Our Carli is a Blessing - A Gift From Heaven Above

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A WEE BIT OF HEAVEN DRIFTED DOWN FROM ABOVE

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Together At Last

 
 
Three years.  How thankful I am to have had my Grandparents be such an integral part of my life.  My Pawpaw has been gone for three years today.  I still miss him.  Carli still asks about him.  She is very proud to understand that if you add an "s" to her name, it will spell Pawpaw's name. 
 

Two weeks ago my Grandma passed away.  It was bittersweet because our heart aches not having her with us any longer, but we celebrate knowing they both lived an amazing life of service to the Lord.  
 
 
Today, I was thinking a lot about my Grandparents.  My Grandma had given all her grandkids a book called "Grandmother Remembers."  She had filled it out completely and added news paper clippings, old photos and special memories.  It is pretty awesome, and worth so much to us all.  In the back of the book is a section called, "Grandfather Would Want You to Know."  My Pawpaw never even finished elementary school.  I can't say I ever saw him write anything other than his name.  Grandma always wrote all the checks and would even read the Bible to him at night.  I use to come home from college and give him a lot of grief because he wouldn't write in my book for me.  I begged, and begged, and begged.   And I actually had given up, and honestly almost forgotten about it.  But one day, I came in to have lunch with Grandma and Pawpaw.  Pawpaw proudly handed me my book and told me, that he had given me the best present ever.  If he only knew how true those words were...
 

 
Laresa,
 
I am so thankful for you
my sweet smart granddaughter.  You
are so good to me helping with the chickens. 
I love you so much. 
You are so sweet
And so kind. 
I am so glad
You are mine. 
 
Love Papa

Grandma told me later that he told her what he wanted to write.  She printed it out for him and he took a pencil and copied it over into my book.  It took them both working together to give me a gift I will cherish more than they could have ever imagined.


He always made every one of his grandkids feel so special.  What a gift he was and still is to us all. 

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Washington Cousins

Back in August our cousins from Washington came down for a quick visit.  We enjoyed the company and good food at Little Mexico.  Wished we got to see them more often!

Second Cousins:
Michaela, Logan, Carli, Ava and Justin


First Cousins:
Anthony, Resa, Cindy and Andy





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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our Magi Boxes

This year the girls picked out two Magi Boxes.  We took them to the store and gave them basic parameters about what they could buy to fill their boxes with and turned them loose.  There is a lot of stuff in those little boxes!  We hope the little girls that receive them like what Carli and Ava picked out! 

Ava had a box that will be given to a little girl around the age of 3.  Her favorite thing in her box was the ball and pink socks.  She colored a rainbow card and with Momma's help we added a special note with her picture.


 Carli's box was for a little girl about the age of 6.  Carli was very proud to include some finger nail polish and some jewelry.  Carli drew a picture of a princess and helped me add her picture and a note.


We might have gone a little over budget on our boxes, but it is a bit difficult to talk budget when talking about giving to others as well.  Carli and Ava did a good job of picking out things that we pray will bless the lives of a little girl somewhere across the world.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

A Special Bond

These two little girls might just have their Uncle Tone wrapped around their little fingers!


In case you were wondering, they are watching the Angry Bird cartoons on Uncle Tone's phone.  :)
 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Updates on Grandma

 
These are all post that were put on facebook during the period of time from when my Grandma had her stroke until she passed away.  While I don't really like to think much about seeing my Grandma like that in those few days at the hospital, I felt that it would be worth recording the memory of what took place.  Essentially this blog is for my girls to look back on and read later in their lives.  I want them to remember what a beautiful person our Grandma was and I want them to know she was so ready to go on to the place she worked all her life for - she was ready to go see her Lord.  I want them to know that while we were all struggling with our emotions of preparing to live life without Grandma, we were rejoicing b/c we knew where she was going.

September 6, 2013

She is beautiful. She is strong. She is blessed. She is my Grandma. My Grandma suffered a massive stroke last night and was care flighted from Fairfield to ETMC Tyler. They found a clot on her brain and they cannot give her the medicine that would break up the clot b/c she is on a blood thinner. She is listed in critical condition. Grandma cannot talk. There is a chance she can talk again, but she won't be able to walk again. Our family cannot thank you all enough for your immediate response to pray for our Grandma. We can only say thank you and ask that you please continue to lift her and our family up in your prayers.


My Grandma has beautiful hands. They tell a wonderful story of hardwork, love and faithfulness. Each line is simply beautiful. My girls wanted a picture of Grandma since they are not allowed in the CCU. Grandma held tight to my hand so that is the picture we took.

Grandma had a CAT scan today. Basically her brain is still swelling and they expect it to not let up for 2 more days. She is pretty lethargic and will get more so. There is still a chance the swelling will stop her heart or breathing. They gave her a feeding tube since she would/could not do the swallow test. After Tuesday they should be able to evaluate her condition and send her to a rehab nursing home for about 100 days or until she plateaus and then she will go to a long term nursing home in Fairfield.

We continue to thank God for all your prayers and we continue to pray for God's will to be done.


September 7, 2013

It's been a little over 48 hrs since Grandma suffered a massive stroke that has this far left her paralyzed on her right side as well as unable to talk and walk. They are still saying her brain is swelling, but our Grandma is so amazing. She has quite the grip with her left hand and when we are with her she holds on tight. She shrugged her shoulders and opened both eyes for a few seconds today. They are small things but her reactions to voices and touch makes us all believe that Grandma is aware we are there and that gives us all comfort.

Our family is so blessed to have such an amzing woman who we call Mom and Grandma. And it is so very apparent how many love and care for her beyond our family by the overwhelming response of prayer and kind words. We cannot say thank you enough and we continue to ask for your prayers. Even in such a difficult situation, we are made aware of all the blessings God has given our family.


September 9, 2013


Today Grandma was suppose to have gotten a G-button put in so she no longer has a feeding tube through her nose. It was also decided that she would be moving to Providence Park Nursing & Rehab here in Tyler probably tomorrow. Our family basically had two choices. We could elect to send her to hospice or a nursing home. It was not an option for her to not receive a G-button. No nursing home or even hospice would take her with a feeding tube in her nose. My Uncle Danny works with a group of nursing homes and Providence Park happens to be one of them. They will be able to help Grandma be comfortable and we will be able to visit her frequently.

Grandma is still the same. I am struggling at explaining this to my girls. Carli asked today when she could see Grandma and show her how she could spell Pawpaw's name. And I told her that Grandma was getting ready to go to heaven to see Pawpaw again. Carli didn't even hesitate when she said, "Then I want to go with her. Grandma misses Pawpaw and so do I!" I am at a loss as to how to explain to them that heaven is a good thing when in their little minds they see it as taking away their Grandma and Pawpaw. They know that God is good. They know that Jesus is good. They know heaven is a good place. But they cannot understand how can it all be good if the ppl they love go there and never come back.

We still are asking for your prayers for our Grandma. We would love to hear her voice again, to know that she knows we are with her, to see her open her eyes and recognize us all. We also know that Grandma is tired. That she has lived an amazingly blessed life and how selfish we are to want her to stay on this earth any longer. Please pray for wisdom in our words in trying to explain this process to our young children who have been so immensely blessed in having their Great-Grandma be such a huge part of their lives. And we thank you all for the prayers and kinds words of comfort you continue to offer us all. There are not words that can be written that can truly convey the gratitude we feel for you all.


September 12, 2013
 
From Aunt Carolyn:
If you've ever had someone, or yourself, in a hospital you know things can change really fast, and there is a lot of just sit and "wait 'n see"! The " wait 'n see" is what it seems we've been doing for several days. The hospital has done all they medically can do for my mom, so we are getting ready to move her to Providence Park here in Tyler. Mom has stated that she does not want to be kept alive in a condition like she is presently in, so we are just making sure she is kept as comfortable as possible. She is breathing on her own but is on a BPAP machine which just makes breathing a bit easier; she receives morphine shots for pain; and she has a temporary feeding tube.

If I understand it correctly, nursing homes will not accept anyone with a temporary feeding tube (through the nose), it must be permanent (in the stomach). They were going to do that Tuesday, but realized they couldn't because she was on blood thiners. So they discontinued those (Coumidin) and said they would do the procedure today. Today the blood is still not the right consistency, so they are doing the paper work to give her plasma and vitamin K to help with that. Then, we will wait to see how long it takes those things to work---they could still do the procedure today, but it could be tomorrow. Once the tube is in place, they will have to observe her for awhile (possibly 24 hours) before she can be moved.

I know this is long, but I hope is an accurate description of our current status. Please keep up your prayers for all of us.

Now, after I wrote all this, the nurse came in and said it will be tomorrow when they insert the feeding tube.
 

September 13, 2013
 
 
I haven't done a Grandma update in awhile mostly bc a small part of me still is naive enough to think of I don't say it then it isn't true. But unfortunately that is not the case.

I got to spend almost an hour alone with my Grandma on Wednesday night. I talked to her til I couldn't think of anything else to say and then I sang. Grandma didn't react until I stopped singing then she raised her hand and shrugged her shoulder. So I sang some more. Her body is old, and is tired. But her mind is still there and sometimes that makes it harder to take.

This morning while they were cleaning Grandma's room and prepping her for her gtube procedure they took her off her bpap to change her sheets and realized that she could not breathe on her own. Basically it was acting like a ventilator which is a violation of her dnr (do not resuscitate). So, tonight at 8 pm we will take Grandma off her bpap. 


 The last week has not been easy but the prospect of tonight is hard. Pls pray for peace and that Grandma not suffer. Pls pray for our family


September 14, 2013

 
"When Grandma gets to heaven, will she have angel wings? I hope they are beautiful. I bet they are pink. Grandma really liked pink. She told me so. Maybe we need to pray and tell God to make sure Pawpaw knows that Grandma will have pink angel wings in heaven so he can find her." - Carli

My beautiful Grandma is no longer suffering and we rejoice in knowing she is now whole again. What an amazing Godly woman and example she was to our family. We are beyond blessed and thankful to have called her ours.

May God bless you all for the prayers and words of comfort you have offered our family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Flowers from all of Grandma's Darlins'
 
Photo: Flowers from all of Grandma's Darlings

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ruby Lucille King

November 11, 1927 - August 14, 2013
 

Memories of having my hair being washed in the kitchen sink, eating warm biscuits with homemade berry jelly and cream, playing with wooden spools under a quilt on a quilting frame and shucking corn on the back porch while listening to stories from the past.  Stumping my toe and having alcohol poured on it, and blow, blow, blow!! So it wouldn’t hurt so bad.  Eating a veggie lunch with fried cornbread followed up by dessert, any kind of dessert, but there was always a dessert!  Getting off the school bus, busting through the front door to hear “Here comes Grandma’s Darlings” and finding a snack waiting just for me.  And then eating it in the living room close to the window a/c unit b/c the kitchen was too hot.  Sitting in church and listening to that beautiful, unique voice sing “There is Power in the Blood.”  Listening to books being read, advice being given, and tears being shed.  Snapping green beans and shelling peas to be put up for the winter.  Planting the garden just right, spacing the seeds about this “far” apart and maybe not quite that “far” and only put a few seeds in the trench but maybe a few more than two.  Digging potatoes and putting them in the barn.  Driving home from softball practice to grab a cold glass of sweet tea and sitting on the front porch rocking chair to talk about our day.  Standing on the basketball court or the softball field and knowing that if I couldn’t find that familiar face in the crowd, the radio would be on at home with ears listening intently to each and every game.



Going to college and getting mail with cookies or a couple of dollars to go get a special treat.  And there was always a note, and it was always signed – With All My Love.  Making a long distance call, just to hear that special voice reassure me that I was not alone in this world or just to talk and know someone was listening.  Coming home for the summer and doing a lot of talking and wishing and hoping while sitting on the front porch.  And doing a lot of listening, thinking, and praying in return.  Making that special call to say I was engaged and getting the response of “You are so happy and so am I.”  Holding a quilt, made just for me at my wedding shower and knowing it took a lot of time, patience and determination to give that gift to me.  A long, long hug on my wedding day with a smile of pure happiness and knowing it was b/c I was so happy. 



Holding my daughters and singing Bye-O-Baby as they drifted off to sleep.  Teaching Carli to walk and cheering and laughing the whole time.  Never forgetting a birthday, never.  Sitting and listening to the wisdom of motherhood from long ago.  Getting a lot of advice and then hearing, “But now, that’s just what we did back then, I’m sure you will handle it just fine.”  Watching, just watching with a smile on my face knowing that the influence on my children would be one that would be priceless, irreplaceable and held close to our hearts forever because the influence on me I already know is just that.  Thanking God, knowing how blessed we all are.

 
My Grandma was so amazingly humble, she probably never had the slightest idea about the memories she helped make that will be treasured forever.  I could write so much more.  I could tell you why in high school, she was one of my best friends.  Why I would have preferred to spending a Friday night watching Wheel of Fortune with her and Pawpaw instead of hang out with other friends.  I could tell you what an amazing listener she was and about all the awesome advice she shared.  I could tell you about the lives of my friends she touched who still talk about “That time at your Grandma’s house.” I could tell you about Grandma with my girls.  I could go on and on and on.  But if I had to pick just one thing to tell you about my Grandma, it’s that she worked her whole life living for the Lord.  She studied, she taught Bible classes, she sang worship songs and she prayed.  She was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known both physically and spiritually.  I pray that I can be the mother, friend, mentor and child of God she was because she was the epitome of a Christian woman.  She was the rock of our family.  She was strong.  She was beautiful.  She was one of the best friends I have ever had.  She was mine.  And I can never put into words how much I miss her already. 


 I love you Grandma.  Thank you for loving me.


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Gift from Uncle Danny

Uncle Danny stopped by a few weeks ago and brought the girls a couple of new dolls.  Turns out an older lady he knew had collected Porcelain dolls all her life and she was giving them away!  So Uncle Danny picked out a couple to bring to the girls. 


The girls were so excited to have "real" babies!  We found a home for them on top of the bookshelf in the playroom.  Thanks a million Uncle Danny for thinking of the girls!  They are quick to point out to any new visitors that come into their play room that they have new, beautiful heavy dolls!  :)


These pictures aren't very good since they are from my phone in very poor lighting but a memory recorded is a memory recorded, clear or not!  :)

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Day of Gymnastics

The girls started their new gymnastics classes a couple of Wednesday's ago.  They both have class at 3:30 but are on different sides of the gym so I get lots of excercise going back and forth trying to not miss a flip!  :) 

Carli got to move over to the big gym.  She looks so tiny over there with all those big girls.  She is really enjoying getting to learn new things. 

Ava moved up to the Advanced Pre-School Class and is in class with Kenzie.  She is one of the smaller girls in her class too.  That usually does not stop her until she gets to the bars and they are set too high up for her to reach.  :)

 
And because I like to see how much they have grown in a year, here is a link to last years first day of gymnastics picture.
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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Circus


Keith  came home from work a couple of weeks ago to tell us that the circus was in town.  I was a little unsure about going given how the last one was when we took Carli.  But, we figured we could always leave at intermission if it was much to be desired and at least it would give the girls to see the Tigers and Elephants again. 
 
Turns out this years circus was a lot better.  They had trapeze artist, tight rope walkers and the girls favorite were the dog that looked like an elephant.  :)  They still had a lot of ladies in need of a little more clothes, but the girls didn't pay any attention to them.  They kept a close eye on the clowns and animals instead!
 
I wasn't sure anyone was having a good time b/c this is pretty much how their faces looked the ENTIRE time!  But as soon as intermission came and Carli asked if it was over and time to go home.  When I asked her if she wanted to go home, she immediately replied NO!  Guess they are just taking it all in!
 
 

We still couldn't convince the girls to ride the elephants, small horses or even take a picture with the tiger but that's okay...turns out it was cheaper that way!



We really enjoyed the trapeze artist and the elephants the most!


And every once and awhile, I do grab a picture that proves that I do go places and do things with my family instead of just blogging about what they do!  :)


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Day of School 2013

This year we switched our days at school from Tuesday/Thursday to Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  Since our Kayla had to go to college, we thought this would be good timing for slowly adjusting the girls schedule so that next year when they have to go all 5 days it won't be so hard.

Carli is in Pre-K this year.  She has Mrs. Chrissy and for the three days she has gone to school she has really loved it.  Carli has always loved school, she doesn't like new situations.  I was nervous that she would have a harder time than usual since she may not know any of the kids but her good friend Sophia is in class with her and a couple of boys from summer class that she knew.  She also has a good ratio of boys and girls.  Last year at times it was just her and six boys!


Technically this was Ava's first day of Pre-K 3's.  I was too lazy to make two signs.  :)  Ava is such an easy going kid when it comes to new situations.  She simply waltzed right into class and didn't miss a beat.  Her teacher is Mrs. Brooke.  Mrs. Brooke has already bragged on Ava for being such an awesome little girl.  She said Ava is simply a joy to have in class.  If you ask her to do something she does and for a 3 year old that is a gem!  Ha!


Not the best picture - but it was the only one they let me get before they ran for the car!


One of my favorite pictures is from last years first day of school.  I tried to recreate it b/c that would be really cool.  This is the best I got before Ava turned around with a very worried look on her face that I was not going to walk her to class! 



From all accounts the girls had a great first day!  They are excited to see what they learn in the year to come.  Wow, they have grown a lot since last year.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meet the Teacher 2013

We had meet the teacher a few weeks ago - yes, school has already started.  I'm a little behind.  The girls were just as excited to get to see and visit with their old teachers from last year as they were to see their new ones. 



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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pear Picking Time!

Grammy & Pa have a pear tree at their lake house and it just happened that the pears were ready to be picked on Labor Day.  The girls were quite excited to help with this job.  We had a hard time getting Ava to understand that she couldn't throw the pears into the box.  Just because they are somewhat round, does not make a pear a good ball!

Carli helping Pa get a pear.


Ava getting the pear out of the "cage."


Two of my favorite pictures - look at those blue eyes! 



Proudly displaying their finds! 



They even enlisted the help of their Daddy to get some pears off the tree themselves! 




 We even brought a box of pears home with us to try to can ourselves.  That maybe what we do this afternoon.  It should be an interesting adventure in and of itself!

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