Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day weekend

We had a great time visiting with the kids in Michigan this weekend. Joel and Wendy were at Molly and Myron's when we arrived so we got to see everyone! Joel and Wendy are keeping so busy this summer. They're going to New York in June and then on a missions trip to Mexico in July. I don't think we'll get to see them again until my Dad's birthday in July! But it was fun and we made the most of our time together. Betsy is sure growing up! She crawls everywhere and can stand up by herself. I think she'll be walking soon. She's going through a phase that's hard on Molly...she's unhappy unless her Mommy's in the room and it's difficult for Molly to get a break. She and Myron did go out for a movie Sunday evening and John and I watched Betsy. She got along pretty well until she realized Mommy wasn't close by. So Grandpa John took her for a long walk and that made her happy. She's such a bundle of joy. Molly and Myron are doing such a good job of parenting. I sure wish they were closer but we enjoy any time we can get together. The weather has been really crazy this week...in the middle 90's even in Michigan! I'm so fortunate to have air conditioning at home and at work. Poor John has to work all day in the heat in the mould shop and it is really draining on him! Our garden likes the heat though...things are starting to sprout and the flowers are really blooming! Work is really busy too now that school is out. It makes the time go really fast though because there are so many kids up there! I'm not complaining though...it's a good, safe and cool place for them to spend their summer!

Look! I can stand up by myself! Posted by Picasa

Betsy and her Daddy Posted by Picasa

Worn out after a long walk with Grandpa Posted by Picasa

Betsy and her buddy, Phoebe Posted by Picasa

Betsy and Gideon Posted by Picasa

Betsy's first popsicle Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Silver for a Soul

My first day back at work went well! The Lord is so faithful. I had to take a pain pill and ice my knee when I got home but it's wasn't bad at all. I've been reading this devotional for my morning devotions. It's a book Molly gave me and one that she wrote several of the devotions for. I was really touched by the one I read today called Silver for a Soul. The scripture for it is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

"You are not your own, you were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]."

One of the most poignant portrayals of God's grace can be seen in Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables. A kind priest takes in a recently released convict named Jean Valjean. In the middle of the night, Jean rewards the priest for his kindness by stealing all his fine silver flatware and disappearing into the darkness. Early the next morning, the thief is caught; and the authorities drag him back to the priest's home so that charges can be filed. It is here that we see grace exhibited in way that no one--not the police, and certainly not Jean Valjean--would have expected.

"Ah! here you are!" [the priest] exclaimed, looking at Jean Valjean. "I am glad to see you....I gave you the candlesticks too, which are of silver like the rest....Why did you not carry them away with your forks and spoons?"

We are no different from Jean Valjean. We have all turned our backs on the goodness and love of God (Romans 3:23). But God did something that no one expected. "God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 4:8 NRSV).

When we go before God, guilty and asking for mercy. He says, "I am glad to see you! Of course, I will forgive you. Now you will become My very own child, and I will send My spirit to live within you."

After Jean Valjean is released, the priest speaks one last word to him--the same word that our hearts hear from Jesus: "You no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I buy from you;...and I give it to God."

That was such an encouragement to me today. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in day to day living and worrying about my health that I forget the real purpose for my life...to glorify God and to shed His love into the world for others to see and desire. Thank you Molly for your words of wisdom...and thank you God for using Molly to glorify your name.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm back to work!

Praise the Lord and thank you for your prayers. I'm back to work! The knee is feeling pretty good...a little swollen and stiff but not bad for having surgery less than a week ago. I'm using the elevator instead of the stairs but not too limited otherwise. I quit the Vicodin...didn't like the way it made me feel. So far so good!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lovely spring bouquet from Joel and Wendy!

Thanks so much for the beautiful flowers, Joel and Wendy! They really brightened my day! I love you both very much. We'll be praying for you tomorrow as you take your actuary exam!

Day 2...

I'm not feeling quite so good today. I was getting around without the walker yesterday, but I had to start the exercises today so now I'm having a lot of pain and needing the walker. I'm sure that's just part of the healing process. I sure hope it gets better before Monday...I have to go back to work then if at all possible. John stayed home today to help me. He made several runs to Wal-Mart...he kept thinking of things we needed. He put rounded bricks around our flagpole and then mulch and planted red wave petunias in there. It looks really pretty! He's done so much to the yard and garden this year. It's going to be really beautiful when it all starts blooming. He bought me a beautiful hanging planter filled with purple petunias and some other flowers I don't know the name of. He loves working outside and we finally had a day of sunshine and no rain. There's a storm coming in tonight so he was relieved to get so much done. I'm going to miss him when he goes back to work tomorrow. I'm sleeping in the guest room until I can get around better. I don't think I can roll in and out of our water bed right now. I'm so blessed to have such a sweet husband. God has been so good to me!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Surgery's over!

