Saturday, October 31, 2009

Two adorable candy corn(s) ...

First of all, Happy All Saint's Eve! We had rather bleak weather predictions in Grand Rapids for this evening; however, instead of pouring rain and possible snow showers, our rain stopped in the early afternoon, the wind died down, and we were just left with chilly temperatures ... nothing to complain about at all ... really ... unless you do NOT like cold weather (!).
Look who were our very first trick-or-treaters tonight! They arrived at just a little past 5:00, faces beaming with the excitement of being dressed up in such adorable custumes!Baby Boo got to come along and enjoy all of the festivities ...
We never really get a ton of trick-or-treaters anymore in our neighborhood ~ everyone has grown up. Last year, we only had 34 children call at our door. So I loaded up our little ghostie bowl with an assortment of candy and just dumped it out into Nathan and Nia's bags a little at a time until it was ... ALL GONE! I knew we had more candy inside for the neighborhood kids who would come later.
I think our Nathan Paul looks pretty happy that Halloween has finally come. I heard Rachel telling him yesterday that he had "one more sleep" until Halloween arrived.
Nia Madelynn was thoroughly enjoying her sucker. Nathan and Nia didn't stay very long. They were driving back to their other granny's house to go trick or treating around her neighborhood for a little while.

I checked Sabrina's blog this afternoon and I know what Jackson and Karis are dressing up to be tonight (click on The Rauch Report to see!). And a few weeks ago when I was in Minneapolis, I saw a cute little skeleton sleeper that I think Jeremiah was going to wear this evening. But I haven't any idea what Emma, Christopher and Matthew are dressing up to be this year ... perhaps they will post some pictures on their blog for us to see (please?).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cute. Cute. Cute.

We had some playtime with the little Jones grandkids today, so I thought I'd show you a few pictures. This is Nia Madelynn, who is quite a sober little person but will become very animated for our cameras ... when she smiles, her little nose wrinkles up so cute!Nathan Paul was just as pleasant as always. I didn't take this picture so I'm not sure just exactly what he is trying to show Rachel with his facial expression ... but I thought the look on Rachel's face was pretty cute.
Miss Nia apparently had some sticker play at her other grannys before she came over to our house. She was very pleased with herself all decorated pretty!
We didn't really DO much to speak of ... we just hung around and played with ALL the toys we could find!

And Lottie Caroline is SO happy ALWAYS. Grandpa Jones was teasing her with Paco the Pig and Lottie was trying to bite his nose! Grandpa made some witty comment about the swine flu and this being how it spreads ...
Lottie will have her #1 birthday next week ... I had best get my shopping done! This picture is so typical of her little face. She is just always smiling! I was cuddling with her for awhile and she was making funny sounds inside her mouth, which I then repeated to her ... and she giggled and laughed right out loud. She is such a sweet baby!
Nathan and I got to play cars for awhile in the basement playroom. We have a nice assortment of Matchbox cars, trucks, planes, and even a little boat that has wheels on the bottom of it, which is kind of weird if you think about it! Nathan was wondering about those wheels:

Nathan: "Why does a boat need wheels, granny?"
Me: "I don't know, Nathan."
Nathan: "Oh, I know! When the boat sinks down down down down and gets stuck under the water, it can just use those wheels to drive itself up up up! Now I know why it has those wheels! Yes!"
I made Nathan some "ghostie" peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, using a ghost cookie cutter. He was so pleased with them that he ate THREE! We made a pumpkin sandwich too and used cheese to make the eyes, nose and mouth.
We had a fun play time with everyone today. Aren't these three grandchildren such cuties?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Safely home!

I think the theme for our day could have easily equaled the Army's "Hurry up and wait" ... because that's exactly what we did!

I arrived at the hospital shortly before 10:00 this morning, got the encouraging update on Grandpa Roy, and we were told we would be "out of there" somewhere between 11:00 and noon.

They said that Roy's physician would have to sign the discharge papers, and any other professional who saw him while he was admitted would also have to "sign off" on him, we needed to meet with a social worker, we would have to go down to the Pharmacy and get his prescription and bring it back to his room, his nurses would then "sign off" from his care, they would call "transport," and we would be on our way! Now doesn't that sound simple? YIKES! It WAS NOT simple! Since Roy was being discharged on home oxygen, we had to wait for the oxygen professional to come to the hospital to set us up with a transport tank. The key word in that last sentence was W-A-I-T ... because that's a lot of health care professionals to coordinate with! I was so impressed that all of the folk we met with today were the nicest people and did such an excellent job!

