Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

We had a great time in Michigan with the family...lots of great cuddle time with Jake and Betsy! We had so much to be grateful for! Molly and Myron sold their house and are moving next week! Now they'll be only an hour and a half away! We went to church with Joel and Wendy. Jake seems to thrive on the loud and awesome contemporary worship service! He's really growing and developing a sweet personality...full of smiles and baby talk. And I'll get to see them all again soon! I love the holidays!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm so blessed...

Today is the 31st birthday of my daughter, Betsy. She died the day she was born and I've always wondered who she would look like and what her personality would have been. I'd like to think she'd be a lot like my granddaughter, Betsy, who was named after her. There's always been a hole in my heart for what might have been...but I am so blessed to have my wonderful family...Joel, Wendy and Jake, Molly, Myron and Betsy...and the love of my life, John.

My beautiful granddaughter, Betsy...

My adorable grandson, Jake...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jake is 2 months old!

Joel, Wendy and Jake came for a short visit last weekend. We were so thrilled to get to see how much Jake has grown. He's such a sweet little guy...he's a good baby and seems to be thriving. Joel and Wendy are great parents! Here are some pics of our sweet grandson.

I'm still here...

I've been really busy and haven't blogged in ages! John is finally getting over his sinus infection and is adjusting to the C-Pap machine he sleeps with for his sleep apnea. He seems to be more energetic too, so I think he appears to be getting more oxygen with it. Work is going's a really busy at work as the holidays approach. Molly and Betsy spent a week with us recently and we had such a good time. Betsy has always been unfriendly with my dad for some reason and after Molly talked with her about it, she finally realized Grandpa Bill is a good guy and she really responded to him. It was a real breakthrough! Molly and Myron have found a beautiful home in Cincinnati and hope to move the first week of December. They're still trying to sell their home in Grand Rapids. They're growing tired of living apart! Here are some Betsy pics.

"Betsy Blue Eyes" after her bath...

Betsy helping Grandpa in the flower bed...

Betsy in the leaves...

Betsy bonding with Grandpa Bill...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jake is 3 weeks old

We had a real quick visit with Joel, Wendy and Jake this weekend. He's really growing and is such a sweet little guy. I sure wish they lived closer so we could watch him grow up and be a real part of his life.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This has been such a busy week! I saw the back surgeon at the first of the week. I can't have surgery now because I would have to be off work for 6 weeks to 3 months! I didn't think it would be that long to recover and rehabilitate. I wouldn't have enough time off accumulated at work so I asked what I could do instead of surgery. He said I could try another type of epidural that's what I'm going to do. I know it's just a band-aid on the problem but I don't want to lose my job after I just got promoted. So I hope this injection will help the pain and swelling in my spine for awhile.
We had great fun with Molly and Betsy here part of the weekend. It's been tough for them having Myron in Cincinnati working and only seeing him on weekends. We're all still praying that their house will sell soon and they'll be able to make the move to Cincy. Our new grandson, Jake, is doing well. He's already gained weight and growing fast! I can't wait to see him again...and his Momma and Papa too!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Doctor's appointment

I had to see my back doctor today. He gave me an MRI last week since I've been having increasing pain down my legs and numbness in my feet. He said that the stenosis is 50% to 60% worse compared to my MRI results in 2004. I've had 3 epidural cortisone injections that helped for awhile. But now I'm looking at the need for surgery and probably fusion of the discs in the lumbar area. He said another injection might offer temporary relief but the surgery would probably get rid of most of my pain and isn't too invasive. So I see the surgeon next Tuesday to find out more. I hoped to put it off as long as I could, especially since starting my new job. But it looks like I've been putting off the inevitable. On a happier note, I get to babysit for Betsy this Saturday night! Molly and Myron are house-hunting in Cincinnati so they're leaving Betsy here for the night...then Molly will come back and stay for a couple of days. It's always fun having them here! So I'm really looking forward to that!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Isn't he beautiful!

Jake pictures

Jake William Smith

Our beautiful grandson, Jake William, was born 9-8-07 at 8:40 a.m. I was privileged to get to witness his birth along with his daddy, Joel, and Nana Linda, Wendy's mom. What an exciting day! We got the call from Joel at 3:00 a.m. and rushed to Lansing. We arrived about 8:00 a.m. and Jake was born 40 minutes later! He's a beautiful little guy, with light auburn hair. He weighed 8 pounds and 14 1/4 ounces and was 22 inches long. We visited with him Sunday at the hospital and again today when he got to go home. Mama, Papa and baby are all doing great! Wendy is a natural mother and Joel has taken to fatherhood with great enthusiasm. Our thanks to the Lord for His wonderful mercies...all are well, healthy and very grateful to God.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Betsy at Grandma's

Betsy stayed with us a couple of weekends ago while Molly and Myron did some househunting in Cincinnati. We had so much fun with her. She's a real talker and seemed to really enjoy the time with Grandma and Grandpa! We are still waiting on news from Joel and Wendy...we're going to head up there as soon as she lets us know she's in labor. Jake was due yesterday, so we know it won't be long!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's been a long time...

I haven't blogged since my mother died. It was such a painful time and I was filled with so many emotions...I just didn't know how to put it all into words. With time I've been able to view the whole experience in a better light and I know the Lord was with us all through all of it. Mom's funeral was really beautiful. There was so much touching music...songs that were special to Dad and to Mom and some for the family. The eulogy was so personal and conveyed the love Mom had for her family and how we all loved her so much. Dad is still having a very difficult time adjusting to his loss. His life was consumed with her care for nearly a year and now he just has himself to care for. He seems so frail and fragile right now. I've always seen him as the rock of our family so it's really hard to see him so near to tears all the time. I know with time, the Lord will bring healing for him...there's just no easy way to face life without his love of 60 years.

