And so it begins…..

Every year at this time I get a bit sentimental………This makes my third year of starting back to school with out Curt.  Last week I brought Curt along with me while I was going to work in my classroom.  As I was finishing up I asked Curt if he wanted to walk down and see his old classroom.  He said, “not really, I don’t know where it is.”  I suggested we just walk down his old hallway, just for the heck of it.  He complied and as we walked together, he turned to me with this little glimmer of familiarity and said, “this is my place” and then as we continued down the hallway he walked right up to the door of his old classroom.   HIS old classroom, the place where he spent 15 years teaching HS students. 

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Curt loved his job!  He would always be so excited as the lazy days of summer began to wane and the leaves in our woods began to fall, knowing the first day of school would soon be here!  I on the other hand would shudder and complain about going back, he would smile and remind me, that we should be thankful for the jobs God has given us! :)  I still complained……….

He would get up early that first week of school and be there by 6 am each day.  He wanted to have time to get work done when there were no students around.  He would say, “after school time is not time to get work done, that is time to help students.”  He would often come home late from school after hanging out after school talking to students, helping with assignments, or just giving advice.  I would often have to call him at school and say, “DINNER IS READY can you please come home!!”  I would get so mad…….now I would give anything for him to arrive home late for dinner.

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Curt being a cheerleader and a trooper on a Father/Daughter night for the cheerleaders, this girl’s dad couldn’t be there so she asked her fav teacher to fill in.

He cared for his students, he worked hard to get them involved in each class, he engaged students with his witty sense of humor, and taught with a passion. 

He was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Oct. 1st 2010, I remember I was making a quick stop at a local store for some much needed school clothes the next day.  The clerk who checked me out noticed my last name and asked if my husband taught at our local high school.  When I said I was his wife, she gushed on and on about how he was her favorite teacher, and even though she didn’t like World History she loved his class!

  I didn’t have the heart to tell her about his diagnosis and thanked her and went in the car and cried!

Yes this time of year I reflect so much upon Curt’s teaching days.  Just the other day we were out at a local restaurant and when the waitress brought our check, she smiled at us and said, “A former student paid for your check tonight!”  That was not the first time that has happened, it happened another time at a local Applebee’s restaurant. 

1998 Yearbook pic

1998 Yearbook Picture of this nice married couple that taught at the same high school :)

One man’s life does matter, and it does impact others.  I know, it sounds like a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life. :)

Curt was always a fan of Oswald Chambers, I found this quote in one of Curt’s books recently

“We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life – those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength.” ~Oswald Chambers

Yes Curt lived in the ordinary things of everyday life and in those ordinary, daily moments he worked hard to live a life that would always honor God, and reflect a life lived with passion and integrity. 

I am thankful for the model he served to me to live that life. 

It is with that inspiration that I start my school year this year! 

Alzheimer’s and life with Teens

I  said to Curt while getting out of the car in the 90 degree heat at a lacrosse tourney, “Well honey you win the award for being the most active guy with Alzheimer’s!”  He got up 2 days in a row at 6am, I got him dressed and we headed out the door for an early 8am game in the heat.  He hung out in the heat watching two games on Sat., used the nasty outhouses, (which provided a nice challenge for me since he needs a bit of help these days…… and then I was so paranoid he would somehow lock himself in the outhouse, oh can you imagine the horror of being locked in one of those!.) And he reeled in the commotion of the two games close together.  He would get so confused as to what was going on, but would continue to go along with whatever I told him.  Sunday,  Madi had an 8am game and then not again until 3pm.  We had time to kill between games, including a long chilling out time at IHOP!  And then some shopping, which we know how much Curt loves! And then a short 1/2 hour nap in the hot van for him and then back to the last game. More time in the heat and then the 5 hour drive home.

Madi lax

Really, it’s a lot for a guy in the late moderate stages of Alzheimer’s to deal with.  But He is a trooper, he sits patiently in the heat, and really doesn’t complain.

morning walk on the beach

People often ask me how he does with these kind of things…..overall he does well.  He would keep getting confused with when Madi is playing and how long the game lasts etc.  But he would hang tough and sit out in the sun drinking lots of water and seemed pretty content.

