Saturday, November 30, 2013

Oh Tannenbaum! Oh Tannenbaum!

Our tree is up already and I am thrilled! This was a "first" that it is up this soon. Alexis did a great job (with just a little help from her mother and PopPop).


Good job, Lexi!

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thanksgiving Visit

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Mother has been at Hubbard Hill for 2 weeks! Doesn't seems possible! Seems like yesterday when Paula and I were saying that our greatest wish would be to have Mother and Debra moved by Thanksgiving but that we might as well wish for the moon. Little did we know.......

Yesterday, Tom and I had dinner with Mother at Hubbard Hill and then we all returned to our house until after supper. Kendra, Brent and their two families all arrived during the afternoon. (If I could just collect all 5 grandkidlets for a group photo when everyone is in a "photo op" mood. Maybe at Christmas!)

Kendra, Jason, Nicholas, Blake and Alexis were able to visit Mother (Grandma Carol...Great Grandma Carol) this afternoon and  see her new apartment. They surprised Grandma Carol with a little Christmas tree that Blake had painted and ornaments  some of which had been made by the kids and others specifically chosen for her.

Mother, Jason, Lexi, Kendra, Blake, Nicholas
"Getting Organized"

"The Excitement Builds"

"The Presentation"

"Hoosier Grandma"
"Go Colts"
This is to remind Mother that she is a Hoosier

Jason checks out photos of the Walbeck "kids" and families

Kendra reminds Mother that she is now a Hoosier

Alexis loves her Great-Grandma

Nicholas and Blake love their Great Grandma Carol
This Thanksgiving was such a gift.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mother, Kathy and Saint Thomas

Mother is doing well. Today was another day of firsts: new pharmacy which delivers the drugs to Hubbard Hill,  "in-house" blood draw (number was too low but it was nice not to have to go out for the blood draw),  visit from the podiatrist (Mother was thrilled!), and having something in her mailbox (junk mail but she was excited). Tomorrow will be her first visit to the beauty shop. She has finally realized that she doesn't have to get her coat and purse before getting these things done.

Kathy Thies stopped by for a visit today after having brunch with Tom and me. Mother was happy to see her again. Kathy and I realized that Mother now lives about half-way between each of our houses.
I added a couple of lamps to Mother's studio apartment making it 5 lamps in a small area, however, with Mother's very poor eyesight, she needs as much light as possible and she loves it.
Yesterday, the pictures were hung which made a big difference in the comfort level of the room.


Tom stopped by (as he has every day) and continues to redo/change/fix/create whatever will make Mother's life easier. She couldn't see the door opener on the microwave so Tom placed a felt tab for her to feel. He put "stoppers" behind the microwave so it wouldn't slide. He reconfigured shelves in the room and beside the microwave and has solved about every problem situation that Mother has had. I honestly don't know what I would have done without him. Just  bringing Mother back to Elkhart and caring for her for 2 days (without me) so that Paula and I could be in Battle Creek, has placed Tom on a very high pedestal. Not many husbands would have done or would continue to do what he has done to help with this move. Paula sent him a text today to inform him that she has her famous (to us) chocolate chip cookies waiting for him as a thank you.
 I believe that during the recent storm, while Tom and the grandkidlets were staying safe in Kendra's basement in Noblesville, he texted Paula and asked her if she would bring him chocolate chip cookies. I don't think she did it but one never knows......

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Welcome Home, Mother!

Mother has a new home: Hubbard Hill Retirement Community in Elkhart, Indiana. It is a studio apartment. She is doing amazingly well. Expectations of herself are off the charts: she thinks that she should know how to get everywhere (and that was after 3 hours of living there) and she thinks that she should know everyone's name after meeting them. Silly woman! But that's Mother!

