Monday, January 24, 2011

Multitude Monday Vol 20

I seem to have lost track how many posts are filed under Multitude Monday.  This is actually volume 20 and I have mis-titled many.  I think you'll forgive?

This is my list I am transferring from my actual book:

3.2 Miles after a long long break
Husband who fixes treadmill belts
Winning entry in 1/2 Marathon
Dinner plans
100 Days
Grandpa leaving nursing home 
Answered prayers
Well rested children
Clean kitchen
Talking to Grandpa...
....hearing his good news from him
Positive attitude
Birthday dinner with sister-in-law...
....four hours of great conversation
Happy husband despite more truck issues
Kids playing well inside
Furnace working in -25F weather
Husband enjoying weekend to himself
Summer camping plans
Day at home with kids
Working on Karley's photobook
Husband home safe & sound
Completing a project...Karley's photobook
Ordering Photobook
Excitement of three books coming this week

Numbers 444 - 474

Consider joining Ann in counting your 1000 Gifts?

Grandpa Update

It's been a week since I left the woods colder and covered with more snow that my own home.  When I left I was fearful it would be the last time I would see him.  My family keeps me informed on his progress and I speak to him every day, but it's not the same as being able to drop in and say hello, or spend hours sitting while he drifts in and out of sleep.  But I live three hours away with my own family, so we make due. 

The beginning of the week was hard.  It was hard for me to get back into my usual rhythm.  The little things of the littles seems to wear on my patience.  I knew it was me.  My husband, saintly this man, was ever so sweet and helpful by being home early, helping with everything (as he does anyway) and just being the rock that he is. 

I am ever so grateful for all of your prayers, thoughts and queries.  To say it means a lot to me would be an understatement.   My blog friends, IRL friends and family have been wonderful!  Then there are the friends who once were IRL friends and now more facebook friends or blog friends.  These friends I am referring to are my '89 Indian classmates.  (Yes, were were the proud Indians dressed in orange & black)  It's been years since I've seen most of them and  yet they touch my heart all the time.  They are The Kitchenista, The Prime Decorator, TJ, Warbird, Denise, Tina, The First BFF Jill, Shannon, Crystal, Kim, Deann, Melinda, and many others.  We grew up in a close knit, small community that I will forever cherish!

My Grandpa has done remarkable well this week!  He has progressed much more than I think his doctors thought he would, which isn't to say that he's out of the woods.  He still remains in heart and kidney failure, which more than likely won't change unless a miracle is performed.  He had kidney numbers that "horrified" my Dad.  We don't really know what that numbers are anymore because they aren't being tracked on a daily basis.  From what I have been told, when he heads towards complete kidney failure he will stop urinating, gain weight (water) and will be very sleepy.  So far, he's been taking off the weight he gained while in the hospital, continues to urinate but some days is very sleepy.  The sleepy part can be for any number of reasons, heart, PT, kidneys, or just plain tired.  His heart is beating away and from what I understand there haven't been any signs of additional angina (?).

On a side note....hospice care papers have been set up.  I understand and then I don't.  What I don't is what medications will or will not be given for the two main medical situations.   I will have to ask my Dad further.  Can I just add, my Dad has been given strength beyond measure while dealing with his own aches and pains.....He truly  walks with us.

Grandpa has elected to not take dialsys or have any additional heart surgeries.  He isn't really a good candidate for anything beyond the pacemaker that was put in in December and dialsys would leave him sick one day and in all day treatment the next day.  He's eighty-one and doesn't want to live that way. 

I continue to pray for more peace and less pain.


I started this post a few weeks ago have more to say but wanted to post this entry because I wanted to make sure to thank those of you who prayed for my Grandpa.

Over the January 14, 15, 16 weekend my family and I went to my hometown to see everybody. Everybody would be my Aunt Denise, her daughter Lynnzy from California and her son Shaun from North Dakota, my sister & her kids, my Dad & Sally, my two brothers and their girlfriends. We all spent time together at the nursing home as well as the hotel my Aunt stayed at.

When we arrived at the nursing home I was so shocked, Grandpa was walking around with a walker. Thinking back to the time before when he was having a hard time just dangling his feet from the bed.  Since  then he has continue to get better and to our surprise the doctor signed papers stating he would be okay going back to his assisted living home.  Grandpa didn't like being in the nursing home and was overjoyed to be able to go back to the assisted living home.  He went back on Friday of last week.  I am so thankful!  I can't believe how far he has come in such a short time.

