Friday, August 31, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

The day has finally come! August 31! I've been counting down to this day really since late last fall. But before I tell you about the last few days at work, I first need to tell you the beginning of my work years with the doctors. I found myself in a bit of a predicament in the late 80's inthat I was suddenly a single mother with three young children to support. I never finished my college degree, because first of all, I never declared a major; and secondly, I didn't know what I was doing at college in the first place! However, I did take one piece of good advice from my mother and took business classes and learned secretarial skills. The summer of 1988, I was encouraged to take a medical terminology class through Davenport College with the hopes that, combined with my excellent typing skills, perhaps I could get a job as a medical transcriptionist and do that line of work out of my home. I had heard of other people being successful with it, so I decided to pursue that.
I enjoyed the class, sent out my resumes with the very clear objective of doing medical transcription from my home, and got no bites. Three months went by and I never got one single call! In January 1989, I answered an advertisement in the Press and interviewed with Dr. E late one Friday afternoon. He hired me on the spot without ever reading the one important line on my resume, "Must work at home." When I pointed that out to him, he was less than enthused. It's a long story, but kind Dr. E gave me a chance! I worked at home for nearly 12 years before switching over to in-office transcription. This job was such a huge answer to prayer for me and my children. I never once had to pay for childcare. I was able to pay our bills and provide for my family! What a blessing! I will always and ever be indebted to this group of kind physicians who did so much for me.
The Company logo
(I'm not going to name the company because I didn't ask
permission to put it out on the Internet in such a fashion)
After packing up my desk drawers, cleaning off my shelves
and desk top -- almost 19 years fit into ONE box!

The Luncheon:

I would have been very content to just sneak out the back door and quietly disappear from RVO with hugs all around...but there was a nice retirement luncheon for me complete with chicken salad croissants, yummy baked beans, all manner of chips and dips and veggies, and a cake that was as delicious as it was beautiful. I want to show you pictures of these fine folk I have worked with, some for a only a short time, but many for the entire span of my work years with the docs. I have been honored to work with all of these people! Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting -- my absolute favorite!
Mr. Jones has not forgiven me for not bringing him a piece home.
Wasn't it so pretty?Peg (who has worked for the docs for 30+ yrs)
Teresa, Laura and Judi (also 30 yrs ?)
Sonja, Mary, Mary L
and the backs of Pamela and Karen
Same group, different angle Sara, Teresa, Claire, Peg, Laura, Judi
and Cheryl (former RVO long-timer)
The very edge of Deb, then Emma, Linda and ConnieConnie and Loretta (Transcription cohorts!) I received a digital video camera from RVO! It does a whole host of amazing stuff
that will probably take me the rest of my life
to figure out -- but I am SO pleased!
This gift is from all of the staff at RVO
They pooled their resources, went to Family Christian Stores
and picked this out for me -- PLUS a $75 gift card!

I did not expect this for even one minute!
After opening this so beautiful 20 x 24 picture
I couldn't even speak ...
I'm going to hang it in our family room
Everytime I look at it (every day)
I will remember these wonderful friends ...

Can you see what this says?
I tried to zoom in on it, but I still can't read it so --

"Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD;
point out the right road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you."
PSALM 25:4-5

Isn't that awesome?

The exact prayer of my heart! :)

Would you like to see some of the other gifts I received?
The beaded utensils were made by Dr. Dale's wife, Connie
(what a teasure!)
The necklace was made by Mary L -- I LOVE it!

I also received a beautiful Willow Tree
nativity ornament from Judi (not pictured),
a huge bag of peanut M & M's (!) from Cheryl
and so many cards with kind words and well wishes ...
in a nice sort of way!