Several really good things have happened since Mom's passing. My niece Miranda was married and it was a beautiful day for her and Ben and also for the family. We received some great news when Molly's husband Myron was recruited for a wonderful position with Berean Christian Stores. He's to be the Vice President of Merchandising for the company! The best part is they will be moving to Cincinnati, Ohio...which is only 2 hours from us!!! We're so excited to have them closer! They'll be moving sometime in the next couple of months. Next weekend we'll be keeping Betsy while Myron and Molly househunt in Cincy!

More good news...Wendy is only 16 days away from her due date!!! Jake, our first grandson, is due on September 4. Wendy is doing great and she and Joel have Jake's room all ready! I'm going to post some photos from the past month since I'm so far behind in doing that! I hope this catches my friends up on the news. Thanks so much to all who have prayed for us. It means so much...keep praying as we move on with our lives.

Molly's Tribute to her Grandma Leah

A few months into Grandma’s illness I began to notice the image of butterflies coming up everywhere. It seemed that everywhere I turned there were pictures, sculptures, books, cards, or even real butterflies. I began to realize that God was showing me something important. Then I saw a card with a butterfly on it that said that the little caterpillar must think that she is dying when she begins her transformation, but that the reality is more wonderful than she can imagine—at the end of that dark time in the cocoon she’ll have wings! It was God whispering to my heart—“That’s what is happening to Grandma. With your earthbound perspective, it only looks like dying. But the reality is beyond what you can imagine. At the end of her transformation she’s going to emerge a new creature and take flight!” And so, while it’s hard to watch her fly away into the bright skies of heaven and away from us, I am filled with a deeper joy knowing that Grandma isn’t dead, she’s just emerged from her long sleep into the light of her true home and into the beauty of her true self. And now she has wings.

The pastor used this in Mom's funeral and it really meant a lot to all of us.

Concert time with the family!

Molly at the Over the Rhine Concert

Over the Rhine Concert

Jacob and Rachel...tired out

Ben and Miranda leaving the church

John and me at Miranda's wedding

Grandpa Bill and Elizabeth

The wedding cake

Molly & Myron

Betsy at the wedding

Betsy with Aunt Wendy

Ben and Miranda with Jim's kids

Dad with my nephew Benji at Miranda's wedding

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Mother has gone home...

My sweet mother went to be with the Lord yesterday, July 12 at 2:35 in the afternoon. She fought a valiant battle against a brain tumor since August 19, 2006. She remained loving, caring, even funny through all the tough times. I'll write more after the funeral. It's too hard right now. We all miss her so much, but we rejoice that she's is dancing in Heaven and enjoying the thrill of being in the presence of Jesus.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

John's test...

John's heart catheterization is scheduled for Tuesday the 10th at 8:30. In the meantime he can't drive, work or do anything strenuous. He's having a hard time just sitting around but I'm not letting him do anything!
Our first reading program went great...we had 45 in attendance and they seemed to have a lot of fun. The local radio station interviewed me today about the Summer Reading program so we'll get some free publicity! I'll post pics later.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Time to catch up...

The last week has been a real roller coaster of emotions. John was scheduled for a heart catheterization last Friday. But on Thursday, I received a call at work that the nurse felt my Mother was in her last hours. So I left work and went out to spend time with Mom. She had a high fever and was barely responsive to anyone. All of my brothers and sisters were in and out all day. The music therapist came that day and sat by Mom's bed playing Mom's favorite hymns. Sherry, Ruth, Miranda and I sang along...through our tears. It was such a beautiful moment. Mom even smiled as we sang. Then Amy, the musical therapist, sang one of Mom's favorites..."Annie's Song" by John Denver. Mom always said the song made her think of "Bill" dad. As we sang that, Dad was sitting on the bed and as weak as Mom was, she reached her good arm up and pulled Dad down to her on the bed. It was so sweet...we were all crying. She seemed a little better by evening when her temperature came down. So Friday I went to work. My brothers who stayed said she really rallied the next day...she wanted to get dressed and sit in her chair...she was talking and able to take some liquids. It was amazing! Saturday, John and I went to the grocery before we were scheduled to stay with Mom for the weekend. John started having chest pains and a very heavy feeling. We decided he needed to go to the emergency room. We spent all day in the emergency room. They did an EKG, a cat scan, & blood tests. They gave him some medications for angina and monitored him until evening. After calling his cardiologist they sent us home with instructions for John to not drive, not work, nor do anything strenuous. Joel and Wendy drove down from Lansing to see my Mother so they were able to stop and see John in the emergency room. We were so glad to have them there for moral support! They went to visit Mom after John was reassured that he wasn't having a heart attack. So today (Sunday) has been very quiet...he's been resting and taking it very easy. The cardiologist is supposed to call and reschedule the catheterization tomorrow. I'm planning to work unless they reschedule it on tomorrow. It's the first day of our summer reading program and I'm hoping to be there! What a week! I've sure felt the prayers of my friends and family helping us to get through all this. Mom isn't doing as well today so we're pretty uncertain about what the next week will bring.

Wendy's baby shower in Winchester

Molly and I held a baby shower for Joel and Wendy last Sunday. It was a great time and they received lots of neat gifts for "baby Jake"!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Flowers for my new office!

Molly, Myron & Betsy sent me these lovely lilies to congratulate me on my new job! Today was my first story time as director. It went really well! The kids are still a little shy with me since not all of them know me yet. But a fun time was had by all.

I stopped out to see my Mom tonight...she is so weak...I don't know how she keeps going. I thought her breathing seemed labored and I could hardly understand her when she spoke. It's so hard to see the ones you love fading away before your eyes.