He is one strong, strong man.  He has more than likely had several small heart attacks at home per what doctors have said.  And he has had a few major heart attacks pulling through each time.  I am amazed that he is doing so well.  All glory to God.  Really.

Again, I thank you for your prayers.  They mean a lot to me and my family.

All for God and for his glory.  In whatever you do, think of the glory of God as your main goal.
                                                                                                          ~ St John Bosco

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Will Give Thanks To You, O Lord

After having completed a Bible Study on the Psalms this has been an excellent book to write down my daily thanks and praise to our Lord! I was very excited to start on January 1, with I Will Give Thanks To You, O Lord but you can certainly jump in at anytime.

You will enjoy a letter guiding you on how you might choose to use the book, a page listing the abbreviations of the books of the Bible, as well as a two page layout of 2011 and 2012 for future planning.  Each month has a beautiful picture followed with a selection from a great Christian writer, church documnet, or Scripture verse.
On the following pages you'll move right into your space to ink all of your thanksgiving. Each of these pages may contain verses from the Old Testament and New Testaments, saints, Christian writers, historic and contemporary figures.  You will also find Mass readings for each day of the year.
I've enjoyed writing each day in this book every day.  I keep it with me at all times as it's small enough to fit in my purse.  When I have a moment while waiting picking up my son from school I can jot down a few things from the day before or things I am looking forward to later in the day. For the most part I keep it on the kitchen counter top, open to remind me, at a quick glance all that I am thankful for. 

I plan on keeping this to be able to look back on, see where I was and where I am hope to go. 
Also, this is where I keep track of the 1000 Gifts with Ann Voskamp.

Here is a sample quote from the page of January 13 & 14.
The chief service I owe you, O God, is that every thought and word of mine should speak of you.  ~ St Hilary

And here's an actual page....

What better way to reflect upon your day!  It's not too late, you'll love using this to keep track of your 1000 Gifts!
You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of I Will Give Thanks to You, O Lord! for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Friday, January 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Vol 14

It's been awhile since I've participated in Jennifer's Seven Quick Takes.  It seemed like a great fit for today's post. 

As you can see it's really cold here today.  I don't usually say much about the weather because it is what it is.  Whatever mother nature brings us I think generally think we should be thankful for.  Yes, I say generally because this kind of cold is just not right.  I could go on and on about pipes freezing, cars not starting, frostbite, etc.  It's just too cold.  The furnace is running all. the. time. and really it is cold inside the house.

My main thoughts on this cold snap is that I really do wish my husband wasn't going ice fishing this weekend.  I am all for him going, having a great time with his Dad but somehow the idea of him sleeping in a fish house on a frozen lake with temps like -24.5 F scares me.  A lot.  He thinks I worry too much, but my mind thinks of things like trucks parked on an ice road miles out from shore not starting and him walking to shore.  Or something going wrong with the heater in the house, etc.  I better just quit.  I am happy for him going just worry about his safety.

Last night I had a birthday dinner with my awesome sister-in-law, Daphne.  {Don't you just love that name?  You just don't meet very many Daphne's....her mom was pretty hip}  We had a great dinner but what was even better was the fact that we sat at the restaurant for four hours chatting away.  Kids, husbands, parents, school, church, God, the future....we talked about it all!  What another great way to celebrate 40!  I think I am really going to like this decade!  Thanks Daph!  I love you!

Since Big Daddy is going to be away this weekend I am going to take the opportunity to try and make at least one book and a slideshow for Karley.  The kids & I had playdate with Mamabear a couple of days ago.  She brought some books that she created to show me a few tips and tricks.  What a blessing that was!  Now I am super excited to make a photobook and hopefully start a blog to book! 

On the last day of school before Christmas break Henry brought us home a present he made in class.  He put it under the tree just as Ms. JoAnne told him to and he didn't tell us what it was.  I was very very touched when I opened the present of his hands on a little pillow with his adorable school picture in the middle.  It so reminded me of a present I gave my own mother when I was in Kindergarten.  A plaster plaque of my hand sprayed in gold.  My Mom kept this plaque for years and then one year she told me that it fell off the wall and broke and was in million pieces.  How sad.