C pool

He also LOVED our family vacation!  He wanted to be part of everything.  Really once again he was a trooper!! Got up early, stayed up late, enjoyed chatting with my extended family.  We rented a beach house with my family, it was a ton of fun.  Curt had always enjoyed the ocean.  He and the kids would be out there for hours………..now when he wanted to go out in ocean we were all nervous!

Curt in ocean

But he was pretty insistent about wanting to go in.  So Tyler was the first to get him out there, and we all quickly joined him out there.  Due to the spatial issues, he had trouble judging when the wave would break, and at one point Tyler literally picked him up to carry him out so the wave would not break on him.  So,Tyler, Madi and I, and my two surfer, boogie board riding brothers, kept a careful watch over Curt while he was in the ocean.  But as it is in the ocean, inevitably the “big wave” came, and despite our efforts, we all got toppled.  We all quickly pop out of the what feels like the wash cycle of the washing machine, all looking for Curt.  For that brief second no one sees him, and then suddenly his head pops up and he loudly proclaims, “That was AWESOME!!” And that expression seemed to capture our entire vacation for Curt.  He really enjoyed the long conversation with family, the pool, the beach and just some time away.

curt beach

hanging on the front porch

But the lazy days of summer are beginning to wane as we take Tyler to college to start his freshman year TOMORROW!  And I have some back to school commitments coming up as well as looking for people to stay with Curt in the fall.  Honestly I am not looking forward to the busy, crazy, stressful life again.  I  find myself getting a little battle weary…..maybe I am just getting older, maybe it’s that fun woman hormone craziness, maybe it’s Tyler leaving……….it’s probably all of it combined.

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But I have also come to understand Matthew 11:28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Jesus gives the invitation to Come, but it is us who must get up and GO!!  We must Go the Lord, and give him these burdens.  Trying to carry them on our own just doesn’t seem to work real well! :)  So I am working more on Going to the Lord with the burdens of the day, I often try to carry them on my own. Working on that more for this Fall….Going to the Lord and LEAVING those burdens of the day there.

Going………….

Thanks again for your ongoing LOVE and prayers for our family!!

Morris fam

Looks Like We Made It!!!!

Yipee!!!  Yahoo!!

I am celebrating the end of a crazy, hectic, yet heartwarming school year! 

What a crazy June it for this mom.  Tyler graduated, he left for a week at the beach, we threw a big family party for Tyler and for Madi’s big 16th birthday.  We also went to a lacrosse tournament and some how I limped my way through the last few days of school.

I am just saying….. lots of vitamin supplements and coffee seem to be my mainstay to keep me going these days!

But I made it!!!  Made it through the school year!!!  This post is about celebrating making it through it all!

It’s a crazy journey, and sometimes when I have down time, I almost don’t know what to do with it.  I am so used to going, doing, working, helping etc.

There were many EMM’s (Emotional Mom Moments) along the way. The kind we all go through when our kids suddenly grow into young adults and you try to savor those last moments of their senior year.  This is Tyler’s senior night at his baseball game….a true EMM.

baseball senior night

Another one of this EMM’s was when Tyler won our school’s Grosh Award/Scholarship.  It is the highest athletic honor/award the school gives and Tyler was the recipient this year.  You can read more about it here.  It was a great honor for him, and we could all savor that moment together at an athletic dessert social in early June.

grosh award

Madi turned sweet 16 and had a big party at a friend’s pond.  It was a fun pond party with food to plan, cake pops to make, prayers for good weather and a ton of other stressors along the way.  Really what was I thinking planning this party 5 days before graduation!!!  But it all went well, the sun came out 5 min. before the party started and it made for a beautiful late afternoon  pond party.

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And Madi ended up making these cool cake pops all by herself, boy were they delicious!

Madi 16th party

And then there was this moment…………

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And a special hug from one of my students who Tyler walked with at graduation.

grad 5 hug from cm

And all that happened the first 3 weeks of June!

But as I said I made it!

And most important Curt made it though it all.

He just went along with what ever I told him was happening.  With so much going on he really depended on me to keep things consistent for him.  I was really thankful Margo the dear lady who stayed with him during the time I was at school was able to come consistently during those last 2 weeks.  She was a source of stability for Curt amidst the chaos.

