March 2008

The big news this year is that Mike (our son) married Maria this spring in Savannah, GA. We are so happy to have Maria for our daughter-in-law, and she enjoys calling us "Mom" and "Dad." They sent some beautiful wedding pictures for our walls -- one in the living room of the two of them together and one for Joe's room of Maria by herself to put up with Angie's wedding picture. A third photo of the two of them will go in Joe's classroom when school starts in the fall.

Joe is enjoying a couple of months off, and knows how to "goof off" really well!!! I actually like having him around, which I know not every wife would say... And of course he spoils me and takes me out to eat and to movies more when he is off. Since we can't travel due to Mom's failing health, we take these little outings for our "vacation."

Mom was in Assisted Living for two months and moved to the Golden Age Nursing Home in April. Her congestive heart failure has gotten much worse. Now she is having problems with her memory and being confused. In May Mom spent six days in the hospital with a very bad kidney infection, and she was also diagnosed with a right lung that is not working properly. Mom has leaned to the right when she sits ever since she got the pacemaker on the left side nearly two years ago. She has always slept on her right side, so that makes it even worse. I had taken her to the doctor twice prior to her hospitalization, and she was on two different antibiotics. The third time they decided she needed to go to the hospital to find out why she would get a little better and then worse right away. Her lung has atrophied because it does not get enough oxygen. We (the nursing home staff and I) have been trying to get her to sit up straighter and not lean so much to the right so that lung won't become infected again.

Mom broke her arm the night of June 19, but we did not realize it was broken for sure until I took her to the ER the following day. It had not swollen much, and I was surprised when they said it was broken just above her elbow. They put on a splint and she has done well except for one little scare when her fingers swelled about twice their normal size. After loosening the wrap and having her arm up higher, the swelling started going down and I was able to take Mom back to the nursing home.

The grandkids are wonderful, as always!!! Sophie will be seven in October and Keaton will be two the same month. Barrett just turned three in May. We love all the parties and times we get to be together. We had all three July 1-3, and had fun with fire works the nights of the 1st and 2nd. They all love the little poppers you throw on the sidewalk. The snakes and smoke bombs were cool, too. The sparklers were fun for Sophie and Barrett, while Keaton sat on my lap and watched. But when Joe lit the balls that pop a little, Keaton got scared and I had to take him inside. When Joe lit the louder fire crackers, Barrett decided to join Keaton in the bath tub, but Sophie stuck it out to the end.

Joe got the kids a neat blowup pool at Sam's that has a slide in the middle. Sophie and Barrett love going down the slide. Keaton is taking a while to warm up to the idea, but he plays and wanders around in the back yard with them.

On the 4th, Connie and Eric invited us to go to the parade. Joe went and then I joined them all at Red Lobster (more my speed) for lunch.

My diabetes is well under control. Flour and stress seem to cause it to go up as much as sugar. I still take only pills, which is great. My cholesterol and triglycerides were MUCH better this month than they were four months ago. I can't prove it, but I attribute it to the mangosteen juice. I started drinking it in January and a friend of mine does, too. If you would like to know more about it, I can send you a flier in the mail or as a pdf attachment to an e-mail. If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them for you. I believe it has helped my arthritis a lot, as well as my sinuses.

Because of Mom's illness and broken arm, I have not been accomplishing as much as I would like on my writing. In the past year I did publish one new preschool book by Lisa Smith, RWS-PS #211, Miracles of Jesus. I'm so thankful for her and the way she uses her talents to serve the Lord. John K. Wills has been working on lessons for the Old Testament series, and I have proofed most of the lessons he has written. I need to "catch up" with him with the lessons for the younger children, and then we can publish the 14th book in a series of 16, which will eventually be a four-year study of the Old Testament for grades 1-8.

If any of our friends or family would like a photo of the grandchildren to see how they have grown, just let me know and I can send it as an e-mail attachment. When I am so slow at putting up new family updates, if you want to know what's going on, send an e-mail and I'll fill you in on the latest antics of Joe and the grandchildren :>)

As I was preparing to write this, a Bible verse popped into my head: "Trust in the Lord, and do good: Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:3,4 NKJV).

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