On my birthday I met my Mom and sister at the Mexican restaurant for lunch in my hometown.  My sister had already given me a present as she didn't know I would actually be home on my birthday.  After lunch I opened this wonderful present from Mom.  I had tears in my eyes, my restored hand.  My Mom is also married to a MyGyver of sorts.

And lastly, since I am on a roll of days of old, my Mom told me the last two times I was home to make sure I stopped at my elementary school to snap a picture because any day it was going to be demolished.  Which is a little hard to understand since the district is talking about needing pods for overflow at the other elementary schools.  I guess this building is probably so old, not up to code and would cost more to correct than to build new.  Sad.  I got the picture just in time, Monday morning the building was demolished.  So many great memories of walking to and from this school, being the Riverview Rats Rams, playing kiss or kill, making first friends, teachers, ice hockey rink, red rover, double dutch, Mr. Goplin telling us all about Tom Sawyer & his friend Huck Finn, Mr. Sholtanover's overhead projector, third grade teacher's wig, Seasme Street & The Electric Company on cold inside days, wonder woman lunch box, String.  I could go on.  I also could find pictures I took of us back in the day.  Maybe another post.  It sure would be fun to dig up those pictures.

The Almighty has done great things for me.  Holy is His name.  ~ Lk 1:49 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Multitude Monday Vol. 15

I've been filling my book with gratitude daily.  When you make it a point to sit down each evening and give thanks to Him, you'd be amazed at how quickly the list accumulates.  It's been since January 3 since I've posted my gifts in this blog but I've been keeping track.  I plan on showing you my wonderful book where I keep it all in ink.  For today, here are the numbers 366-443 with a few pictures in the mix.

I hope you are enjoying your day!

Blessing to you as I count mine with Ann!

Adam home at dinner time
Husband calling to see how I am doing
Kids who are overjoyed to see Dad walk in the door
Husband to help me through a rough week
Good conferences for Henry
Talking to Grandpa on the phone
Online & real life friends
Being able to stay at home with my kids
Sisters holding hands.... joining in
My Dad having strength & time to care for his Dad
Adam doing baths for kids
Back to school routine
Meat market with good meat
To Do Lists
Plans coming together
Follow through
Treadmill belt
Sleeping In*
Pizza night
Class of '89
Husband who fixes everything...Zsu Zsu pet insides pictured below

Good late night conversations
Teamwork in cleaning our basement
Money saving shopping trips
Church with my family
Beautifully decorated church
Kind words regarding our children
Teamwork to get house picked up
Dinner guests
Kids playing with dinner guests

Rhythm of Mondays
Early Birthday presents...thanks hubby!
Kids playing with such imagination
Early morning hours
Hum of dishwasher
Birthday invitations for soon to be three year old....
Playing with new gadgets (early birthday present)
Kids cleaning up unassisted
Kids getting jammies on all by themselves
Play dates

Local grocery store
Text messages from hubby
Good advice from a lifelong friend
Getting errands done
Pre-school outings
Catholic church
Seeing Grandpa look so much better
Seeing Aunt & cousins (CA & SD)
Adam driving to GR
40 Years!
Lunch with Mom & sister
Shopping with Mom & sister
Latte with husband
Cake & ice cream with family
Mom making the cake for Dad's family
Family Pictures

Birthday dinner with a lot of family
Kids playing poolside
Kids playing with cousins
Kids being able to stay up late
Great conversations with sister
Naps in the car
Ability to make it through the day on little sleep....
...strength from God
Being home
Good conversations with Mom
Text messages with Tonya
Seeing family before they travel home
Husband driving all the way home
Husband cooking dinner...
....helping with dishes.. kids a bath

I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daily Bread

While I was away I had a chance to look around the web a bit.  By chance (?) and within minutes I found two people who had this verse posted on their blog/website.   Jeff Cavins recites it to his children on their way out the door for school and Julie posted it on her blog.  I guess you could say that somebody was telling me this was exactly what I was looking for my own children.

