S: Seasons of Change
FC: of change
1: A Year in Review
2: so... very.... tired | (Cow not actual member of herd from either dairy mentioned in this article. For illustrative purposes only.) Last week when I headed out to Mira Vista, Garrett, the owner of the dairy told me that the dairy next door was looking for a bookkeeper and he had told them about me. So I called them and scheduled to go in to meet the manager today at 10:00. This dairy has been there for years. In fact, Garrett's sister used to live there. But for about a year now, the new owner has come in and redid everything. Put up all new shades and barns and levelled everything out, etc., etc. They are finally at the point where they have started delivering cows and hope to milk soon. I went to Hollandia Farms (the name of the dairy) this morning and the manager, Marinus, was out on the farm so I just started working with the current bookkeeper who has been driving up from Escondido to do this job as a favor. After about two hours I finally met my new boss for the first time. I told him I felt a little weird but that it looked like I was working for him. He said 'no problem'. It initially should be about 5-10 hours a week but may increase as time goes on. I love getting jobs this easily. I feel very blessed. | Since Russ got out of the hospital I just can't catch up. I love that I have a lot of work, and it is definitely needed, but man oh man. So tired. I just need a day where I can sleep but I don't see that in the future. At least not the near future. It is amazing how, when you are used to having a few days at home a week, you quickly get behind when you lose that. I have lost control over my house, but in all honestly, I probably never had much control over my house. Russ is doing well and has been back to work since Monday. He needs to go to the doctor again tomorrow. Going to the lab to have his blood checked will be a regular part of his routine. We aren't sure how often he will need to go yet but I would think a minimum of once a month. Now that he is out of the hospital we have heard of so many people who lost their lives to pulmonary embolism and are, once again, so thankful that this was caught in time. Next week both Kevin and Kyle have milestone birthdays. Kevin will be 21 on Monday and Kyle will be 18 on Friday. It is hard to believe. I am posting a picture of them when they were three and one. This is one of only two pictures that I have of them on my computer when they were little. Some day I will have to scan all my photos in. It will not happen anytime soon - see first paragraph. (oops it turned out little - oh well) | Mooooo-Part Deux
3: Last week, Brooke and I decided that Jeff VM needed to cook for us. Since I have no shame, I called him up on Thursday under the guise of wanting to talk with Ann, and then invited Russ, Brooke and myself over for dinner on Saturday night. He said that gave him only a couple days to plan (which gives you a pretty good idea as to how his meals are not simple). But after about 30 seconds he caved and 'invited' us over. Saturday Ann emailed us and told us to wear bikinis and veils because they were cooking a Moroccan meal. I would have done that but I don't own a bikini or veil (ha). When we arrived the drinks were waiting and the food was well on its way. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this food was. One reason I can't describe it is because I don't remember all the ingredients! I do know there was saffron and chicken and chickpeas and dried apricots and mint and carrots and couscous with almonds and other yummies. An incredible side dish was orange slices drizzled with honey mixed with cinnamon. Of course, the oranges were from the groves of Jeff's dad which made them extra good. Yumm, yumm, yummmy.
4: Easter | Kristen had to strip Micah almost naked because he ate as he went along. After the first egg his new Easter shirt was smothered with chocolate. After the second egg his pants were smothered in chocolate. Fortunately it was warm enough to just run around in a diaper. | Eva was more demure then Micah. But she was also stripped to a diaper later. But since she is a girl and much more modest then Micah, no pictures. Hope all of you had a wonderful Easter! | Caleb was very mature and subdued, finding eggs and putting them in his bucket, saving the candy for later in the day. He was very mature. | Kristen couldn't get the candy open fast enough. I wonder how Micah's tummy felt last night. :) | We had a great Easter with Ben, Kristen, Caleb, Micah and Nick, Julie and Eva. Good food and good friends. The kids enjoyed looking for Easter eggs. .
5: This is while I was sitting in my favorite part of my house during the favorite part of my day. It was late afternoon to early evening so the sun was setting. I'm sitting (or lying down) on the couch in the living room reading. I love the way the sun comes in my back windows and casts shadows throughout the house. These two were outside in the backyard. It appears that the larger lizard, lovingly has its arm around the shoulder of the smaller one. But after closer inspection, it was discovered that the smaller one has the head of the larger one in a death grip bite. Is this some kind of mating ritual among lizards? Territorial fighting? | My baby boy no longer has virgin ears. Check out the lobes. | Craig, Lois and Kaitlin are in Southern California for their spring break. They have a condo in Dana Point so Russ and I went and spent the day with them yesterday. It was fun to just visit with them. Jeanne was also here in So CA and she along with the kids and grandkids came down for some beach time and dinner (and Ben's sister, Lisa, who is visiting from Idaho). It was a perfect OC day. | We celebrated the April birthdays with a cake. Lois - April 2, Kristen - April 6, Russ - April 8, and Kara - April 12. 158 is the sum of all the years. Anyone want to guess how old each is!? | Random Pictures
6: Easter | Monday, April 13, 2009 | Kristen had to strip Micah almost naked because he ate as he went along. After the first egg his new Easter shirt was smothered with chocolate. After the second egg his pants were smothered in chocolate. Fortunately it was warm enough to just run around in a diaper. | Eva was more demure then Micah. But she was also stripped to a diaper later. But since she is a girl and much more modest then Micah, no pictures. Hope all of you had a wondeful Easter! | Caleb was very mature and subdued, finding eggs and putting them in his bucket, saving the candy for later in the day. He was very mature. | Kristen couldn't get the candy open fast enough. I wonder how Micah's tummy felt last night. :) | We had a great Easter with Ben, Kristen, Caleb, Micah and Nick, Julie and Eva. Good food and good friends. The kids enjoyed looking for Easter eggs. .
7: Yesterday was the first event for the seniors at ACA leading up to graduation. Every year a senior brunch is held. It was a nice morning - great food, one of the teachers spoke and then a slide presentation of the kids. | The Beginning of the End | Monday, April 13, 2009
8: Being a farm girl (hey! I work on a farm.) I thought I would post some pictures of the plant life around here. First off a look at my two succulent beds and how much they have grown since last year. I don't know why we ever tried to grow anything else under these windows on the patio. These have grown the best by far. All the grasses and lambs ear we broke off or transplanted from around the house. All the cacti were purchased from the .99 cent store for, you got it, .99 cents. The first is the bed closest to the pool, first from 2008 and second from today. The second set is in the bed under the kitchen window. As you can tell, we had to change some plants out in that one, but the remaining have grown like weeds. And now my vegetable garden - in pots. Yucaipa dirt is like clay and I am too lazy to improve on that, so any kind of vegetable needs to be put in pots. I started doing this a few years ago and have had mixed results. Last year was terrible but from the way things are going this year, it looks a little better. First my one zuchinni plant. Never tried this before but everyone always seems to want to give them away, so if I can't grow this I might as well give up. And then two cucumber plants, a jalepeno and a bunch of red onions. (Not to be confused with a bunch of green onions. Russ had trouble with this once when I sent him to the store for a bunch of green onions and he came home with five red onions.) The pot with the flowers started out as basil. No, the basil didn't turn into flowers, but the basil died and I have officially given up on herbs.And then, of course, the tomato plants. Four plants in two pots, all different varieties. I mistakenly threw away the little plastic thingies that say what kind of tomatoes they are so I will be surprised when they start to fruit. And that leaves us with my favorite plant around the house right now. When I came downstairs on Mother's Day I found these on my kitchen counter. Kyle had worked the night before and bought them for me. (sidenote - he did NOT get an employee discount on them.) So sweet and so beautiful. Both Kyle and the flowers. | Monday, May 11, 2009 | Vegetation
9: Last night was Prom. For my baby. It is hard to believe that this year is almost finished. The prom was at The Queen Mary in Long Beach. Kyle had a great time because, as he put it, "we made our own fun." This afternoon he went air softing with a group of guys in the field below our street. Now he isn't feeling too hot and thinks he is getting sick. And tomorrow he leaves for his Senior Trip to San Diego for a couple of nights. Hope he feels better soon. Have to post the tux photo from prom!! On another note, my sister Sharon! Oh my - her daughter Sara is getting married Friday, May 22. This morning she (Sharon) had surgery for a ruptured appendix. AAARGHH! What timing! I guess we could say it is good timing as it didn't happen this coming Friday. But still, how difficult. She doesn't know when she'll get out of the hospital. Her two other children both live out of state but will be coming some time this week. I feel so bad for her. | Jasmine | I wish you could smell these. If I had to pick my favorite aroma in the world, I think I would choose jasmine. But not just any jasmine. It would have to be the scent from the plant on our patio, mid-May, at night, while the whole house fan is on and it flows into the bedroom. Love it. | Friday, May 22, 2009 | Milestone | Saturday, May 16, 2009
10: It's Raining! | Wednesday, June 3, 2009 | For those of you who don't live in water starved areas you may not hear or understand the excitement in that title. Rain like this in the first week of June is such a rare gift. Even more of a gift - thunder and lightening. "Whoopee!", those of you from more watery states may say. But when I first thought I saw lightening this morning and then had it confirmed by a big clap of thunder it just felt so healing. I know - strange. But about this time of year, everything starts to look so dirty around here. And if it rains enough today, there is a chance that it will be cleaned off at least for a few weeks. Check out my skylight. Filthy still, because I took this after only the first few drops of rain and I had thought it had stopped for the day. Now it is still coming down and there is hope that this window in my roof will be clean. If not, I will have to wait many months to be able to see through it. You may have to click on the image to actually see how dirty it is. Another gift from this storm - As Kyle walked out the house today he turned back and said "Mom, come look at this." He pointed to the sky and showed me the cloud formations. I told him it reminded me of something but couldn't name it. He said "It's 'Starry Night'". From Van Gogh. And it was. So now you know why I posted a Van Gogh masterpiece and a picture of my dirty skylight in the same post.
11: It's all over except the crying | This week is graduation week for ACA. It seems as if there are a lot of milestones for our family. Yesterday was baccalaureate for the senior class (yes, we have this at a Christian school. No idea why. Doesn't make sense. But they don't mess with tradition at ACA.) Last week of school is for exams and fortunately, Kyle doesn't have too many. Kevin comes home on Wednesday for two and 1/2 weeks - can't wait to see him and spend time with him. Russ' parents fly in on Thursday for a week visit and to be here for graduation. They haven't been here since Kevin's graduation three years ago. Jeanne and Tim and Sharon (who is visiting T & J in Tucson from Michigan) will be here on Friday. 2nd birthday party for my cute great-nephew Micah on Friday night. Saturday night is ACA graduation. Sunday, my niece Kara Banks graduates from Loma Linda University with her doctorate in Physical Therapy. Yeah Kara!! In the afternoon we will have a party for her and Kyle at our house to celebrate their achievements. And of course, this is Russ' last week at ACA. Very strange to think that he will not be in Redlands next year. He was chosen to be the graduation speaker by the Senior class so I guess that will be his last official act as principal. I think that is a great final job to have and a real honor. Where will life take us in the next few years? Only God knows. Another big milestone? Paid the last tuition payment to ACA on Friday. Kind of liked that one. :) | Sunday, June 7, 2009
12: GRADUATION | Last night Kyle graduated from ACA! Great night. Russ gave the graduation address and he did a wonderful job. Kyle introduced him and he did a great job also. Today, Kara (my niece) graduated from Loma Linda University with her doctorate in Physical Therapy. The first doctor in the family! | Sunday, June 14, 2009
13: Unexpected Visitor | Yesterday afternoon we had a graduation party for Kyle and Kara. We had an unexpected visitor from the house behind us. What do you think? Time for a new fence? The dog actually went through the fence - not over, under, or around - but through. Russ tried to stuff him back to the other side. | Monday, June 15, 2009
14: For those of you who know me it is no surprise that I love to read. When I was a little girl in Redlands during the 1970's my mom would take me to the library every week along with my sister, Susan. We would both take out the maximum number of books you could in one week, which I think was 15. Since we weren't allowed to watch much TV, we spent the majority of our time reading. How I wish I had written down every book I have ever read! But it didn't occur to me to do that then. It has occurred to many times throughout the years since then but I didn't start recording them without fail until March of 2005. I will write down the name, author and a very short summary in a journal I keep in my living room. Sometimes I will just write if I liked the book or not. I am not good, however, at remembering what books are about. When I go back and reread the summaries sometimes I won't have a clue as to what the book was about even if I write something like "Great book!! Highly recommend!!". Apparently I do not have very good retention. I always hesitate to recommend books to people with the exception of my fellow book club members and my sister, Lois. I hate telling someone that I really enjoyed a certain book only to have them come back to me and say "How could you have liked that book!? It was horrible?" or worse yet "It was disgusting! Sick!". Gee, what does that make me? Horrible? Sick? Disgusting? I looked back in my records today and counted that since the beginning of 2009 I have read 19 books. I thought I would list the ones that I enjoyed and then decided I would list all of them. Just to clarify, the books with the asterisk in front, I liked. No asterisk, no like. But that doesn't mean I'm recommending any of them to any of you. Proceed with caution..... "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" Junot Diaz "Twilight" Stephanie Meyer *"The Senator's Wife" Sue Miller *"Infidel" Ayran Hirsi Ali *"Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith" Gina Nahai *"Outliers" Malcom Gladwell *"The Secret Scripture" Sebastian Barry *"Revolutionary Road" Richard Yates *"Frankenstein" Mary Shelley *"Cutting for Stone" Abraham Verghese "Crossing California" Adam Langer *"Still Alice" Lisa Genova *"Drowning Ruth" Christina Schwarz *"The River Why" David James Duncan *"The Lord of the Flies" William Golding *" Dirty Blonde" Lisa Scottoline "Terminal Freeze" Lincoln Child "One Fifth Avenue" Candace Bushnell *"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Stieg Larsson | Books | Friday, June 19, 2009
15: Russ and I decided to get away for a couple of nights and chose Las Vegas as our destination. We have not been there for years. The last time we went we met Tim and Jill Van Soelen who had flown in from South Dakota. It was a long time ago because when I look at the pictures I was far skinnier then I am now. Why Las Vegas? Cheap. We paid $16 a night at The Four Queens. Yes, you need to over look a few things. The size of the rooms are small, but why do you need a big room? It was clean, the bed was comfortable and the air conditioner ran all night. (it was well over 100 degrees outside). We gambled and had mixed results, went to see "The Hangover" which we thought was hilarious but will only recommend to those of you that can handle raunchy and f-words, and we bowled two games. I came SO CLOSE to finally beating Russ in bowling. I always choke though. Some day.... Some day..... Now on to more altruistic endeavors. SERVE begins Saturday July 11. I am starting to get really excited but seriously, am I ready for this? It seems like there is so much to do. I plan on going to church tomorrow and setting up an "office" in the conference room and just working all day on stuff. It works so much better than trying to do things at home. Too many interruptions here (like TV, Facebook, blogs, reading, housework (jk)). | Viva Las Vegas | Tuesday, June 30, 2009
16: SERVE is finished! It was great. The kids this year just, well, obeyed!! A nice change from last year. However, it certainly isn't a week that produced as many stories that we will be laughing about a year from now. I guess that is the pros and cons of having obedient kids versus mischievous ones. The latter provides much more excitement and laughter (after the fact.). All in all it went really good. One of the organizations we worked at was Redlands Family Services. I talked to the volunteer coordinator today. He is writing an article about the SERVE kids for their newsletter. He was so impressed with them and they whole organization and mission behind Youth Unlimited. Really cool to know that we helped facilitate that. If you want to see some pictures you can go to www.redlandsserve.blogspot.com. I was so tired after the week. Left church about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Took a nap that afternoon which got me through the rest of the day. Went to church on Sunday but probably should have stayed home. I was so tired and couldn't concentrate on anything or even sing. When we got home about 11:00, I went to take a nap and woke up 2 1/2 hours later. Fell asleep reading on the couch at 7:00 that night and didn't wake until 7:30 the next morning. Fortunately, that caught me up on my sleep. But then this week has been so busy with work. First I had to catch up because I didn't work last week and also one of my clients wanted me to work as much as possible this week. Ughh... My heart wasn't in it. I did work quite a bit but am now done for the week. Which is good because I was starting to stress about the fact that we are camping all next week at the beach! Cannot wait to get out of the hot weather and go to South Carlsbad. But first have to do all the cleaning around the house (that hasn't been done for a month!! - yes, I know - it is gross.), laundry, grocery shopping, etc., etc., etc., etc....... But it will all be worth it. In a couple of days I'll be on the beach, reading a book with a glass of wine. Lovely. | Today 89 people show up at The River for SERVE. I think I am ready. There are so many people who helped. I don't know how smaller churches do it. By week's end we will all be exhausted but it will be well worth it. It's going to be very hot next week and just hope that the kids don't try to get "really tan". Also hope they remember to drink water constantly! And I hope I can keep my confidence up. I love doing projects like this and think that I am good at it. But I have already fallen into the trap of worrying about the people who so obviously dislike me. This erodes my confidence instantly and I just want to go curl up in the fetal position somewhere. So if you are reading this and want to pray for me this week, please pray that I don't allow the personal feelings of other people towards me to effect my ability to get done what needs to get done. I'll let you know next week how it all went! | I'm Breathing Again | The Craziness that is called SERVE | Saturday, July 11, 2009 | Thursday, July 23, 2009
17: Camping, Cars and Costochondritis | Brooke reacting to something Jenna said. Who knows!!?? | Russ was also really happy with Reyer. Aren't they cute? Note our ocean view through the towels, swimsuits and chain link fence. | Kyle and his beautiful girlfriend, Maddie. She and her mom came and visited us for a day while camping. | Say what you like about Obama, but we were able to get $4500 for this clunker. A sad day, getting rid of the old Ford F150. Bought a new car tonight - Nissan Sentra. Not exactly a luxury car but it has air conditioning!!! Hey, beggars can't be choosers! | Jeff and Ann - fabulous friends. We love them. | As for the Costochondritis mentioned in the title. Yeah, I have it and it really sucks. Have had it for about four months now but just got diagnosed. Nothing to worry about and should go away with massive doses of Aleve in about six weeks. But what a pain. (literally) | Last week was wonderful. We camped for seven nights at Carlsbad with good friends, good food, good drink and good fun. Many games of Scrabble, Thirteen and Settlers of Catan. A variety of people joined us during the week. Food was fabulous. Jeff and Ann planned and basically did all the cooking. Who else gets Baked Ziti with Meatballs while camping in a tent? It was fabulous. | Monday, August 3, 2009
18: I returned home this afternoon after spending a couple of nights in Hanford with Russ. Wow, is life going to be different for us. It was a lot of fun. He had gone up on Tuesday "for good" and was able to get his apartment on Thursday. Thanks to a couple of old Redlands friends (thanks Julie and Judy & Phil!) we have been able to furnish the apartment without having to buy anything big. It has been a huge help to us. Phil and Judy have also put up with Russ while he has stayed at their house during the days of July that he was in Hanford. They are great and generous people and it is going to be fun getting reacquainted with them. I think Russ spends WAY too much time over there and I tell him that they are going to be so sick of him by the end of the year. But, of course, Russ insists that they love him and Judy swears he isn't in their way. So..... I better just keep my mouth shut. :) | Hanford | Judy supplied Russ with some essential house warming gifts. The three most important - coffee, wine and toilet paper. | We (or I should say, Russ) did make one major purchase. | Phil has a 1963 Pontiac Bonneville, which, as you can see is way too sexy for us old people. But we drove it over to Judy's parents house anyway and we looked mighty fine in it. | Took a spin around the lake by Judy's parents in their pontoon boat. Perfect weather and a lot of fun. | His dining room and kitchen all conveniently located within steps of the living room, bathroom, bedroom and front door!! | Sunday, August 9, 2009
19: Visit from Kris and Kids - Caroline, Cole & Catherine | As close to the Hollywood sign that we were willing to hike to. | Monday, August 24, 2009 | Kris Peterson Sucher and I have been friends since freshman year at Calvin College when we were fortunate enough to be put in the same suite. She was a New Jersey girl, I was from California, we were both preacher's kids and we hit it off quickly. Twenty nine years later we still see each other as often as possible. Last week she and her three kids made the trip to Southern California where we were able to spend some great time together. I hadn't spent any time with her kids in about four years so it was especially fun to get to know them somewhat. They are awesome! We spent a fun day at the beach, went to the LaBrea Tar Pits, a Dodgers/Cubs game and explored Hollywood on Saturday. In between days she was able to fit in another day at the beach, Wild Animal Park and Universal Studios. It was so good to catch up with her again. | Our view at the Dodgers game. We were in nose bleed section but it was a fun way to watch the game. And the fireworks were amazing afterwards. | Her kids outside John Wayne airport with random guy sitting on the bench. | Catherine and I in front of the wolf head exhibit at La Brea Tar Pits. Doesn't it look like some futuristic athletic shoe display?
20: A few years ago a woman from our church dug up all her Iris bulbs from her yard and brought them to our church for people to have if they wanted them. I grabbed a few thinking I would try but that they probably would never grow. A friend assured me that they would, even in our tough Yucaipa clay. I planted them in an area by our back fence where we never seem to be able to grow anything. A few came up but really only one has grown more than a foot. Then today, I found this! It makes me happy. Trivia: The Iris is the official flower of Yucaipa! I feel I am now a true Yucaipian (but not really sure if I want that label!). | It's Blooming | Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Monday, November 7, 2009 | I've had two complaints in two days that I haven't changed my blog for awhile. That actually makes me feel really good - some people read this thing!! But the fact that I haven't changed it shows what a dull life I lead. What is there to write about? I have no cute little kids left that I can post pictures and videos of their changes. Russ and I are changing, but really, not that fast and who wants to look at pictures of us anyway? Speaking of Russ, he came home this weekend. He did a lot of yard work and trimming. Everything now looks scalped. I prefer a more 'overgrown' look. Oh well. At least I didn't have to do it. He will head back up to Hanford this evening. One exciting thing that happened - Russ and I were sitting in the jacuzzi the other night. Suddenly Russ said "look at this." Well, a huge tarantula had found its way into the jacuzzi with us. So, we offered it a glass of wine ...... NOT! Disgusting! I freaked out, went to grab the net and Russ hurled it over the fence into the back yard of the neighbors behind us. (we don't particularly like them anyway) Needless to say, the night in the jacuzzi ended and I now walk gingerly when outside at night. If I see it again, I'll remember to grab my camera and take a picture for all of you. | Change it up
21: The Brothers K | The impetus for me to write on my blog is often one of my sisters complaining about my lack of changing it. Thank you, Jeanne, for pushing me. I really should have been writing more. I've been to Michigan and back, went wine tasting with Russ in Paso Robles (so much fun), went to Hanford all since my last post but for some reason I just didn't feel like writing about all of that. It may be because I have been more engrossed in one of the best books I have ever read than in what I am actually doing. I had bought "The Brothers K" months ago, wanting to choose it for book club. But when I saw it was 645 pages long I figured it might be a little difficult to finish in the 5-6 weeks that we have in between meetings. I instead chose "The River Why", an earlier book written by David James Duncan. It was a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I still had "The Brothers K" to get through. I picked it up a couple of times this summer but put it back down again. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the beginning, I just wasn't ready to read it. And what I mean by ready to read it is this: You cannot snack on this book. It is a meaty, full meal that needs to be chewed on in order to swallow what it is all about. Every word, sentence, paragraph, chapter is necessary to the telling of this story of the Chance family. Frankly, it is an incredible, epic piece of work that I would recommend to everyone to read. Now, if you are not in a stage of life where you can sit down and commit yourself to 645 pages of meat and potatoes, then don't bother. Someday, but not now, you will want to read it (I think I'm talking to all you new moms out there.) However, if you have been looking for a book that you can lose yourself in, laugh out loud at, cry in other parts, relate to the characters and can admire each and every sentence for how perfectly it has been constructed then pick up this book and don't put it down. If any of you read this book and you don't like it, I really don't want to hear about it. It just means you didn't get it. Sorry. But its true. You just don't get it. | Friday, November 23, 2009
22: Many, many years ago, I may have been about 12, my family camped in Sequoia National Park for an entire week. I don't remember much about the actual nature in the park - well, a few things. 1. There were bears. Every night, while laying in our tent trailer, we would hear those critters knocking over the trash cans looking for a midnight snack. 2. It was August. It snowed. It was really, really cold. 3. Since it was August, I had only brought one pair of long pants that about the 2nd or 3rd day, split right down the butt. Neither of my parents rushed me to the nearest store to purchase another pair, but I had to wear my sweatshirt tied around my waist until the days warmed up enough to wear shorts. 4. Every night we went to the Park Ranger show at the campground's amphitheater. There, we heard bits and pieces of Sequoia trivia and sang campy songs such as "In Sequoia, in Sequoia, there are bears, there are bears.." to the tune of ??? - I can't think of it. I can sing it, but not come up with the original tune name. 5. We had to go to church on Sunday at the above amphitheater on Sunday. My parents also went to the Catholic service right after the Protestant service. Fortunately, they did not force us (Susan, Dan and me) to go with them. Whether this was out of mercy or fear of corruption, it is hard to say. We will never know. Today, I made a trip back to Sequoia with Russ. Differences? One day, jeans solidly stitched together, in November (but it was cold - as low as 39 degrees according to my car) and no camping. We really did have a nice day. As far as National Parks go, