Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow...

I really dislike winter! I would use a stronger word than "dislike" but Tom is always telling me that "we don't 'hate'"! Well...yes I do! It is very white outside. Pretty but too cold and ruins travel. Other than that.....

Weather aside, I had a wonderful Christmas. We were altogether on the 24th, travelled (in the rain) to Battle Creek on Christmas Day, had lunch with Kathy & Bob Thies and Mary Ellen and Jenny Plummer yesterday noon and dinner last night with Rand & Gail Nilsson (in town from Camano Island, WA) and Dennis & Claudia Phipps. So good to see good friends.

Rich Pedler drove himself to the ER during the night so Elizabeth, Stephaney Nay and Jeff Miller were with their dad from early morning until this afternoon. Brent just texted to say that he and Layla are on their way here to go sledding. We have a field behind us which has a perfect hill for little ones. I'll bet that PopPop starts struggling into those cute little thermal underwear thingys that he has so that he can be out there in the thick of it. I think I do hear jumping, moaning and groaning coming from the bedroom. Hide your eyes!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve "Christmas"

This is our family Christmas Day. We had a wonderful day together beginning with me getting up at 6:30 to find a little boy (Blake) popping up from the couch where he had been since 4:20 a.m.. He jumped up to tell me about all the presents that were under the tree!!!! Talk about excitment! After Brent and the girls arrived about 9:00 (Elizabeth had to work until noon), we had egg casserole breakfast and then let the kids open their stockings. Waiting is sooo hard! They played beautifully all morning, had lunch, then the adults had Christmas dinner while Marley and Lexi napped and the boys played. Then it was time......opening presents! Such wonder and excitement. It was extra special in that it was Lexi's first Christmas!

We were at the 5:00 service at Trinity UMC and sang, prayed and took Communion together. And now, as I write this, the "messy" part is cleaned up but the "wonder" part will always remain. There is no greater blessing than watching the children as they open their gifts and as they light their candle at church.

There is so much to be thankful for and especially this year with Alexis being here for Christmas and healthy. She rolled over for the first time today from her back to her stomach. She had rolled from her front to back before but not back to front. She was so proud of herself.

Weather yesterday and today has been harsh. The roads were ice covered last night as Kendra's family travelled to Goshen. It was a long, long ride. Tomorrow, Tom and I are to travel to Battle Creek to have Christmas with Mother, Debra, Sharon and Keith, and Erin and Carl. Now the weather is again predicting ice. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Again, I ask the question of the hour: why oh why do we live in the midwest??? (Answer: children/grandchildren). We'll just wait and see what tomorrow holds! Merry Christmas 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Day will be here on Friday. Our family Christmas, however, is always on the 24th since that is the day that Kendra and family and Brent and family are here altogether. Then, on Christmas Day, everyone heads to their other family and Tom and I head to Battle Creek to have Christmas with Mother and Debra. Since the kids have been married, it has worked out very well.

This year will be emotionally different. Brent and Elizabeth separated nearly 3 months ago. Brent has been living with us praying that his family will soon be back together. We are all praying for the best.

The presents are purchased and wrapped, house is clean, groceries are put away, pie and muffins are baked and lists are keeping me organized. Kendra and crew will be here tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon in time for pizza. Thursday morning will be breakfast then stockings, kids will eat lunch, adults will have Christmas dinner at 1:00 (Marley will nap) and presents will be opened about 3:00. This accomodates everyone's schedule.

I can't believe how much easier it is to get everything done as a retired person. I love being able to shop during the day and avoid the huge crowds. I feel very relaxed and am enjoying watching a Christmas movie. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baby News & A Classroom Experience

I'm so excited for Nancy and Bob Weaver! Keri Hiatt Calhoun and husband Spencer became parents of Cameron Isaiah on Tuesday, December 8 at 11:02 a.m. Cameron weighed in at 6 lb. 2 oz and is 20" long.

My call came through while I was in Layla's kindergarten classroom teaching the children how to make Shredded Wheat Wreaths. Talk about having a fun time and helping to make a complete mess of a classroom. They will become little frames for the kid's pictures when they are completed. What fun to help Carolyn Smith who has been my friend for so many years and is now Layla's teacher! Who could have ever guessed!!! Someday, maybe I will be doing the same thing for Marley in her classroom. Who's to know!
The weather today is so cold and windy, choir has been cancelled as have many other activities all around the area. Winter came in with a blast (and it's still fall!!!)