Curt was able to understand the fact that Tyler won several scholarships and other awards and that he graduated, but it was like someone who gets it, but is very apathetic and unemotional about it.  He kept saying it was awesome, but I don’t think he totally reeled in the emotions of it all.

He has been same the last 2 months or so, the anger issues pop in now and then and are not pretty, but don’t last as long as they did a year ago.  Thank goodness!  He is eating a lot more and hopefully gaining back some of that weight he lost.  He struggles with HOW to get the food to his mouth, but is quite happy to eat his favorites. Although his repertoire of the food he likes is very limited, but that is ok, just so he eats.  He has lost lots of that muscle mass, he used to be one solid dude, now he is mushy. :(  Two minor things I have noticed get worse are his inability to get himself a glass of water, he confuses how to work the faucet.  He also can no longer take off his shoes with out help.  It’s the slow demise of those daily tasks that are so sad to watch slip away. He can no longer shave or take care of those daily personal hygiene skills that we all take for granted.  He walks slower than molasses pouring from a jar, and shuffles and kind of bends over some as he walks.  He almost looks robotic in his gait.  But he still retains a fun sense of humor and tells me all the time that he  loves me so much!  So we press on and cherish those glimpses of the old Curt!

Also, I must once again thank SO MANY of you that helped to get me through the spring, there have been SO MANY of you that helped out in big and small ways.  Friends who cleaned out my disgusting fridge, brought meals, prayed for us continually, gave gift cards, let me borrow a lawn mower when ours needed repair etc.  Spring was just overwhelming and so busy, really, I know I am repeating myself, but I just couldn’t keep up with everything at times, and became a bit forgetful and I am sure I did not thank many of you.

And a special Thanks to person who made us dinner the week of Graduation!  It was a really delicious spaghetti casserole!! The timing was PERFECT, but Curt had no idea who dropped off the meal.  I believe it was the night of baccalaureate, and the way that night was going we would have never had dinner. :) So thank you to the mystery person who has blonde hair.  That is all I could get out of Curt. 

Tyler leaves for 3 weeks of summer classes at Liberty this week……Ahhhhhhhhhh, minor freak out, but I got this.  We appreciate your prayers as we all adjust to him being gone.  Also Madi has several lacrosse tournaments with traveling to Va. and Maryland, do pray for the logistics of that.  And pray that we can all just savor some family time.

Thanks!

A few pics from our big family graduation/birthday party

grad party fun

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Curt with his brother!

curt and nate

The Rock? Sometimes it seems way out there somewhere.  It’s bumpy and hard, right at the water’s edge.  It even hurts when we fall on it.

The Rock! But it sure makes a great foundation when the storms hit!

Life goes on……

“The thing Margo told me about, is that here now?”

“What thing?”

“The thing, you like it”

“Oh you mean the weekend?”

“Yes when does that start? We never had weekends when I grew up in Ohio so this is new”

“Yes it starts TODAY!!!”  :)

So went the conversation between Curt and I this afternoon.

It reminded me of the good and bad of life these days.  The good being the weekend, the bad the reminder of Curt’s progression with Alzheimer’s.

I feel like this school year has been a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs, good and bad.  The bad is the daily reminder of the progression of Alzheimer’s in Curt.  He is having trouble finding certain rooms in the house now.  He will say he is ready for bed and be so tired, but then ask, “where should I go?”  He gets confused on where the bathroom is frequently.  The anger of last spring is starting to rear it’s ugly head a bit also.  In the last month or so, he would suddenly become so angry at me for random things.  He was getting mad when I told him to take his shoes off so we could get his pajamas on for bed, he saw no reason to take his shoes off and thought I was being pushy telling him to take off his shoes first. 

And the spatial concepts of life are totally gone, he is even having trouble being able to place himself in a chair with out assistance. Just today while out at a yard sale, Curt was saying he was losing his water. (He had been walking around yard sales with a water bottle).  I looked over and he had been holding his water bottle at this angle not upright. He had NO idea that this was not the best way to hold a water bottle.   It happens frequently….. darn spatial concepts!

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  Alzheimer’s is so much more then losing memories I am painfully finding out!

But there is some good in amidst the misery.

Tyler has been writing these beats on the computer with garage band, he and Curt are enjoying sharing some music time together just like they did in days gone by.