The social worker set Roy up with a visiting nurse service so that once per day a nurse will go out to their house and check on Roy's oxygen levels and answer any questions he and Nana might have. We also met with the oxygen provider fellow at the hospital and then this same person met us at Roy's house this afternoon and brought all of the necessary equipment to us. And actually, he is only expected to NEED the oxygen for a few days ... possibly one week until his follow-up physician appointment next Friday.

We actually left the hospital at 2:00 this afternoon and by 2:30 we were at Roy and Nana's being instructed about all of the oxygen equipment ... until 4:00 this afternoon! Too bad there wasn't a camera running to record our three faces as this professional was explaining and demonstrating tubes, washers, levers, pressure meters, portable tanks, etc. Everyone who knows me knows how mechanically challenged I am ... and Nana and Roy were on the same page with me (!), so our faces were pretty BLANK as this well-meaning fellow was giving his talk. But we listened and he took apart equipment and watched us put it back together. We got Roy all set up and comfortable, and then this same oxygen guy said he had "a few forms" for Nana to sign! YOW! I've never in my whole life seen such a pile of paperwork as they went through! The fellow explained that these forms were to "cover" the oxygen company of liability issues. A few years ago some dude in Detroit lit a cigarette while wearing his oxygen and burned down an apartment complex, killing a small infant in the process. The oxygen company was able to produce all of the paperwork proving this fellow was instructed never to light a cigarette while on oxygen, etc.

Well enough of my babbling on ... Grandpa Roy is home, safe and sound ~ and happy to be there! He is in good spirits and resting comfortably. Thanks to all of you who were praying for he and Nana.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good news!

Just a brief update regarding Grandpa Roy ~ it is very possible that he will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow in the late morning! He's had a very good day today, spending lots of time sitting upright in the chair next to his bed, doing his breathing exercises, being "poked and prodded" and found to be ... greatly improved! His tests came back negative both for regular flu and the H1N1 ... great news!

When mom and I returned to the hospital this evening after doing some afternoon errands, we walked into his room only to find it ... empty! And instead of one hospital bed, there were TWO of them, all made up neat as a pin ... with the closets empty and all of Nana's and Roy's stuff gone! I'll admit my heart did skip a beat, and Nana was a bit shocked. We walked back into the hallway and found a nurse who right away told us they'd switched Grandpa Roy out of that room to another smaller one right next to the nurse's station ~ we'd walked right by it on the way in! When we finally walked into Roy's room tonight, he took one look at our worried faces and said, "Well, you didn't think they'd hauled me away to the morgue did you?!" And then we all had a good laugh! He's such a sweetie. The nurses just love him ... but then what isn't there to love?

Look who's in town!

I was surprised to see a van parked in our driveway yesterday afternoon when I arrived home from the hospital. Not being a particularly observant person (!), I never even noticed the Texas license plate. Grandpa Jones opened the garage door with Nathan Paul in his arms! Oh my! I don't think you can begin to imagine my surprise.
Rachel and the kids drove from Texas to Michigan and arrived "home" Monday evening. She said she kept saying to the kiddos that they were "going home to see TWO grannys and TWO grandpas!"
When I arrived home at 3:00, they had already been with Grandpa Jones for a few hours and were busy playing in the family room.
Look! Can you see the stuffed bear just on the left side of this picture? Nia now has her own baby Boo ... which kind of replaces her three silky baby blankets she used to cart around with her. Nia seemed to enjoy all of our toys very much!
And our terribly neglected train table FINALLY had someone to play with it yesterday! It's been a few months since anyone cared at all about it!
How long are Rachel and the children going to be in town? She thinks until the middle of next week some time. It's very nice to see all of them looking so good! Such beautiful little faces! And Lottie is the smiley-est baby ever!
Grandpa Jones said when Nathan first got out of their van he told him they had a train in the back of their van for us! He was so excited to show Grandpa Jones. Look at the brand new train car for the Jones family train!
What a beautiful addition! And how happy we are that baby Jeremiah's car can be right where it belongs!
Wasn't it nice of Rachel to have Jeremiah's little car all ready and to deliver it in person to our house?!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