The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace! ~ Numbers 6:22-26

My 1000 gifts numbers 338 -  366:

Having a babysitter available within minutes
Driving safely in rain, snow, & ice
Your prayers
Praying with Grandpa
Hard conversation with Grandpa & Him shining in
Spending four days in the hospital
Having dinner with my Dad
Dad who says it's okay to call St Elizabeth's
Sleeping on a cot for three nights
Snoring sounds
Doctors with sensitive hearts
Old stories & memories
New stories
Sounds of my kid's voices
Sound of Adam's voice
My sister
Coming home to a clean house (better than it was left)
My sister & Dad living close to the hospital
Home with my own family
An understanding husband
All who ask & offer to pray
Grandpa having slightly better kidney numbers
Grandpa getting out of bed for a small amount of time
Kids asking for me to read Bible books
Early fragrant birthday presents
Good night of sleep

Consider joining Ann as we count our way to 1000 gifts?

holy experience

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year of Prayer ~ Day One

I sit listening to what sounds like peaceful sleep but I know kidneys and a heart are battling.  Battling like no other battle thus far in his 81 years of life.  Is his tiny 5'3" body be in a repair slumber?  Or is it a body that's tired and had enough?   

Tonight is my last night sleeping at the hospital.  I have very mixed emotions about leaving.  I will be happy to enter into His house tomorrow to pray.  It will be a joyous reunion with the family I had a hand in creating.  But I will also be so sad to say good-bye to the man who was so instrumental in helping my parents stumble through the end of their teenage years with the creation of me.

He's old now and his body is tired but he's not ready to leave us.  Even though the doctors have spoke the words more times than I have fingers and toes in the last three days, it's not easy to face the real end.  For him or us.   At least these are my thoughts today.  It's coming we don't know exactly when, only He does but the doctors have all said the bag of tricks is almost empty.

I don't know what it's like to watch a person leave this world from heart and kidney failure.  I know a little about cancer, I know that there is so much pain you feel bad enough for them that you just want them to feel better.  Even if that means without you.  I never known first hand a persons painful heart attack.  I've only known people to have had a heart attack and then go.  I am learning a struggle with heart and kidney failure, it's not easy.  So far it's a long road filled with many drug options all of which seem to have some effect on either the kidneys, or the heart, or both.  It's all a fine line which is very blurred right now.

I leave tomorrow.  I am so sad.  What if this is the last time we get to talk about all the wonderful crazy things we did?  Laugh about me driving the back roads starting at 11 years old with him as the passenger and my sister in the back seat.  He snored last night and today I remind him of how my sister and I used to record their snoring on tape recorders so we could prove they did.  Thinking of us running the aisles of their grocery store grabbing all the Popsicles our little bodies would allow before we got sick.  We talk about the New Yorker and how I drove it to Fargo with my learners permit, Grandpa next to me, playing cards with my sister in the back seat.  I could go on and on.  My grandparents were so much a part of our lives when we were growing up.

Grandma passed away when I was 14 and my sister 11 and she was only 52.  And to this day he talks about about everything going to pot after she died.  He told me today that I would call him dida (dee-da) in Croatian and that my Great-Grandma  lived with him on and off when they were first married. 

We watched a few of our home movies and a slide show on my computer today.  We also watched part of the Orange Bowl.  Hannah laughed with him and he joked about keeping her ladybug pillow pet.  We all laugh day at his wonderful ability to joke and give the nurses a hard time. 

His stories are mixed in time and I piece them together.  I know what he needs almost like my own Dad does.  He calls for me in the middle of the night, just like he does when Johnny stays with him.  And today he tells me about the things on the check list.  He start talking about getting a family car and how it's not necessary.  I listen and try and follow along.  Then he says something and it clicks about what kind of check list he's talking about. 

My Dad has already told me about the check list and Grandpa has said a funeral home service will suffice.  Ever since, I've been praying he'll come back.  Now we talk about the list.  I tell him not to worry about money, what kind of car, etc.  But I ask if he'd like to have his funeral at the same church that his brothers, sisters and parents did.  He says this will be okay.  He also tells me that my Aunt also prays for this and that she has inquired.  When he tells me that the church will be okay I know Jesus is working on bringing him home.  He wants all his children with him. 

Then we pray.  He follows my prayer. 

And now, in the dark of the end of the day, just like the dark of the start of the day, we are alone in the room.  He sleeps. I type.  He sleeps.  I cry.  He sleeps.  I pray. 

The Year of Prayer ~ Day One.

Our family Christmas 12-18-10
Four Generations