Alexis is now a very happy 8 month old. Hard to believe! She is doing very very well and impressed the P.T. people last Monday. Nicholas went home after school today with a friend for the very first time. He was very excited. Blake went to preschool today but told me, on the phone, that he didn't go and then just continued to laugh. That's my Blakie!
Well...I'm about ready for Christmas....just waiting for the kids to arrive. Oh wait...that's not happening for another 2 weeks! Oh what will I do?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Incredible! After being on the market for 1 year in poor Battle Creek, Mother's house sold today. I have aged a lot since the call from my brother on my birthday afternoon (Nov. 6) saying that they were moving from their apartment to Mother's vacant house. Long sad story but did it ever make my stomach ache! After lowering the price many many dollars, in a weeks time, we had a bid from a young couple. The realtor, Talia, called yesterday to tell me. I was thrilled. Then the call from my brother came last night telling us that they were going to make a bid due to full financing from his in-laws. I drove to BC this morning to be with Mother as she talked to Talia. Mother ended up selling the house to Brother Keith as is. No inspections!!!! This part is very, very good for us!!! The check will go into the bank on January 7, 2010. Once again, God was with us this weekend! I pray that this is a second (???) chance for my brother and that they can have yet another beginning in life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Medicare Minus One!!!

What a weekend! Turning a year older never seems bad to me, especially when family members are so wonderful! The celebration began Thursday night when Brent and the girls and Tom took me to Between the Buns for supper. It's always fun with those silly little girls. Marley spent the night because Grandma Peg was going to be out of town on Friday. Tom and I kept her Friday.

Friday after Brent finished work, Tom, Brent and I headed for Noblesville because Brent and Ron were to run a half marathon on Saturday. Brent was very pleased with his 2:04.4 time. Ron had a very sore hip so only ran a short while. Tom and Heather cheered them on during the race.

Everyone had dinner together last evening at Logan's. For the first time in 2 years, I grazed my way through the entire day eating anything I wanted. I really did eat sugar all day and loved every bite: Dunkin Donuts were first on the agenda (with Kendra and Paula cheering me on!!!) and cake and margarita and more cake and chocolate ice cream....oh and the regular food!!!! It was wonderful! Today...back to reality!

The bad part of the weekend was the phone call on my birthday from my sister-in-law telling me that they had been forced to move into my Mother's empty (for sale) house. It is a terrible situation and very upsetting to my mother. Paula, Ron, Tom, Kendra and I spent hours analyzing the situation and calling Mother to talk to her about it. I will plan to go see her on Thursday. Very, very stressful!

Lexi turned 7 months yesterday which is such a delight! She is just precious. Nicholas and Blake just love her and she thinks that they are quite entertaining. Great little ones!

I've been thinking a lot of Rand and Gail Nilsson. Gail's dad, Ed Ogel, died on November 5th as Gail was driving to the Seattle airport to fly home to be with Mom at her dad's bedside. I picked her up on Friday morning to drive her to her Mother's. Very sad time for them. It has been a very difficult last few months with Gail being so far away and Ed getting worse by the day. Tomorrow is the visitation and Tuesday a.m. the funeral.

Monday, November 2, 2009


This was a big weekend...Nicky's 6th birthday and Halloween! Wow! The Bowman house was buzzing once again! Brent and the girls, Jason's parents and sister and family, some friends of Kendra's and Tom and I were all at Ron and Paula's. Great fun. We did Nicky's bd party at noon and the kids went trick or treating at 5:00. There is a lot of room at Paula's for everyone to spread out so we all had a great time.
Here is a little description of each photo (as if you needed one):
1: Brent and Layla hanging out together
2: How long now has Blake been a "Pirate" fan??? It's been going on for a long, long time!
3: This is Lexi's 1st Halloween so she is our little "flower girl"
4: Marley got caught up in Blake's pirate obsession which was really cute!
5: This was a big 6th birthay for Nicky. He has gone from the "Monster Truck" phase to the "Transformer" phase. It's really fun watching them grow and change.
It's wonderful being a JoJo!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nicholas, Blake and Lexi Lou Who

It was certainly a challenge getting these three to all look at me at the same time!!! Wow! I'm glad I did as well as I did!

It was a gorgeous day and since the weather has been so rainy and cold, today was a pleasant change. We took advantage and went for a walk and then came home to do photos.

Brent, Jeff Kamp and Tom headed home this morning after Brent and Jeff made the attempt to ride bikes to Noblesville on Friday. The weather was so stormy and windy, the weather won and Tom (who had followed) drove them on to Noblesville after they had biked 37 (?) miles. Yesterday, they biked for 20 miles around parts of Indy. They couldn't have chosen a worse weather day to ride Friday unless it had been in a winter storm.

