Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time to Paint

Summer....time to paint. This week, I was able to paint in 3 different rooms for a neighbor. Her 2 boys share a room and they love cowboys. This was a real challenge for me....not my usual subject matter at all!

These boys, along with loving cowboys.....they do love to farm. This was more along the lines I am comfortable with. I have done several farm scenes in the past. This was for their play room.

And then, sister makes 3, exactly like my grandchildren, 2 rough and tumble farm boys and then a little baby girl. This is where I really feel comfortable...a little pink, a few flowers and some butterflies. I am so thankful for the time to paint, time to rest, rejuvinate and do some things I love to do. I am thankful for the gifts I have been blessed with, and happy to share!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Monday

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light....

Thank you Dad.

Thank you George.

A beautiful avenue of flags always chokes me up!
Thank you for your service. We will remember.
God Bless America.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

26 Years Ago

Vote for me! I'll do my best!

Look what I got!

If it weren't for kids....have you ever thought?

I came into this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
Brandon and Tyler spent lots of time in the sprinkler!

26 years ago, I had my first child. 26 years ago, I fell in love with an 8 lb. boy. I remember one person saying, "He's half grown!" Maybe because I was such a tiny little lady THEN, and had labored for 23 hours to no avail, trying and trying and trying to have him, and then ended up with a C section, I always say, "He was stubborn from the beginning". He was born in a little bitty hospital and they didn't have the nice birthing rooms they do now. I layed there for so long, I asked if I could have a TV. They said they would see what they could do. No one had ever asked for a TV before. Dave asked if he could go downtown and get something to eat. I said, "Go ahead, I'm not going anywhere". I remember the many, many, MANY trips back and forth of someone in some very noisy, clicky shoes. I found out later that those noisy shoes belonged to the hospital administrator, who just so happened to be my anesthetist late in the evening. Being a little bitty hospital, there was no surgeon at hand. I had to "wait" for him to be done with another surgery at another hospital. I remember giggling on the operating table. They said they had never heard that before. I was exhausted, nervous, scared, but so, so happy and grateful that they were going to deliver this baby one way or another. Brandon was born, bearing a "cone head", with lots of dark hair, blue eyes, and 8 lbs of flesh and bone and health. Those were also the days without the good drugs and the pain pumps, but rather the hypo in the rear every 4 hours. How I dreaded that needle, but learned to take it or be sorry later when the pain was almost unbearable. They would roll me to the side like a "sack of potatoes" when I was still a bit numb from the spinal block. The pain of childbirth, as my mother always said, is a pain you soon forget. It is still there....some of the memory. But having kids is by far worth the pain. You were full of questions....full of answers...full of made life VERY intersting , and I am so thankful for you! You have grown into a good husband, Daddy, brother and son,and I am so proud of you!

Brandon and his bride, Brittany.
Doing a big construction project. I see Calvin is helping!
Playing with sister, Rissa!

It's a Girl!!!
What a daddy!
Always teaching...

Happy birthday, Bud (that's what we used to call him growing up).
I thank God for you and for giving you to me.
Yes, that first child is a lesson to behold. I was honored to bring you into the world, honored to watch you play soccer and football and basketball and run track, and play baseball, and make pinewood derby cars and be a boy scout, and be confirmed and graduate from high school, and wrestle and swim and play.....and become a Daddy. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your life!
Love you forever, Brandon!
Happy Birthday from your Mama!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wow! Busy Times!

Ok, I know I have said this before, but WOW, it is busy with 3 little ones again. I forgot how much work they are and every time they stay here, I realize just how much freedom I have had recently. They are such a joy, such a mess, such cards, such sweeties, such little fighters, such mess makers, but man do they love their Grandma! That makes it all worth it. I was reading Marilyn's post today on and she reminded me of the things passed down from one generation to the next. I am not sure what I can pass down, except that they know, without a doubt, just how much I loved them. May they never wonder, never doubt, just how much love I feel for all my kids and grandkids. I have received so many blessings and my family has to be the greatest gift I have ever received from God.

I just had to take some photos today to share. We slept in the recliner, moved to the floor, back to the recliner, had a bloody nose, moved to Grandma's bed, lost the paci several times, played tractors and combines, marbles, campfire, picked up sticks, made slushies, cleaned out the broom closet, sang and danced, had haircuts and! I wouldn't want it any other way. A great day to be done with school and "practice" being Grandma. My friend, Kim, told me once that I was a good Grandma and she wants to be just like me!!! It is nice to be good at something! Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School's Out for Summer

Our Junior High students spent the last two days of school working in our school communities as a way to give back. They have been talking about service and those who provide service to them during several meetings during the year. Then they had to decide what they could do to provide service to others. The list of tasks is long and these kids worked at it with great attitudes and tackled whatever project they were assigned. It is wonderful to see young people working to beautify our community without expecting anything in return. The teacher sponsors were eager for the kids to see that even a young person can do something to help another along the way, and all of these jobs need to be done by may as well be us!!! For 2 days, they worked...some of the students scraped and painted a garage, there was a lot of weed pulling, raking, picking up trash and sticks. Several loads of pine needles were raked and hauled away from a city park. Some kids raked up the play area, and some painted parking stripes on the main street. Others were planting bushes and moving rocks, painting playground equipment, park benches and picnic tables, cleaning out fire pits, washing windows, cleaning sheds and vehicles. This was a job well done by a group of amazing young people. All of the West Lyon Communities reaped the benefit of the energy and enthusiasm of these young people who were ready and willing to be outside....anywhere but school! You have done a great service....