I'm happy to say my knee surgery is over! It wasn't too bad. I have a walker but I can get around without it pretty well. I have to keep it elevated with ice on it for 3 days. The dr. gave me exercises to do too. The toughest part was getting the IV in...it took 2 nurses and 1 dr. trying with 5 different needles until they finally found a vein. I guess my veins are really small. The nurse was getting so frustrated and said..."start praying". I replied, " I have been!" The 3rd time they thought they had it in but when I went to the restroom it came out. I didn't realize it until I saw blood dripping on the floor...it kind of freaked me out because I didn't know where it was coming from at first. It scared John because the nurses started pulling on gloves and grabbing towels and running to the restroom! It would have been funny if it hadn't been so frustrating. They finally called the anesthesiologist and he got in it two tries. I'm pretty bruised on both hands and one arm. Before the surgery the anesthesiologist came in to discuss my anesthesia and started talking about the medications that I take, etc. Then he realized he had the wrong file. He was pretty ticked. He wasn't nasty but he firmly told the nurse to straighten it out because part of the file was mine and part was another Karen Smith!! Other than that it went well. The dr. showed John the photos and let me bring them home. He said there was a lot of calcium buildup from the arthritis and he shaved the bones to clean that out. He showed John where it was just bone on bone and said that would probably mean joint replacement in the future. So I guess it's a race between my liver and my knees now! Not really funny I guess but you gotta laugh! I was really at peace before the surgery and felt the prayers of all my friends. So thanks so much to all who prayed! I hope the description wasn't too graphic. I wanted to record the experience before the Vicodin made me forget. Keep praying! I really appreciate it!!!

Elizabeth & Rachel celebrating E's 5th birthday

My Dad and Mom on Mothers' Day

My "baby" brother Jim and his baby Jacob on Mothers' Day

A B C Tag...

Accent: Hoosier drawl
Bible book I like: Psalms
Chore that I don't like: cleaning the bathroom
Dog or Cat: 2 cats named Kit and Carson
Essential Electronic: my computer
Favorite Cologne: Calvin Klein's "Eternity"
Handbag I carry most often: the one with all my stuff in it ;)
Insomnia: not often
Job Title: Wife, Mom, Grandma & Library Associate
Living Arrangements: Small 3 bedroom ranch
Most Admirable Trait: that's a hard one...I guess it would be loving people and showing mercy
Naughtiest Childhood Trait: pouting
Overnight Hospital Stay: oh my, the list is almost too long to count...3 babies, 7 surgeries & 3 epidural injections...plus several stays for IBS and acute bronchitis.....Yikes!
Phobias: spiders
Quote: "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
Religion: Born-again believer saved by the grace of Jesus Christ!
Siblings: 2 younger sisters and 4 younger brothers
Time I wake up: usually 6:30
Unusual talent or skill: I have a good memory for people's names and faces
Vegetable I refuse to eat: I can't think of any
Worst habit: there are so many...overeating is probably the biggest one
X-rays: too many to remember! ruptured disc in my neck, broken toe, spinal stenosis, knee joint problems......
Yummy stuff I cook: Roast and potatoes...banana split cake
Zoo Animal I like: baby gorillas

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Another hectic week!

Molly and Betsy were here from Saturday evening until Tuesday...and I'm just now getting time to blog about it! This has been such a busy time! We had so much fun with our two sweet girls. Molly and I have always had a close relationship so it's just fun and easy having her here...we could almost read each other's thoughts when she still lived at home. So it was great fun sharing Betsy with her this week. She's such a happy baby...but so busy! She wants to be doing something all the time...she's not content to cuddle for very long. She's so close to crawling...she gets where she wants by scooting and rolling and is really starting to want to walk when you stand her up. Boy, will we need to child-proof our house when she starts walking! Myron got in from his business trip on Tuesday afternoon and they headed back to Grand Rapids. The time went really fast but we sure enjoyed it! Work has been really busy this week too. We're trying to get ready for our summer reading program in July. Since my surgery is next Tuesday and I'll be off for at least a week, I've been trying to get everything done ahead of time at work. I have both June calendars finished and the newsletter done so that will save me a lot of work when I go back. School will be out at the end of May and then we'll really be busy because a lot of the kids spend the entire day at the library while their parents work! I guess it's a safe and clean place...better than running the streets!
I don't think I'll get to see either of my kids for Mothers' Day. We're going to see my Mom in the evening on Sunday...she's invited those of us without plans to have dinner with them. That will be nice! I don't get to see my brothers and sisters as often as I'd like.
I finally have a free Saturday so I guess I'd better get busy and make the most of it! Happy Mother's Day to all my friends!

I love to read books with Grandma! Posted by Picasa

These bubbles are sure hard to hold on to! Posted by Picasa

I'm popping out of my jammies... Posted by Picasa

Is Grandma still taking pictures! Posted by Picasa

Fierce smile... Posted by Picasa

Betsy's cute expressions... Posted by Picasa

Molly and Betsy Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

14 Things About My Mom

1. She's one of 11 children.

2. She was married at 18 and has 7 children, 19 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren!

3. She loves to fish.

4. Before her arthritis got so bad, she was a wonderful seamstress.

5. Her father was born in 1880 and her mother in 1895.

6. She and Dad have been married almost 59 years.

7. She loves to be out of doors and has beautiful flowers all around her yard.

8. She led me to the Lord in 1960.

9. She makes wonderful candy...especially hickory nut brittle.

10. She practically reared us seven kids on her own when Dad worked away from home for many years.

11. She's had both her knees replaced.

12. She remembers the birthdays of all her children and grandchildren and sends each a card.

13. She made sure that all seven of her children learned to play the piano and played instruments in the high school band.

14. She managed to get 7 children through high school and 5 of the 7 graduated from college.

My Mom is amazing and I love her very much!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spring is definitely here!

Today has been such a beautiful day! I spent the morning cleaning house and got really hot! Last evening we planted lettuce, spinach and some flower seeds in the back. We have already put out snapdragons and petunias in the front of the house. Then we got a really nice rain last evening so I hope everything starts to grow! We still need to get onions, green beans, green peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers planted. John does most of the garden work. I'm hoping after my knee surgery I'll be able help a little more. Molly, Myron and Betsy are coming in 2 days! Yay!!!