The effects of my last surgery are nearly gone. I always feel some minor discomfort for a couple of weeks after Dr. Fretz has invaded my space but that "feeling" will be gone soon. Minor problem to contend with.

I will go see Barbara and Tom Rowlen on Tuesday morning. Barbara got home yesterday from seeing grandkids in Montana. She was suppose to come home last Wednesday but ended up in the hospital in MO with the swine flu!!! Good grief!

Tom is back in Elkhart blowing billions and billions of leaves. At the end of the day Thursday, the yard was relatively clear of leaves. Then the wind/rain storm hit on Friday. It's not a pretty picture!!! Wish he had a lawn mower with 4 wheels and a big engine! Thank goodness, Layla was there to help him rake on Thursday or he would have really been in trouble. Marley was home with a bad cold.

That's the update for this month. See you in the photo department at CVS.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tiny Tiny Tumors are History!

They are gone...again! I was at River Pointe Surgery Center by 7:00 and home by 10:00 yesterday morning. Wow! I went from an overnight stay in June to a 3 hour stay for this surgery! I can deal with this! Now, I just have to use "common sense" and hang low for a couple of days and then Dr. Fretz will check again in 3 months to see if we do this again. Hope not but this is the nature of this cancer. Just keep those babies IN the bladder where they belong and I'm in business.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Makes me want to break into song! Well, tomorrow is surgery day...again! The 1st surgery was June 24th for 3 tumors and tomorrow is surgery for 3 "tiny" tumors that were found 2 1/2 months after the first surgery. Wish there hadn't been new ones so soon but that's life! The hard part is being patient and not lifting anything for 2 to 3 weeks but that certainly is better than having to go through chemo etc. big deal! At least, this gives me something to blog about. I could blog about.....better not!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Home Again...

Alexis is home on day 6 from Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. Amazing!!! Two days prior to her release, she had partially collasped lungs, needed some oxygen and had a slight temp. Wow!!! It's amazing what a couple of days can do!

Nicholas and Blake were thrilled to have their little sister home. They couldn't stop kissing on her. They couldn't be better brothers!!! Both boys are so careful with her and are very curious about her "boo boos"! There was great relief after finding out that when Lexi had her surgery, she was asleep and didn't feel anything. They were quite concerned about that after seeing where she had her surgery.

Alexis will have her post op checkup with the doctor next Monday. She is one amazing little girl! Do these photos look like someone who had heart surgery last Tuesday???

Friday, September 25, 2009


Alexis smiled!!! For the first time since surgery...she smiled! It happened this afternoon after she was enough better that she was moved out of ICU to the regular unit!!! Kendra said that it is so much happier, brighter, cheerier, and right across from the nurses' station. We went LONG periods of time without seeing a nurse in the ICU (though we knew they watched her monitor every minute!). There is something about seeing the nurses' smiles that make one feel better! It was such good news! God knows we needed it today!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Patience Little Patient

It's so difficult being so tiny and in the hospital. Thank goodness, she won't remember any of this! She had a blood transfusion last night and it really helped her coloring and her comfort. Today she had a low temp and then it was a little higher this afternoon but Tylenol has helped that. She has a lung that isn't quite fully inflated so the doctors want her to be awake long enough for her to cry a little and breathe to help the lung but keep her pain minimal. They give her pain meds when they know she is uncomfortable but it is a fine line to keep her awake yet not in pain. She was seemingly more peaceful tonight.

PopPop Tom kept the boys this afternoon while Paula and I found our way through the maze of Peyton Manning hospital. We never did run into Peyton but we were on the lookout! Lexi wasn't feeling that good when we were there so were glad for the report tonight that she was better and her temp was lower.

Kendra came home from the hospital tonight to see her boys and hopefully get a good nights sleep. The family has had an emotional situation this week but hope that every day gets better and better.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Healing Begins...

Alexis was doing so well that the vent came out later this afternoon! Amazing! Then Kendra was able to hold her. All of the grandparents left at 5:00 to let the parents have some quiet time with Lexi. Heaven knows they needed it after a day like today.

Tom and I headed to Paula's where we had dinner and caught up with the boys. Nicky and Blake had spent the night and day with Paula. What a gift that is!

After dinner, they were brought home to get ready for bed, stories, prayers and they were OUT by 7:45! Exhausted! Tomorrow, after picking the boys up at school, we will meet Paula at the pancake house and then Tom will come home with the boys and Paula and I will go visit Lexi. Tomorrow will be much "easier on the emotions" than today! It's been a long, long, day. So.........

Thank you Lord for everything!