Madi turned 16….finally!! She got her driver’s permit and we enjoyed a nice morning together while a friend stayed with Curt on her birthday.

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Tyler had a great baseball season….he won All League honors and ended the season with a .520 batting average, hitting 8 doubles, 5 triples and 3 home runs.  It made for a fun season watching him play his senior year of high school baseball! It was such a joy especially after his broken ankle frustrations of basketball season.

ty at bat senior yeat

I survived the spring sports season, there were moments when I questioned my sanity and ability to persevere.  But I made it!! :)

Tyler and his sweet girlfriend enjoyed a nice night at Prom, and they looked so nice.  Just another moment for this sentimental mom to cherish of a special time for my soon to be grad.

prom

I started this post sometime in mid may and got caught up in the whirlwind of life and never finished it until today June 1st!  Tyler’s baseball team made it into the post season so that kept  baseball season going until late May, there were awards ceremonies, baseball banquets, laundry, (ok, the laundry never really gets done anymore, we just wash what we need for the week ahead,  we all wear non matching socks these days.  And we totally rock the look!), lacrosse practices for a team Madi is playing for this summer, a special 4 day visit from Curt’s parents.  May just got so busy……and then there are those emotional mom moments when I ponder the fact that Tyler’ is graduating!!

Curt REALLY enjoyed his visit with his parents, they live deep in the depths of southern Texas and don’t get this way too often so it was indeed a wonderful time!

M and D M visit

So alas I am finishing this post……I survived SPRING!!!  Actually I am pretty happy to have gotten through all that craziness still intact, sure a few tears were shed in the process, but I pressed on! :)  And I must give a big shout out to all the friends who continually walk this journey with us.  Truly I would be lost with out all the help!  Forgive me for not always thanking you personally or not at all, I feel certain that I forget to thank people at times….really I want to, intend to, but it all gets lost in that constant brain fog!  But you are cherished and appreciated…….and really needed!

Friends just finished up Tyler’s senior collage for me…..just another example of the help we have gotten.  And let me assure you, not in a million years could this craft/scrapbooking disabled mom ever have made anything look this good.  Thanks to my sweet crafty and talented friends Cindi and Sherry!

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Tyler graduates in 12 days, a big milestone.  I am thankful for each of the milestones Curt can enjoy with us.  And thankful that summer vacation starts for this weary mom on June 14th!

Thanks for your prayers friends!

The A’s of life!

I remember about 8 years ago or so, our church was having all it’s members take part in this “spiritual gifts survey.”  As part of the program we were to meet with one of the pastors to discuss our “results.”  I specifically recall the pastor  asking me, “so you have had no major traumatic life changing events?”  I replied, “not really, my grandpa died in 8th grade and my other grand mother died that year, that was rough….but it was 8th grade.”  I remember telling him how my life has been good, so blessed in many ways and not any big traumas or drama!

Well lately I am feeling the trauma and drama of life. It seems to have all hit with a vengeance lately! I feel as if I have become a drama trauma momma!  Really we used to be a real low maintenance family! :)

C and I hoops banquet

All our trauma drama seems to to start with  the letter A.

Alzheimer‘s  – It’s been 2 and half years since a Dr. first told us Curt has Alzheimer’s.  The disease continues to reek havoc in his brain.  He is really having trouble communicating what he wants.  If he wants some milk to drink, he may say something like, “it goes good…………can i have………..um…..please be patient with me I will get it.”  Then he looks at me so sweetly and ask, ” can you get that for me?”  So many times I don’t know what he wants, I feel so bad.  Just today, as we were heading to a Lax game and I had Curt all layered up with jackets to embrace the changing weather conditions.  He tells me he may have to shag some later?!?!?
Mmmm, well being a baseball mom, I figured he was talking about shagging baseballs for Tyler in the outfield (quick baseball lesson, shagging balls simply means picking up or catching baseballs in the outfield after batting practice).  So I say, “you are going shag balls for Ty today?”
He replies, “what the heck are you talking about??”
When he says that it is usually a sign, that I need to do a little detective work to figure out what he really meant.  Finally after some tricky detective skills that I have become accustomed to, I realize he was saying that, he may have the shed some of his jacket layers later.

So now you get the picture of how this communication thing can be tough at times!

