCGillacuttys Cantina.  An Irishman in a poncho and sombrero.  Interesting.  Still it was good food and we had a good time.

Our night didn't end there, we had another couple hour drive to Kingman, AZ.  Our hotel was older, but acceptable.  The next morning I noticed that they took great pride in labeling gues rooms with names of rodeo riders. That's something I hadn't seen before.

Day 5: May 24
Mary was looking forward to this day for the whole trip.  It was the day she would arrive home.  After driving in the desert all morning, driving in LA was a big change. We arrived in time for a late lunch after meeting Brandon at the new apartment, welcoming Mary home. It is a nice place with a few pools and all new appliances. It is right across the highway from LAX. So quick and easy pick up and drop off.  All of us worked hard getting  her belongings up to the apartment and it virtually filled it up to almost no walking space. Lunch was at a local mexican place with authentic food.  We made it across the country from Grand Rapids, MI to Los Angeles, CA.

Look for the next addition....Fun in Los Angeles. Coming soon!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

MAY...What a busy month!

Life is busy isn't it? I only work at the hospital one day a week and I still don't get everything done.  Journaling has been on my to do list for a long time.  So without getting too wordy, I will tell you just what we have been up to since Easter.

I went to my very first Katie Conference with two friends and also pastors wives. I had a great time and enjoyed meeting new people and even a nice comfort dog, Faith. The theme this year was "Identity Check".  We had good speakers leading bible study.  One of the leaders writes a devotion every day.  I liked her very much and found out later that it was her husband that sat with us at a Pastor's Conference and has been praying for me since my diagnosis.  Wish I would have known that during the conference.  I look forward to attending next year back in Bay City.

Both Mary and Sarah completed their studies by the end of April and were anxious to graduate and move on to their careers.  Jeff's mom flew up to Grand Rapids and spent a few days with us before heading to the "thumb side" of Michigan and met up with my mom, brother and sister who flew in to Detroit and spent the morning visiting Evergreen Lutheran Church (my home church growing up).

Friday, May 2, Mary graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Arts in English.  She minored in history and music and obtained her teaching certificate in secondary education. Whew!  That's a lot!  Our family, Brandon, and his family were all in attendance to celebrate her achievements. Graduation took place in the Michigan Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor. Afterward, we all enjoyed an authentic German meal at Metzger's. Mmmm.  It was an appropriate place to dine, since Mary had two years of studying german and became proficient in the language.

The next morning, we were up and at the University of Toledo for Sarah's commencement.  In addition to parents, grandmas and a sister, my cousin Virginia, Kathy and Charlotte came to celebrate with us.  Sarah graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Athletic Training.   She completed her thesis after many hours and revisions. Jeff and I were lucky to be there when Sarah defended her work.  She wore her green hood with pride at graduation, of course we are all proud of her too! The whole gang had a nice lunch together and visited for a couple hours.

What's next?  Mary has moved to Los Angeles, CA where she was placed to teached 7th grade English with Teach for America for the next two years.  Her school, James Jordan Middle School, has the option to keep her on board in 2016.  Mary's boyfriend, Brandon will be done at UCLA Law School at that time as well.  Do I hear bells?? Sarah has been interviewing for Athletic Training positions at high schools and small colleges.  She has an interview this Tuesday for a high school position.  Sarah has a certain fondness for the high school athlete.  The athletic director, coaches, students and parents at Summerfield High School (her graduate assistant position) love her and are so sad to see her leave. Both girls supervisors only had great things to say about Mary's teaching skills and Sarah's professional and competent care.  Can you tell I am a proud momma?

I scored a hat trick on Mother's Day having all three of my wonderful children home with us. That is the best gift ever!  We enjoyed eating together, watching TV together and taking a walk together. What a great day.

Matthew arrived the day before Mother's Day and stayed a whole week. Sophomore year at OU is finished. He had another good year with lots of good compliments from his professors. Matt always brings a certain happiness to our house making us smile and laugh.  He also takes on chores like mowing the lawn, doing yard work, cleaned up the basement, helped Mary clean out her room (the attic), hauled donations to Goodwill, and did many chores with me like getting the car washed, shopping and vacuuming. We did manage to do fun things together as a family too. He went to Tai Chi and Yoga with us, played board games, watched movies and made a trip to Toledo to have lunch with Sarah and visit her school.  Several girls walking down the hallway wanted his number!  Before he left, I made sure we played catch, something we loved to do since he was a small boy.

Just before Matthew had to return to Oklahoma, We celebrated Mary's 22nd birthday. I made some brownies instead of cake.  Then we ate dinner at Jimmy's in Newaygo (Brandon's Dad's restaurant). Dinner was delicious.  The main event was in Grand Rapids at the DeVos Concert Hall.  The Glenn Miller Orchestra was absolutely awesome. All four of us really enjoyed it. My brownies were quite yummy.

Two days later, we had a farewell party for Mary.  Tacos, Chips and salsa and Sarah's yummy taco dip was the menu.  I made a devil's food cake that turned out to be one of my best in a long time.   Mary likes to bake and did most of it for me.  Guess I will be baking more. Anyway, we had a lot of fun.  Mary created a home made photo booth where all the guests took pictures and enjoyed some silliness. Here are a few taken that night.

Well, time to sign off for now.  Part II Coming Soon!  Be sure to check out Family Photo Album for lots and lots of pictures!