It's over! The surgery took "only" 2 1/2 hours rather than 4. We were able to visit Lexi for a few minutes and she is restrained in case she wakes up. They hope to take the vent out today!!! Great news. She will be sedated until tomorrow. As far as we know, Alexis is on her way..........!!!

In the beginning....

It has begun...we kissed Alexis back in her room while she waited to head "upstairs" for surgery. Kendra and Jason just came out to the waiting room. So hard to be a parent! My heart is breaking for them right now! Now, we wait!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Alexis will have her several hours of pre-op tests/paperwork today beginning in about 10 minutes. My heart goes out to Kendra and Jason. Watching your baby go through this is so tough especially when the baby is so "with it" and responds so happily to the people around her. It is just the thought of people taking her to a strange room and doing surgery on that tiny heart that makes it so scary. Doesn't matter if you know that everything is going to be fine and she will be great soon.....scary is scary!!! I can't even imagine what goes through a parent's head at a time like this. I wish I could make it all go away. I do know that Kendra got only 1 hour of sleep last night. Can't blame her at all but fatigue only makes everything worse.

Jason's folks will take care of the boys today. They will stay with Paula and Ron tonight and for a couple of days. Tom and I will head down to Noblesville later today and be at the surgery (along with Connie and Jim) tomorrow. Tom has cancelled his Ivy Tech classes for tomorrow. He will be coming and going to Noblesville for a couple of weeks. Going to be a very long couple of days.

I don't have a date yet for my "teeny tiny tumors". It will be after I get back from Nobville. She should call me with a date soon. But...right seems so insignificant!

Thank you dear Lord, for giving those doctors great wisdom and very steady hands. Amen!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three Tiny Tumors....

Yes...there are 3 more tumors but I am hanging onto the word TINY! I was hoping that if Dr. Fretz found more growing, he would be able to wait for another 3 months and just take care of them then. Oh nooooo....not an option! But, still, no rush. He said to take care of Lexi's heart surgery next Tuesday and when I get back after a couple of weeks, he'll take care of it. Hopefully, I will get a call tomorrow as to the date.

The surgery can be done at River Pointe outpatient (still at the hospital) but because I am "in such excellent health", I don't have to stay at the hospital overnight and NO CATH!!! That is the best news!

Went to Bible Study tonight with my dear friends Nila and Larry App and Linda Delagrange. They are the best support group. Tuesdays are always Tom's teaching day so I had texted him of the news. We just had our talk after we both returned home. What good people!!! we go again. Wondering how many "agains" there will be. God is in control so I guess I won't bother wondering any more. It doesn't matter does it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cutie Bugs!!!

I know CUTE when I see it...and these kids are cute! I can say that since I'm their JoJo! I love being their JoJo! I love the beautiful smile on their faces when I walk in their door (quite often, I might add) and the sad face when I tell them that I am heading home to Goshen. It does a heart good.
I love that Nicholas loves Kindergarten, transformers, riding his bike, monster trucks, playing with his brother, kissing his sister and a multitude of other things.
I love that Blake is a total "pirate" lover...has been for a long, long time. He loves pretending that he is a pirate, dressing like a pirate, holding the little play school pirates in his hands and is always looking for the tiny pieces that are always lost from one of his many pirate play sets. Let him color or do a "fine motor skill activity" and you won't get him away from the table for hours. These boys play for hours and one hardly knows they are in the house. Oh...they have their moments but not often.

Well, enough said about my boys. I decided that it was time that I gave them some "blog time". They are certainly great kids. They have great parents! It will be fun watching them grow up.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Alexis...5 months today!

Alexis hit the 5 month mark! So much has happened in her little life with a heart surgery yet to come. But...all is good! What a delightful little girl! She makes your heart melt!
Today was Heather's birthday but due to not feeling well, we celebrated at Bowman's without her. Since Alexis turned 5 months today, we celebrated her!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Heart Surgery Scheduled!

Most of the 2 1/2 hours on Thursday with Kendra and Lexi were spent waiting to get Lexi's heart surgery scheduled. The cardiologist loved how Lexi looked, breathed, and smiled at him (she definitely melted HIS heart!). "But...", he said, "it is time." Her surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22. It will take about 4 hours to repair the hole in her heart. (I rescheduled my "tumor check" with Dr. Fretz for Sept 15.) Lexi will spend Monday afternoon, with her parents, at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital for pre-op stuff and paper signing. She will then go back home to return early the next morning. Due to the swine-flu scare, there will be no outside visitors (except for me and a couple of other grandparents, I'm sure!). Hopefully, this hospital stay will be about a week instead of the 67 days for the first surgery.