Ankles – As most of you already know, Tyler broke 2 different ankles during basketball games of his senior hoops season.  He is healing well and enjoying a good senior season of baseball!!

ty at bat senior season

Appendix – Madi ended up in the emergency room two Sundays ago at 3 am.  She awoke suddenly in pain in the middle of the night.  After a few moments of prayer, I decided our best option was to take her to the emergency room.  We arrived at 3:30am, she was diagnosed by 5:45am and in surgery by 8am.  It all moved so fast…….but it did just about send me over the cliff of chaos.  I was exhausted and emotionally drained from the whole thing.  But, I am thankful for the friends who came to our rescue and helped with Curt and provided me a much needed crutch to  limp through the whole thing! :)

M hospital

Thanks goodness 2 and half weeks later she is back playing lacrosse and sporting a cool new scar.

Accident

Well this “A”, I really don’t want to talk about.  Yep I did this to our beloved van!

Van

It was the result of the perfect storm of everyone, including the dog, yelling for me to help them at the same time.  It was just one of those chaotic moments, and I forgot a small detail (detect sarcasm), I got out of the van to get the dog, while the van was still in reverse.  And with in seconds I put on my Wonder Woman suit and jumped back into the moving van and guided it out the garage.  Tyler who was behind me in the driveway, gets out of his car to see the ensuing damage, and simply says, “what just happened?”  I think the worst part of it was the realization I would be with out the van for 4 days and all the paperwork that ensued.

But today is Saturday and I am FINALLY finding a moment to update my blog…..today feels like a normal Saturday.  We went to Madi’s Lax game this morning, I am heading out to run some errands with Curt, and Tyler went to baseball practice.  A NORMAL day…… there is such comfort and peace in these kind of days.  I am praying for more normal days, and special moments to cherish in these wanning moments of a fleeting life. So I have today, and today is good…..and as the saying goes, take it ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Yes we are thankful for TODAY!  And I am working real hard not to worry about tomorrow! :)

Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

A Caregiver?

I remember a few years ago, shortly after Curt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s going to an online support group for those who know someone with Alzheimer’s.  As I signed up I had to list if I was patient with Alzheimer’s or a caregiver.  I remember thinking, what?!? I was neither, I was Curt’s wife, he was my honey……I was NOT a caregiver.  I was so mad at this website, it forced me to sign up as a caregiver and I clearly was not.  At that point I really had no idea of the role of a caregiver or what that meant.

C and I Ice chair

Well…………almost 2 and a half years later I find myself feeling a lot more like a caregiver and less like a wife.  I help Curt get dressed each morning, put his shoes on for him, pour his cereal, pull out the chair for him to sit down on to eat, turn on the TV to ESPN (since he can’t use the remote anymore) and then head out the door for school each morning.  (Someone comes a little later to stay with him during the day while I am at school.)

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At a basketball game

I put his seat belt on and buckle it when we go places, put his coat on and take it off for him,  cut up his food so he can eat it, help position him in bed each night (he forgets where to lay his head each night), help put the covers on him and the list goes on and on.

Yes, I have become a caregiver.

When we took our vows back on June 17, 1989 and I said those infamous words, “for better or worse and in sickness and in health”, I meant it.  Sure I wasn’t thinking about Alzheimer’s on that beautiful day in June.  But God had other plans for our marriage and now is my time to show LOVE to Curt by caring for him.

He is so sweet telling me every day as I walk out the door how much he loves me.  He also greets me at the door every day when I get home.  He feels safe with me, he feels cared for by me and I hope he feels loved.  I can assure I do have those moments when I feel like letting him go to sleep with his jeans and shoes on because I am just too tired to put his jammies on. :)  But, He is my honey and despite my new caregiver role, I will always be his WIFE for life!  I have learned as of late the true meaning of those words spoken on that hot summer day in June.

Mark 10:6-9 New International Version (NIV)
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Family News

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I have not updated this blog in some time now.  Things got really busy for us with basketball season.  It was a rough season for Tyler!  He broke his LEFT ankle in a scrimmage in Early December, his team was 3-7 with out him.  He came back, and played 10 games and his team went 7-3……but then in the midst of an important overtime game, in the first 30 seconds of overtime, Tyler came down on someones foot and fractured his RIGHT ankle and had to miss the rest of the season.  It was a heart breaker.  But my boy is a trooper and maintained a great attitude, well…. except for the first night after he broke it the second time, that was rough. :)

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Note, the same boot he wore on the left foot is now on his right!