Last Days at RVO:

I had my camera with me all week and so I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of these great people I have been privileged to work with ... This is Melanie just a day or two before she deliveredWilliam Brady -- he will be called Brady
He is beautiful, Melanie!
This is Roni at check-inOur greeter, Teresa -- but she is so much more than that! This is Susan!And Diana! And Loree! This is Laura, surgical scheduler! Nurse John, who should have been a doc
but is the very best nurse ever ...
This is Cheryl who schedules and checks-outNurse John with Terri, Teresa and MissyThis is our very own nurse Keith! Pamela and Wendi in Medical Records Greg and Jayna, who worked closely with Dylan this summerNurse Lynn in Triage! Mary L who handles referrals and a ton of other stuff ...

and my very own Janice Marie ...
I wasn't able to get pictures of everyone -- some folk have transferred out to the Southwest campus and haven't been at the downtown office regularly for quite some time. Others that I did get photos of, I haven't posted because the pictures just did not turn out very flattering!
So, this employment part of my life has come to an end. I don't regret my decision to retire. I am looking forward very much to what God has in the future for my life ... but there are a whole lot of folk that I am really going to miss ...
RVO has offices on the 3rd floor, all of the fourth
and some on the 5th floor of this building

As I left the office for the last time this morning,
I turned around and there on the fifth floor were the girls,
faces pressed against the windows, waving me farewell!
(I completely botched that picture)
I laughed and waved back.
Nice way to end the day, don't you think?
Wonderful memories of wonderful people!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Born this day!

Nia Madelynn Jones was born this day! Our eighth grandchild. The score is now even: four boys and four girls -- how nice is that? (This picture of Nick and Rachel was taken in the spring of 2006)

Nia was born at around 1:00 this afternoon down in Houston, Texas. She is just a little one -- six pounds six ounces and 18 inches. Nick says she has a lot of hair on her head (dark hair!).

When Nicolas called at about 8:30 tonight, he and Rachel hadn't gotten to see very much of Nia yet. She had been having some breathing problems early on, so she was whisked away to the nursery and attended to. Nick says she is breathing better now, has good color, and he thought he and Rachel were going to get to have her in the room pretty soon. He promises some pictures later tonight, so check their blog! Joyful congratulations to Nick and Rachel!

"Christ is the one through whom God
created everything in heaven and earth ...
everything has been created
through Him and for Him ..."

My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness

Several years ago on my way to work I was listening to WCSG and they played a song, "In Christ Alone." The music was Irish-sounding and the lyrics were so beautiful, so deep and rich with Truth. When I got to the office, I called WCSG and asked if they could give me the lyrics to the song and they did! I typed the words and put them in a page protector and hung them on the bulletin board right in front of my face where I could see and be reminded of the wonderful Truths the song proclaimed. Imagine, then, how excited I would be to meet the author of that song! Back in January, the Getty's (Keith and Kristyn - husband and wife) came and led our morning worship service at Calvary Church. They sang a few of their numbers, two of which I had never heard. Thankfully, they had CD's available after the service and I purchased my very own copy of the album, "In Christ Alone." I know every single word of every song on that album. It has been an awesome encouragement to me.

Yesterday, the Getty's returned to Calvary Church to again lead us in worship. Mr. Jones was looking through the bulletin afterward and saw that Keith and Kristyn were going to sing some numbers at Parable Book Store tonight between 7-8:00. So I went on over to hear them! Keith introduced himself to me and I shared with him the story of hearing his song on WCSG all those years ago -- what a neat privilege to meet he and Kristyn!
Kristyn Getty
Her voice is sweet and very clear
This is Keith
He is an accomplished pianist and song writer
They very kindly autographed albums while
people gathered to hear them sing
And then they sang, "In Christ Alone"
"The Power of the Cross"
[these two songs we all sang along with]
"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer"
[this song is really a prayer, and so Kristyn did a solo]
and then "Don't Let Me Lose My Wonder"
Keith did an excellent job on a very poor keyboard
with no foot pedal -- no sustaining!
I had told Dylan about the Getty's appearance earlier
in the day and he and some friends from Kuyper
came to join in the worship ...
Yesterday after church I was able to purchase two other albums of the Getty's. One is entirely music for children, all based on Scripture about the life of Jesus. I haven't listened yet, but I'm anxious to. The other album is called, "Modern Hymns Live" and it is just beautiful. My favorite song so far on the album is, "My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness." Listen to the words:
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fear to fly
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace
Whose every thought is love
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King
So I will give my life my all
To love and follow Him
Written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
If you want to know more about the Getty's and their music, try this: I am on their e-mail and they actually send me the lyrics and music to their songs -- I can print off the sheet music and play it on my very own piano (once I learn it, of course!) They do this complimentary, no charge, very nice of them to share their music and not be stingy with it!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beautiful Boy