We certainly hope that Alexis doesn't contract a cold, etc. before her surgery. It would mean postponing it until she was healthy.

Kindergarten has been a super experience for both Nicky (1/2 day) and Layla (full day). They both hop on the school bus in the mornings with smiles on their faces. Thank God for the wonderful teachers that allow for them to enjoy their education! Blake will begin a new year at preschool next Wednesday. He will go Monday-Wed.-Fri.) until noon. This will be his 2nd year. Marley will begin her first year of preschool (one morning a week) in a couple of weeks.

Jason just returned from a 4-day trip to Ohio for some Chrysler training. Don't know about the training but he loved the water activities that he was able to fit in in the evenings.

Tom teaches on Tuesdays again at Ivy Tech. He came down to Noblesville for a couple of days but returned for a doctor's appt. The doctor told him he was "perfect" least on paper! What can I say!!!

Now we are getting ready for Heather Bowman's 37th birthday on Labor Day Monday. Ohhhhh...she is getting old!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another 1st....

Today was Layla's 1st day of Kindergarten. She was sooo excited, she was awake for a couple of hours during the night and was up and shiny and ready to go this morning.....until the doors of the big yellow bus opened and she looked upward into that big "child eating" space and lost it! She turned around for a couple of seconds, cried in her mommy's arms for a couple of seconds, wanted to hug her "JoJo" and then walked up the steps of the big yellow bus. Woosh! She was gone, leaving her Mommy and JoJo in tears. It was sooo painful knowing she was scared and apprehensive. We pulled ourselves together feeling awful. We knew she would be ok but that didn't matter....we were in pain. I headed home.
After a short time, Elizabeth called me to tell me that the bus driver had called her to tell her that Layla was fine and had gotten off the bus with two "friends" (who cares who they were!) and was smiling.
That bus driver doesn't know what a blessing she is!!! She will never know what she did to make us feel sooooo much better. One little phone call................what a huge blessing!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Beginnings...

I'm actually home this week! But last week was a real adventure in that I was able to see Nicholas begin his adventure with the "education system".

Last Monday, the entire family went to an ice cream social, meet the teacher and see the classroom at Forest Hills Elem. School. Tuesday, Nicky and parents went to his orientation in the morning when he made his "name tag" hat and heard a story, etc. In the evening, the parents went alone back to school for their orientation. In between all of this, Kendra was going through phone calls and e-mails with friends debating the possibility of not returning to work at CICOA due to numerous job description changes which were unrealistic. She wrote her resignation on Thursday.

Wednesday was the big day! At 8:00, Kendra, Lexi, Blake, Daddy (who flew home from work to see Nicky off), Aunt Paula and I walked next door to stand in Dyar's drive to catch the bus. Jackson Dyar is now in 1st grade so he and Nicky got on together. Kendra held it together with just a few sniffs and then Paula, Kendra and I went for a walk.

We picked up Nicholas after school at 11:15 and he was a very happy boy!!! All three days were happy and exciting for him. So glad I could be there!!!

This coming Wednesday, I will be in Layla's driveway to see her getting onto the school bus for the 1st time! She just had her adenoids out and tubes put into her ears last Wednesday so she is ready for action!!! She will attend all day Kindergarten at Concord South Side Elem School and will have my dear friend, Carolyn Smith, as her teacher!!!!!!!!! I couldn't be happier. Carolyn is a veteran "child lover". We have known her for many, many years!!!

New beginnings for my two oldest grandchildren! My how the years are flying by!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. Alexis had a great check-up this week and hit the "big" 10 pound mark!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nicholas and Layla's Big Days!!!

At 7:30 this morning Layla had tubes put into her ears and her adenoids removed. She is still in recovery as I write this but is doing well so far. I am in constant contact with Tom, Brent and Elizabeth via text messaging. What did we do without it??? She had had such difficult hearing and breathing so we certainly hope this helps. I can't wait for details as the day goes on.

At 8:00 this morning, Nicholas was staying in front of Dyar's house with family in tow, waiting for the school bus. First day of Kindergarten! I was there to take pictures (no kidding!). He had gone to school with his parents yesterday to make a hat, hear a story, be in his classroom, etc. and before that (Monday) his whole family was at school to meet Miss Gray and to see his room. Really they went for the ice cream, I'm told. Nicholas was very exited to get on the bus. It was good that he already was familiar with his teacher and classroom. Since he goes to 1/2 day Kindergarten, Kendra will have to pick him up after school at 11:15. Can't wait to hear about his day.