Paula and I spent from early morning hours until 11:30 at night which began last Monday, as we sorted, pitched, weeded, Good Willed, trashed, planned, made decisions, and then started all over again. It was an incredibly exhausting week as we took care of Debra and Mother. Moving one person is exhausting but trying to manage two and remain calm and collected, about wiped us out. Thank God that we had each other along with Keith and Sharon to get everything done. Before Debra moved in, Paula and I had her apartment put together so she could have a warm, cozy and comfortable place to live. Debra is very happy at her apartment in Lakeview Meadows in Battle Creek.
Because Tom came to Battle Creek on Wednesday and drove Mother to our house in Goshen for a couple of nights, Paula and I were able to get Debra placed and then we headed to Elkhart to get Mother's apartment organized. We took Mother over on Friday afternoon. She loved it!
Mother loved the new green bedspread and green couch since that is her favorite color. After taking it all in, she sat down at the piano. It was just as we had expected.

(Pictures aren't hung yet)

Obviously, we are still in the process of getting everything placed well for Mother. Every day gets a little better. Mother was so fortunate to have a window that looks out over one of the many courtyards. She was thrilled to see trees and flowers again. (Sorry we have a winter to get through.) 
This is what she saw when she looked out her window...looking left and then looking right:

Mother had lots of company (nurses, aides, housekeeping, and residents) on the first afternoon. It was almost overwhelming but one of her visitors was Phyllis Kauffman. Tom and I have known Phyllis for 40 years. We all went to Central Christian Church together and then we were at Trinity together and now Phyllis and Mother are at Hubbard Hill together. She has been a dear, sweet friend, already, for Mother. So far, I have had every lunch and dinner with Mother but tomorrow, she will do her first lunch without me. She is feeling more comfortable every day. I'll see her in the afternoon.

Phyllis Kauffman visits Mother on her first day at Hubbard Hill

Phyllis, Jeanne Dockery, Mother
Mother and Phyllis strike up a friendship
Mother told me that Kathy Thies had come for a visit yesterday. She was delighted. I was out running errands and missed her.
After services at Trinity this morning, I headed to Hubbard Hill to go with Mother to her first service. It didn't start until 10:30 so it worked out perfectly. It was very nice.
(I was tickled to see these photos with the blue chair covers. Everything that you see that is blue, is really GREEN!!!)

I just learned that the lady who played the piano for the service, is the sister of my Choir School friend, Eileen Nordgren Hoke Gukenberger!!! What a small world!

This has been an amazing journey! God has been very busy at our house and I just kind of tagged along. If you had told us that Mother and Debra would be settled in their new "homes" before Thanksgiving, I would have told you that there was no way that that would happen. We were praying for January. This was too good to be true but it was true!
It was good!
It was the answer to many prayers!
Carol Walbeck
Hubbard Hill Retirement Community
28070 CR 24 W
Room 712
Elkhart, Indiana  46517

Debra Williams
Lakeview Meadows
890 Territorial Road W
# 118
Battle Creek, MI  49015

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Moving Update

I'm so sorry for not updating in ages! I was reminded by my sister-in-love last week, that she was tired of looking at the same blog for the last ??? weeks. (Frankly, I update on FB but forget that lots of people are not on FB.)

Mother will become a Hoosier this coming Thursday, November 14th. That same day, Debra will move to her apartment at Lakeview Meadows in Battle Creek. Deb will have a 1st floor, 1-bedroom apartment surrounded by other "senior citizens".

Tom will head to Battle Creek Wednesday to help Paula and me move boxes to Debra's apartment. He will then bring Mother back to Elkhart, to our house, for a couple of nights while things get settled. I had taken the picture below to show her what she will see when she looks out her window at Hubbard Hill. She was very excited! Mother has a wonderful outlook about this move and can't wait for it to happen. She knows that she and Debra can call each other every day if they want to and is very happy about Deb's apartment.

Debra will have more room than she has had in years and Mother will be in a small, studio room but Paula and I will do our best to get it decked out! Most importantly, Mother will have her piano in her room. My guess is that Mother will quickly become known at Hubbard Hills as "that piano lady".  I will love having her  nearby!

Paula will pick me up Monday early afternoon and we will head to Battle Creek for the week. We have been extremely thankful that we have had each other to bounce ideas. What one doesn't think of, the other one does. We have made many calls and texted back and forth. We have lists for our lists. We have planned, measured, called, purchased, signed papers, had meetings,  cancelled, transferred, and made more lists. Finally, the moving week has arrived and we are READY!!!