The night he broke his ankle was also a special night for our family.  Our wonderful basketball parents club did an Alzheimer’s Awareness night and raised about $1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and a little over $4,500 for a special fund set up to help pay for Care for Curt down the road.  Such a special night for our family, with such a unfortunate ending.  Yet ,we did feel so loved by the wonderful community we live in!  Our cool small town has been so very supportive of our family!

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Presenting the $1,000 check to the Alzheimer’s Association

I just entered the spring sports info into the calendar for March, April and May……..it’s a bit overwhelming, Madi will play her sophomore season of Lacrosse and Tyler will play his senior season of baseball.  So your ongoing prayers for my sanity are appreciated!!  Tyler graduates in June (sniff sniff), Madi has her 16th birthday at the end of May…..oh I feel the spring chaos already and it’s a freezing, winter day. :)

~Thanks for your ongoing prayers, encouragement and LOVE for our family…..we are blessed!~ Sandy

Madi sign

Madi made this special sign for her BFF.

I learned a few things in 2012

Well 2012 hasn’t been real pretty.  We have been beaten down, frustrated, stressed out, exhausted, overwhelmed and weary.  We had to deal with a busy spring sports schedule and then the angry outbursts of Alzheimer’s.  (You can read more about that here).  We traveled a ton this past summer for Tyler’s baseball team, I did a lot of driving and really missed Curt’s great driving skills and endurance!  Curt continued his downward spiral into the black hole of Alzheimer’s and has lost much of what we love about him.  But the man still retains a strong sense of humor which we are thankful for.

But along with such gloom and doom I learned a few things in 2012!

Christmas Eve 2012

I have seen the incredible goodness, care and love people have shown our family.  I have learned that friends and family can make a huge difference in the lives of people they care for simply by lending a listening ear, bringing dinner, helping with the practical things of life (yard work and laundry), sharing a hug at just the right time and sending text or note of encouragement.  I can’t tell you how many times dear friends and family have pulled me out of the miry pit by lending that hand of encouragement and practical help!

C and I  Christmas

I have learned to worry less!!!  There has been SO  many things I have worried about in this whole journey….who will I find to care for Curt while I am at school, how will I figure out all this financial stuff, how are we going to pay for long term care, etc. etc. etc……..So many of my worries have all come to work out in ways I could not even imagine or have planned for.  God provides!

I have learned that my plans are not always God’s plans.  This one is a tough one for me, as I am such a planner.  Curt and I had plans to retire early, pay off our house, travel…..but God has other plans for us and I am slowly learning to trust in His plans and not mine.

I have learned that the Keurig Coffee brewer is one of the best inventions ever.

Curt and Mom

I have learned that when you are down and out, cry, have a pity party, go all out!   But when the cry is over, pick yourself up and move on, don’t stay in that place, it just isn’t worth it.   It will do no good to stay there and dwell about the misery of your current situation.  Move on, laugh a little, Pray a LOT, make fun of your self a little, lighten up and MOVE ON!

I have learned that a sense of humor can go a long way.  Oh and let me assure you our family has always had a sense of humor.  If you know us, you know this to be quite true.  Laughter truly is good medicine.  :)

Cousins and Isaac

 I have learned to have fun with  family!  Even if things are looking grim, do something fun.  I have found that doing something fun and silly just helps to eliminate the doom and gloom stress of living with a fatal disease!

Paisely Christmas

And last but certainly not least, I have learned that no matter what is going on in our lives,  I still hate doing laundry! :)

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I stuck in a few fun pics from Christmas into this post.  Don’t you love this great picture of Tyler and Isaac!  Isaac is our Fresh Air Fund young man that has come to stay at our house the last 10 summers!  This year he got to come and stay with us for Christmas!!  It was so much fun to have Isaac here for Christmas!

So 2013, Welcome! 

I have NO IDEA what this year will bring, but I know I will continue to trust in Jesus, enjoy my dark chocolate and rely on the things I learned in 2012!