Paula and I picked Mother up Monday and she is at Paula's until I take her home on Friday. That is the reason I am still in Noblesville. She is sleeping right now, so after waving goodbye to Nicky this morning, Paula, Kendra and I walked for an hour. ugggggg!

Can't believe my "babies" are getting sooooo old!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Guilty as charged!!! Mary Borgaard shamed me into updating my blog! If I had a more interesting life, I would probably update more often. My life is a mix of sitting here in my very, very quiet house (all 5 grandchildren just left), occasionally taking care of my two darling little girls (Layla and Marley) here in Elkhart or being in Noblesville with my 3 darling munchkins (Nicholas, Blake and Lexi). Everyone was just here for the weekend. Brent and Elizabeth were in Chicago for the weekend where Brent ran a mini-marathon (2 hours 1 minute!!!). We had the girls part of the time. Since Kendra and the 3 kids were here, it was a house full! I loved it!!!

July highlights: I completed healing from my bladder cancer surgery. All is well and I will keep my fingers crossed that my September 22 doctor's appt. doesn't show new tumors.

Kendra and Alexis drove with me to Battle Creek for my Mother to meet Alexis. It was a wonderful day. Mother is doing well and loving her apartment. In fact...she signed a new lease. Who would have thought!

Tom and I drove to Mackinaw City separately from Kendra and family (who were going for a wedding). It was quite a surprise for the little boys to open the door to the adjoining motel room and find us there! We all took horse and carriage rides around Machinac Island. Tom and I had some "together" time while the kids were at the wedding. Great long weekend!

On Sunday, July 26, Paula (sister), Linda Wagner and I sang a trio at Central Christian here in Elkhart. That was just way too much fun. I certainly miss singing! This makes it so true that July ended on a "high note"!

August: With the kids all here, this month began happily. Tomorrow, Tom and I will meet Tom and Barbara Rowlen in Wabash to catch up.

On Thursday, I will head to Noblesville because Kendra, Elizabeth, Paula and I are going to our third Women of Faith conference in Indy Friday and Saturday. We have waited for this all year! It is a great, inspiring time.

Nicholas begins kindergarten Wednesday, August 12 and Layla begins kindergarten on Wednesday, August 19. How can this be??????

Alexis finally made it to 9 lbs 1 1/2 oz. ! She will be 4 months old on August 7. What a little sweetheart! The doctors are happy with how she looks. Her heart is a little fast but she is doing so well that she will have another appt with the doctor Sept 3 and then they will probably set a surgery date. It is wonderful that she is doing so well.

Well, so much for me...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cancer Survivor?

Is it too early to say that I'm a "cancer survivor" when I have only known about having bladder cancer for a short time? Never! I had surgery one week ago today (Wednesday, June 24) and Dr. Fretz said that it was cancer but wasn't making any guesses about the grade until the pathology report came back. I waited around all day yesterday for the phone to ring. Nada! Frustrating.

But today.....Dr. Fretz called to give me great news! The cancer was caught early so it was "low grade" and "superficial" (meaning it had not penetrated the wall). I need no treatment but need to be checked every 3 months by Dr. Fretz due to the high probability of reoccurance. I was very blessed!

Shirley Doberenz came by for a visit this morning just as I was talking to the doctor. It was so nice to have a visitor even though I have no restrictions except lifting things. Shirley had no sooner gone when Jeannie Stuckey dropped by. What a wonderful surprise.

After lunch, since Tom had to go teach at Ivy Tech from 6:00 to 8:30, he encouraged me to head "south" so I am writing this from Noblesville. He will ride down here with Brent and the girls on Friday. Elizabeth will head this way after work on Friday. Looking forward to lots of celebrating this Fourth of July!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Gladder Bladder!

"Bladder cancer"! I said these words to myself out loud for the first time today. Since surgery yesterday morning to remove a tumor and two stems which were behind it, I am coming to the realization that I have/had bladder cancer. It is strange to hear the words. Dr. Peter Fretz, my surgeon, will have the complete results, hopefully, by Tuesday. He said that he could guess at many possibilities but it would be silly to make any guesses until he reads the report. He will call.

It is very likely that the tumor(s) will grow which case, we just go back and do this again. We just wait and see.

I haven't had even one pain pill since surgery and haven't had any sleep either. I should sleep tonight. Brent, Elizabeth, Layla and Marley, Kendra and Alexis just left to go home and shopping (Kendra, Elizabeth and Lexi). Tom is outside in the 90 degree heat deciding if he wants to mow anything tonight or not. The kids had pizza here for supper.