Each year I wonder if I can make it to the are tough, motivation is rough, behavior is unbearable....but we have some of the most amazing kids....this is why I teach. Thank you!'s out for summer. Have a great one!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Prayers for Linda

Possible Symptoms of Syringomyelia: Back pain; headaches; stiffness, weakness or pain in the back, shoulders, arms or legs; loss of the ability to feel extremes of hot or cold, especially in the hands?

What is syringomyelia? (sear-IN-go-my-ELL-ya)Syringomyelia (SM) is a disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord. This cyst, called a syrinx, expands and elongates over time, destroying the center of the cord. Since the spinal cord connects the brain to the nerves in the extremities, this damage may result in pain, weakness, and stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms or legs. Other symptoms may include headaches and loss of the ability to feel extremes of hot or cold, especially in the hands and disruption in body temperature. SM may also adversely affect sweating, and bladder and bowel control.

My sister Linda has it, and she is suffering. I am asking for your prayers for Linda. She is an amazing woman and sister to me. She is the firstborn of 9 and, if you have been following my blog at all, you know growing up was not so easy at our house. 11 people in a 2 bedroom house with no furnace and no running water and no bathroom....and no money. Linda actually went to work in town and bought things for her brothers and sisters, helped Mom with expenses, cooked, cleaned, fed and bathed the little ones. I really remember Mom saying that Linda was like a "little mother". She made sure everyone else was taken care of and fed before she ate. She is still like that today. Caring for everyone else before herself....but right now she is in pain and heartache, not knowing what the next step will be for her. It is hard to see her in pain and so upset.

What causes Syringomyelia?
Trauma to the spinal cord or congenital developmental problems of the brain and/or spinal cord may result in SM.
Spinal cord trauma such as a car accident or serious fall may manifest years later as SM.
Congenital developmental problems, sometimes undetectable may result in syringomyelia. In either case, the condition may lie dormant and undetected for months or years until a symptom or variety of symptoms become bothersome enough to warrant medical attention. Many people with SM are not diagnosed until mid-life. A number of medical conditions can cause an obstruction in the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), redirecting it to the spinal cord itself. This results in the formation of a syrinx (cyst that fills with CSF). Pressure differences along the spine cause the fluid to move within the cyst. It is believed that this continual movement of fluid results in cyst growth and further damage to the spinal cord and connecting nerves.

Linda has had 2 spinal surgeries, the first to place a shunt in the cyst, and then a repeat surgery as the shunt plugged up and the cyst reoccured. She has a huge scar at the base of the neck, pain and stiffness and now the numbness has returned. An MRI shows the cyst is substantial.

Her options, as she told me and hopefully I have it correctly:

1. leave it, watch it continue to grow and impair her, causing pain and loss of strength and loss of feeling, possibly leading to paralysis.

2. have an additional surgery, to try to repair it, and face paralysis now with the invasion into the spine. The doctor told her that if her first surgery was tough and her second surgery was really, really tough, this surgery would be worse than the 2 put together.

She could really use your prayers. I love her so, so much and hate to see her in pain, as well as the pain of the decision she must face.

Linda, I love you forever and will help you any way I can. Let me know what I can do for you. You have always been there for me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That's me Thursday!

I have always been too short, too small, too slow, too poor....never an athlete, but I am the best darn athletic supporter! That's me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Cell Phone Guy

Morningside College conferred 255 bachelor’s degrees and 216 Master of Arts in Teaching degrees during its 111th spring commencement exercises held Saturday, May 9.
Standing out in the crowd--(to a mom, I guess)
The Path-beautiful day-beautiful celebration-

The diploma was signed and everything!!!!!! I am joking because in high school, students get to walk across and get an unsigned or empty diploma. There is some business to take care of after graduation, signatures, and everything checked in and out, before you get the real deal.

GOT IT!!!! On to the business of life!

"Outstanding Business Student"

There's that smile of his!!!

OK, so I am the mother of an official college graduate. As I am sure you know and are sick of hearing about, I am proud of him. He has made it....mostly on his own....and done a great job. He graduated cum laude, was chosen as "Outstanding Business Student" and honored by his teacher/advisor for being the co-president of the campus Entrepreneurship group. He is quite something, and if you also are not too tired of hearing....that smile of his will win hearts for a long time to come. Morningside should be proud of this graduate, and he has the most respect for that college as well. As I said, he is on to the next phase.....he is opening up his own business in Sioux Falls. He has not finalized plans as to location for sure, but when he does, I will be sure to let you know. If you need cell phone service, phones, parts, repairs, or cell phone plans, go see Ty at his store called: "The Cell Phone Guy"....amazing! Thanking God for all my kids and grandkids this weekend, on Mother's day, but a big celebration by all for the graduate!