When I arrived at Spectrum this morning to visit Grandpa Roy, I knocked on his hospital room door, entered the room, and was rather surprised to see Nana wearing a surgical mask ... and the nurse had one on too! The RN glared at me, pointed to the hallway, and gave me directions as to where I could find a surgical mask to wear and demanded that I wear one upon entrance to Roy's room and thereafter until I exited the hospital! I was obedient, but I am terribly claustrophobic! To have both my nose and mouth covered is almost intolerable to me!
My mission to the hospital this morning was actually to pick Nana up and take her back to their house so that she could freshen up, change her clothes, and take care of some household business before we returned to the hospital. So that's exactly what we did. We did wear our masks as we walked through the hospital corridors and were SO glad to pitch them in the garbage bin right at the sliding doors to the parking garage.
This pretty picture (above) is hanging in the hallway right outside his room ... I like their choice of decor very much!

So, here is the update on Grandpa Roy. You'll remember me telling you about his low O2 levels yesterday. They had a full oxygen mask on him but then switched him over to a nasal cannula yesterday afternoon. However, when I saw him this morning, he was back in the full mask. I questioned the RN about it and she said his low O2 level required the full mask and that the nasal cannula was inadequate at this point. He had another x-ray this morning to monitor the pneumonia. He was looking in good spirits, though, and was alert and conversant. He is eating well. We asked the nurse if she had any idea how long his hospital stay would be. She said that until they can get his O2 levels "normal," they are not considering releasing him from the hospital ... afterall, breathing is pretty essential to life! Nana is staying close by him, sleeping at the hospital, and keeping on top of his medical condition. I told her I would post this update so that she would not have to call everyone. I will continue to go back and forth to the hospital and be what help I can be to Nana.

When I came home from the hospital this afternoon, I was greeted by surprise visitors at my house ... visitors from a VERY long distance ... but I am too weary to tell you about it or show you my pictures tonight ... it will have to wait until tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2009

2 South ...

2 South?!! From the sign on the door, you could possibly imagine that "2 south" was the door to some lovely beach hotel in the sunny tropics ... but alas, that is NOT the case! This is the sign on the door of Grandpa Roy's hospital room downtown at Spectrum Hospital.

Grandpa Roy was admitted to the hospital today with pneumonia. He hasn't felt quite "himself" the last few days, and then Sunday was really feeling poorly to the point where Nana took him to Urgent Care last night. They ran him through all of the routine tests, did a chest x-ray, suspected pneumonia, had a fever (but not high), said his O2 levels were "down" but sent him home nonetheless. Nana watched over him carefully last night, but then this morning she phoned his physician who directed them to the Emergency Room.

Grandpa Jones and I drove them downtown and then waited for the verdict. They were not terribly alarmed (because Grandpa Roy is SO healthy and strong) but because his O2 levels were so low and his x-rays did show pneumonia, he has been admitted for "a few days" so that he can be properly watched over and professionally cared for. Everyone in the Emergency Room was wearing those little face masks as they were waiting to be examined. They wheeled Grandpa Roy into an exam room almost immediately.

Grandpa Roy is not a complainer ... he is such a sweet person ... but hospitals are nobody's favorite place to be! Nana is spending the night there with him and I will just go back and forth to make sure they have what they need, and to try to give them some smiles and cheer. He is in a real nice room on the second floor of the south wing ... with a view of a parking garage! Nana says he knows every single kind of car that has ever been made and as they drive, he is always pointing out certain models and years to her ... so perhaps a view of the parking garage will amuse him! Please pray his body will respond to the antibiotics so that he can go home, happy and healthy, very soon!
A vew of "The Medical Mile" from
the skywalk over Michigan Avenue

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today is Adam's birthday!

Happy Birthday, Adam!

It has already been two weeks since we were in Chaska visiting with Adam, Emily and Jeremiah. We took so many pictures the few days we were there ... mostly of baby Jeremiah (naturally), but quite a few nice ones of Adam as well ...It was fun to watch Adam interact with Jeremiah. He did such a nice job taking care of him. Being a first-time father can be ... overwhelming ... but Adam seemed real at ease with Jeremiah. We took quite a few pictures of the threesome, but these were some of my favorite ones ...

We want to wish Adam the happiest birthday ever! Kiss that baby for us please!

Friday, October 23, 2009

rain washed ...