For our third Sunday in a row, Grandpa and I have had the privilege of spending time with Nathan Paul. His other grandparents, the McNeil's have had him full-time for the past few weeks and Grandpa McNeil has a new work schedule that leaves only Sunday afternoons to catch up on a little much-needed rest and relaxation and time with Grandma McNeil. So Nathan has come over to our house for a little while to play. It's kind of a win/win situation, where everyone is happy -- the best kind! It was a perfectly beautiful day today, so we decided to take a walk.
Nathan has a good grip on Grandpa's finger
and won't let go!
Until we told him he could run and play ...
He was amused with his shadow today, leaning down to
get a better look at it, trying to pick it up
(I enjoyed watching him so much, I didn't get a picture of him doing it!)
We had walked the entire distance of Scott Creek
(1/2 mile), and then noticed Nathan was getting a bit tired
So Grandpa lifted him way up and onto his shoulders
After walking for a block or so like this
Grandpa said, "Is Nathan falling asleep?"
And I looked up and there was Nathan
with his head bobbing up and down, eyes closed,
and ready to totter right off Grandpa's shoulders!
So we removed him from shoulders to arms
and he slept the rest of the walk home ...
We made a comfortable little spot in the front room
Nathan slept for a whole hour!
(Look at his brand new NIKE'S!)
Nathan woke up in time to eat a little something
before his grandparents came back to pick him up --
see the two cars on the high chair tray?
He was "VROOMING" and driving them the whole time he ate!

I think it's kind of regrettable that people can't be grandparents before they are parents. I'm serious! I know there is the saying, "If I'd known how much fun it was going to be, I would have had my grandchildren first." But I'm not just talking about the fun of it. There is something about being older and more mellow I think. Or perhaps because in most cases, grandparents only are temporary caregivers, so they can be rested and relaxed and not so stressed all the time. When I look back, it seemed I worried a lot about things that just are not that important really -- like what were the boys eating today, were they eating a balanced meal, were they getting enough protein, was I a good cook? But as a grandma, I just put out some fruit, some raw veggies and dip, juice, soft bread; and if that isn't eaten, ice cream works pretty well!

Look at his beautiful little face! "Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him."
PSALM 127:3

Saturday, August 25, 2007

1-2-3 and counting!

This is the last weekend that will feel like a weekend for me perhaps for quite awhile. I don't want to rub it in or anything, but weekends from here on out will be just like most other days! I'm looking forward to that! Throughout the years, I tried to practice rejoicing in each and every day like David said, "This is the day the LORD has made -- we will rejoice and be glad in it!" but always found it easier to accomplish being joyful on Friday more than on Monday ...

There wasn't much going on at The Jones Junction this weekend, so today I decided to sleep in just a bit, catch up on some housecleaning, enjoy some reading, and most definitely work out in the yard. We've had a real rainy spell the past ten days or so and a pretty intense electrical storm Wednesday night caused us to lose power at about 8:30 p.m. We were 32 hours without power! A pioneer I am NOT! I was glad when the lights flickered at 4:28 a.m. yesterday morning so that I didn't have to dress for work by candlelight again. I did find, however, that I can get totally ready for work in 15 minutes when I can't see myself ... something about looking in a mirror that slows the process down!
A butterfly on Grandpa's zinnia's
I wanted so badly to get a really good picture!
Isn't it beautiful?
"The grass withers, and the flowers fade
beneath the breath of the LORD ...
but the word of our God stands forever."
ISAIAH 40:7-8
I've been doing a lot of counting lately, and not just days until retirement. Now that Jesse's deployment has happened, I'm counting GOOD days instead of SAD days. These are some of the things I'm looking forward to --
  • Six days until I retire
  • Ten until we leave on our road trip
  • Twelve until we arrive in Houston to meet baby Nia and to see Nathan, Rachel and Nick
  • Twenty until we go to Austin to see wee Karis, Jackson, Olivia, Sabrina and Andrew
  • Twenty-six until we arrive at Fort Bliss to see Matthew, Chris, Emma and Diana
  • Thirty-four until we see Adam and Emily in the Twin Cities

And then I suppose we have to come home! October is going to be dedicated to getting organized around the house, and then November and December I'm going to ready the place for the holidays and really enjoy doing it! But by the first of the year, I hope to have a better idea about how the Lord wants me to serve Him. I am enjoying counting down to all of these good things ahead!