I have to be very careful for at least 2 weeks so I don't start bleeding. It could happen easily so I am not to lift more than 15 pounds. I had better empty my purse.

Well, life changes but I am grateful that so far, the cancer was caught at a very early stage (we assume) and I assume that I won't have to deal with anything like chemo etc. So, even with "bladder cancer", I guess that this is the way to go. God is good!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Beautiful Bladder Which Could Have Been Badder was the big "bladder' day. I am typing this from my hospital bed with the computer at a very bad angle. It is 12:15 a.m. and I can't sleep soooooo.....why not blog!

Kendra, Alexis ( baby!), Brent, Elizabeth and Tom were here for the big morning. Sit and wait, sit and wait. Of course, I was worth it (at least that's what they said!)

The tumor was INSIDE the bladder which was the first that I had heard that. I figured that would be bad, but alas!...that is good. If it had been on the outside, that would have meant that it would have pushed through the wall and ....not good. There were also 2 other "stems" behind the tumor that he took. Hope that doesn't mean that I'm fertile for tumor growth. He says they will likely grow back and we'll go through this again. We'll know more Tuesday and Dr. Fretz will know how/if he needs to proceed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


No it's not tomorrow yet...I'm just up early today! Can't sleep. Today I am suppose to get the call from the hospital telling me what time to come in for surgery. Let's get this done so people quit worrying! I'm why are they!

The only really, really good part of all this is that Kendra and Alexis are coming (wish it weren't because of me having a snip, snip!!!) this evening for a couple of days!!! This will be her first big trip. Jason will go back to work at Chrysler on June 29th so this week he is still home with the boys.

Went to Battle Creek yesterday since my brother and wife from New Mexico are visiting their daughters in Kalamazoo for the week. Daughter Kelly is buying her paren's old house and they came for the closing. However there was a glitch and can't close until July. They will do it using technology. The proper papers are already signed.

I had brunch with Barry, Linda, Keith, Sharon, Debra and Mother. Four of these people are very loud because everyone wants to be "listened to". Not pretty!!! Sometime soon, I'll just bring Mother to my house...just the 2 of us!

After Barry and Linda left, Debra's son David and wife Naomi from North Carolina walked in and will be staying until next Thursday. Haven't seen them in 2 years.

Left Battle Creek at 4:00.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Back Home Again...

I arrived in Goshen at 4:00 this afternoon to see Tom, Layla and Marley. Elizabeth was heading to Indy for classes until Wednesday. I immediately unpacked and began a load of laundry because that is what I do.

Well, tomorrow are all of my pre-op tests. They will take an hour or two. Glad to get this business overwith.

Tom is teaching every morning through June at Concord and Monday and Wednesday nights through June. It is, therefore, very very quiet right now. It's a great night to begin book 4 of the "Heavenly Daze" series.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Lexi Lou Who"

Having this little girl home is amazing. We forget that she is over 2 months old (nearly 10 weeks) and we aren't sure whether or not she has reached 7 pounds yet. Since she is home, she doesn't get weighed. Kendra will make a doctor's appt. tomorrow. Several appts have been made with specialists but this will be her first with her regular pediatrician.

Lexi has been sleeping so well through the night. She is eating well and is such a good baby.

Nicholas and Blake wake up and ask where Lexi is. I'm not convinced that they think she is really here to stay. They have been very loving and then they go do their own thing. Today has been a quiet, warm, uneventful day. Just hangin' with the kids. Life is good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lexi Is Home!

Alexis spent the first 67 days of her life in St. Vincent's Women's Hospital but today...she is finally home. I was blessed to be able to go with Kendra and Jason to pick Lexi up and bring her home. A photographer is always needed!!!

I haven't written about my situation because to me, Alexis was too much on our minds. But now that she is home, at least until she returns for heart surgery in a couple of months, I'll tell my story:

On May 22, I went to my doctor due to blood in the urine. The following Tuesday, I went to EGH and had ultrasounds and cat scans. While on the table for the catscan, I knew they had seen something since they called my doctor for further scans.

The next day, my doctor called me and said that they had found a tumor on (not in) my bladder and I should see Dr. Fretz on June 9th. He said that it most likely was cancer. Hopefully after it comes out on June 24th, it will be out and the cancer will be removed. I will be hospitalized for a day or two (that part shocked me!) and then no lifting for 10 to 14 days!!! I will have to be checked every 3 or 4 months because it is likely that the tumor will return. Then....we start over again. Ugh!

Oh well....if it has to happen....then my guess is, this is the way to go!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2 Months Old!

How can that little girl be 2 months old already? At the moment she is tube free but to stay that way, Lexi has to eat well. Now that they have discovered a large hole in the bottom chamber of her heart, she will have to eat well and gain some weight. The hole could explain lack of gaining and sleeping a lot. We'll just have to "wait and see" what happens. Kendra is beginning to hate that phrase.

The boys are doing well. Nicholas just lost his 2nd tooth and Blake is still being a "good pirate". Jason is home for the month of June and hopefully Chrysler will put him back to work in July. Would you say there is stress in that family?

I came home today. I have to meet with a surgeon on Tuesday to see about my small tumor attached to the back of my bladder. There has been way too much bleeding during the last 5 days, so I am actually glad to go. There was very little bleeding when I saw my doctor. Let's get a date set and get it out. Hoping for a good outcome.

Elizabeth just called from Chicago and she and Stephaney just finished a 2 day, 39.3 mile walk for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. Amazing. Both girls raised $2,000. I proud of them!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's June!!!

It's June 1st and Lexi is still in the NICU. I have been home this week due to a doctor's appointment but will return tomorrow for the week. Jason had been told that he would return to work (that's when they will really need me in Noblesville) on June 1 but at the last minute, it was changed to July 1. Looking at the positive side, being laid off during the month of June isn't all bad when one lives on the water.

I'm anxious to see Lexi since it has been quite a while since I saw her. Kendra, Jason, and the boys were here for the "cousin's birthdays" last a week ago so it has been a week since I saw the boys too. Miss them!

Tom is in Noblesville right now and will return tomorrow since he begins teaching Concord Summer School on Thursday. Ivy Tech begins on Monday. Class is Monday and Wednesday. He will, therefore, come home tomorrow. We'll wave at each other as we pass on US31.

Layla spent the night last night because Marley was throwing up. She is better today. Both girls now have had the "bug". Hoping that it is over for their family.

Lexi hit 7 lbs 1 oz today! Great, steady progress. she is fed every 3 hours and only on the continuous feeding at night. Looking forward to seeing her tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lovely Lexi

I was able to hold Lexi yesterday minus the IV in the head and the nasal canula (I'll check the spelling later). Once she gets this "keeping milk down" perfectly, we will have our girl home. She is remaining steady but needs more calories. What an adorable little girl! She was awake all day yesterday except for about 3-20 minute naps. Can't wait to get a report today to see how the sleeping went last night and today. And strong!!!!!! That girl has muscles!!!

We celebrated Tom's 65th birthday this weekend. How can this be! Good grief...I'm right behind him! Brent, Elizabeth, Layla and Marley (who will be 2 and 5 this coming week) came for the weekend and stayed at Paula and Ron's. Bless their hearts for keeping their "hotel" open for my kids. Brent ran a 5 K and Elizabeth walked the Geist Run/Walk. We had the birthday party Saturday night. Tom headed home Sunday after visiting Lexi. B and E headed home after lunch Sunday. They saw Lexi Saturday afternoon.

Beautiful, sunny day today (Monday). Jason drove to Ft. Wayne to an auction and is now at the hospital. The boys are napping so all is quiet except for several loads of laundry clanging around.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day in the NICU

It's the first time that I've ever spent a holiday in a hospital! I got to hold Lexi this afternoon while Kendra held her computer next to me and we caught up on some of "The Office" episodes that we had missed! Hysterical! It was really fun being with my "old" girl and my "youngest" girl. Lexi will be in the NICU for another 3-4 weeks.

It is such fun watching nurses and doctors stopping by to say hello to Kendra. She and Lexi are quite the popular girls up there. Dr. Pyle is my favorite. He just sits down and rambles with Kendra. I can't believe this very funny, good-looking man (who looks like he should be on a football field) will sit and talk about everything from TV shows to wanting to come and go boating with Jason. He offered free pediatric services at Kendra's house to be able to go boating!!! Did he mean it? Who knows.

Paula's 59th birthday was yesterday. Today, she got ready to feed our crew again. What a girl!!! Jason had taken the boys to Mother's Day dinner in Kokomo and everyone arrived at Paula's at 6:30. She made Mother's recipe of strawberry shortcake. Delicious.

Since Chrysler is closed down until June 1 and the boys will go to Kokomo on Wednesday for a visit, I think that I will head to Elkhart on Tuesday. We'll return on Friday (even though the boys won't be here) because Tom turns 65 on Friday!!! Hello medicare! Brent and Elizabeth will be running/walking the Geist 5K. We'll have the birthday party on Saturday evening.

If he's 65.....what does that make me!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lexi says, "Do you think my outfit looks ok?"