In between her junior and senior high school years, my sister Ruthanne received an invitation to do some art studies at Olivet College. She did some absolutely stunning oil paintings that summer, one of which I will always remember. She painted the face of a girl looking out of a rain-streaked window ... the drops of rain looked SO real streaming down the glass, the girl's reflection in the window so perfect ... I loved that picture. The art instructor at the college subsequently "lost" all of the work Ruthanne did that summer ~ we were so disappointed! I remember that picture often on rainy days. Do you remember it, Ruthanne?

It began raining in the middle of the night last night and has been raining really hard here in Grand Rapids all day long ... and everything is rain washed ... clean ... the trees with wiggly reflections on the pavement ... the fallen leaves all shiny and rain-drenched ...

I've been making some progress with memorizing Ephesians. There are two verses in chapter one that use language that remind me of rain, and I like to think about the truths they are teaching as I listen to the raindrops on our roof ...
"So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son ... He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding." (Ephesians chapter one, verse six and eight)
God is constantly flooding our lives with his wonderful kindness and undeserved love ... Ephesians is FULL of good stuff like this. I'm so thankful for all of it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Last Friday in Rockford ...

"He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
He drew me out of deep waters ...
He led me to a place of safety;
He rescued me because He delights in me."
PSALM 18:16 and 19
I drove out to Rockford last Friday afternoon to take a walk. Mr. Jones was railroading ... and I had a few errands to run that kind of took me in that direction.
Once I finally made up my mind that summer was NOT coming back, I've really enjoyed the beautiful fall weather. And the colors are absolutely intoxicating ...
I'm posting these pictures mostly for our families down in Texas, who do not get to see the seasons change so dramatically ... doesn't looking at these pictures almost convince you to move back HOME to Michigan?!!

I used a few of these pictures today and made two cards, and then I remembered that I'd had all of those computer problems last week and hadn't posted any of these beautiful pictures! So here they are!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New friends ...

For the longest time now I've wanted to meet the beautiful horse that inhabits the blue-grey barn and feeds in the adjacent fields, not even a quarter mile from my house! I often walk up the road just to get a glimpse of him because he is just so ... perfect. There used to be two horses who lived here. I photographed them last winter as they were walking through a new snow looking for tufts of grass to eat. But then this spring, the sleek brown horse was gone, and just the tawny-colored one was left by himself. The other day I was driving down this street and glanced over and thought I saw another horse completely ...
This afternoon was mild and actually in the low 60's, so I wandered up the street to see if I was just imagining this other horse out in the field. As I walked by, the owner of the property was out on his tractor and he waved at me ... so I waved back. I've wanted to meet these folk for quite awhile! And then he motioned for me to come on over ... so I did! I walked through his front yard, as instructed, and came around to the side of the house to his beautiful little barn. He introduced himself as Lyle and then made introductions to his horses.
So this is Lyle with Dusty. We stood outside the fenced yard for awhile and got acquainted, but then Lyle said he was going inside to fetch a few carrots so that we could feed both Dusty and the new pony, Tuffy. And that's what we did! Lyle opened the gate and we went inside and gave them their carrots. Having never fed a horse before, I watched Lyle do it first! But then I took a turn, first with Dusty and then with Tuffy. Both of them are extremely people friendly and Lyle says I have made "friends for life."
This beautiful little creature is Buddy, who watches over all the activities on the property.
Lyle's wife of 56 years, Marilyn, was not around, so I didn't get to meet her. But I've been invited back with Mr. Jones to meet Marilyn and to ride the horses! Lyle told me his house and barn were built in 1905 and that he and his wife have lived here for over 30 years. He owns all of the land behind his property on both sides of Scott Creek ... the pretty woods that I venture to walk in during the winter months belong to him! He said I am welcome to walk there any time I please!
Both Dusty and Tuffy were intrigued by my camera. I was holding it and they kept sniffing my camera case that was hanging around my neck. Lyle asked me if I'd ever gotten this close to a horse before and I could honestly say I had not ~ not without a fence inbetween us at least! We talked to the horses for quite awhile. Tuffy's hair is softer than Dusty's and they like it very much if you rub them on their noses. They even let me give them a nice hug around the neck!

It turns out that Lyle has three daughters, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. As we talked, Lyle freely mentioned God's goodness to his family throughout the years. I told him I was working on memorizing Ephesians, and then he promptly recited Psalm One and almost all of Isaiah 53 to me! Think how much fun it would be to bring the grandchildren here to visit these sweet animals! I'm so glad I took this little walk today and made some new friends.