Sunday, October 13, 2013

Buddy Walk 2013: The Whole Story

I've now had a chance to go through photos of the Buddy Walk. These two of Alexis were my favorite from my camera card. 'Lexi Lou Who' is so busy smiling, dancing, running and having fun, the photo is often a blur.

I like to give credit to the photographer when I can (if I didn't take the picture) . The problem is that I often  forget who took particular photos, however, I know that Jen Snell, Tom and Paula got some good ones.

The Arrival: Tom's photos
Alexis loves her BFF, Anna

"Hey Blake! Whatcha reading???"

"Fish??? Wish we had fishing poles!"
Photos by JoJo:
Time for the group photo!!!

"Great job!!! So glad that that is done before we walk!"

"Yeah!!! The group photo is done!
Are you serious?
We have to do it again???
Oh my goodness! We forgot Brent???
Where are they?
Oh well. Just take my family while we wait."

"Ok. Everyone is here now.
"Jen!!! Get in the picture!"
(Just give your camera to some stranger passing by.)

"Now we have everyone (plus a couple of strays)!"

(Jen captured us)

Jen captures Layla, Marley, and Blake with PopPop

We are just about ready to begin!
The Walk:
It was so nice to have Amy and Rachael walk with us.
(Wives of Jason's cousins)

Brent's crew is ready to walk!

Blake and the Grinch are ready too!

See PopPop standing on the bridge?
Photos by Jen:
"Faster Daddy! Faster!!!"

"Jump Unkie Ron and Daddy! Jump!"

Hi PopPop

Hmmmm....the Grinch?

Lexi waves at the crowd

Blake and Marley

Lexi loves Unkie Ron's hat

Kendra talks to one of her many friends
Photos by Tom:
Crystal clear day!

Scott and Kinzy Ewing walked with us!

Conya (Jason's sister),  Mark, C1, C2, C3 and C4 walked with us.

Layla and Jen

Crazy Kendra!!!

Marley rode, occasionally, to rest her heavy legs.
(Braces, you know.)

Of course, Kendra walked the 2.6 miles with a "boot" due to 3 broken bones in her foot! What a woman!!!

Nearly done!

Blake and Layla
(I love these kids!)
Nicholas and Lexi play football after the walk

Alexis just loves the Buddy Walk!

Thank you everyone for supporting us!

Where is everybody???

Oh, it doesn't matter!
They'll catch me after while!

Oh! Hi Mommy! I thought you'd catch up with me.
And back to JoJo:

What a wonderful day!
After the walk, we headed back to Paula and Ron's.
Good food is always found there.
They graciously share their home with us on many occasions.
(If you don't see photos of Paula, it's because she is often at my side when I am taking pictures. Woops!)
The End

Buddy Walk 2013

We did it! We completed the "Sweet Sixteen" Buddy Walk, 4 of which our family has walked. The weather was sunny, in fact, we were wishing for a few clouds, and a quite warm. It was a great day!
Lexi Lou Who
Cutest kid at the Buddy Walk
(in my opinion)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Miracles DO Happen!

Yesterday morning, there was no plan in place. By 4:00 in the afternoon, my sister Debra, had an apartment of her own.

If that wasn't enough, by 4:00 THIS afternoon, my mother passed the "test" to live in assisted living at Hubbard Hill Retirement Center. This is beyond an answer to many prayers! This HUGE miracle deserves a blog:

Debra and Mother in 2008
Mother is now 92 1/2 years old. Off and on for the last couple of years, she has mentioned assisted living but never seriously until the last 6 months. She began mentioning being tired and occasionally would mention being lonely. My sister, Debra, lives with Mother but deals with health issues of her own making it difficult for her to help Mother.
My sister, Paula and I, would get together often and, placing Mother in assisted living and finding a place for Debra to live, was always a major part of our conversation.
The Problem:
Who should we place first? What if we found a place for one of them and couldn't find a place for the other? Would we be able to find subsidized housing for Debra?
What we have been doing:
During the past couple of years, my brother Keith, sister-in-love Sharon, Paula and I have been looking, doing internet research, checking, looking, and doing more looking. If we found something, it was either not affordable or there was no availability and usually it was both problems.
Last week:
I've asked Mother to come visit me several times during the last couple of years but she has not had the energy. Last week, I knew that Mother was very lonely when she consented to let me get her and come for a visit.
On Monday, September 23 (would have been my Dad's birthday), I drove to Battle Creek, collected Mother and headed back home. During the drive to my house, as we talked (again) about assisted living, God hit me in the head!!! I had NEVER thought about bringing Mother to Elkhart to live. We talked about the idea. She didn't veto the idea. On Thursday, I called Hubbard Hill Retirement Center and two hours later, Mother and I were taking a tour. Mother absolutely fell in love with the facility. By the time I took her home on Friday, she was telling us that "yes", she did want to live at Hubbard Hill. I was thrilled but now there was Debra to worry about IF Mother was accepted at HH.
And then....
On Monday, September 30, Paula came to visit (pre-planned) so I took her to HH to see what she thought. She LOVED it!!!
We headed to Battle Creek on Tuesday morning to go via Vicksburg to see a possible place for Debra. Carl (Debra's son) had been doing some investigating for us.) Unfortunately, there was nothing available in our price range. Now, what to do???
Paula decided that we should go check out Lakeview Meadows (again) in Battle Creek. Why??? Was she crazy??? Why would we go there AGAIN???
*It is for seniors (Debra IS 62!!!)
*When we talked to them 9 months ago, they were too expensive.
*There are only 2 or 3 subsidized apartments.
*Debra really wanted to live there.
*Paula's Mother-in-law had lived there so it was familiar.
*Did I already say that we couldn't afford it?
The manager talked with us for a while. Again, she gave us figures and said that we couldn't afford it. And then...
She said,
"Wait a minute! I have one subsidized, ground-floor apartment
that became available
due to a lady leaving for assisted living.
It is handicapped accessible and will be rented out by this afternoon.
We asked if we could go pick up Debra and show it to her.
We did and all Debra said when she saw it was
Debra was thrilled! The apartment is being painted right now and she can't have it for 2 weeks but, we told her that until Mother is able to go to Hubbard Hill, she must still sleep at the apartment.
Two days and two people are happily placed.
Mother will have to wait for a studio apartment to be available which could be in a few weeks, a month or a few months. We have no idea. There is a waiting list but when some people get a call about an available apartment, they say "no" and sometimes they aren't ready yet.
We just know, that both people are happy. They will certainly miss each other, but telephones are a wonderful invention.
All we can say is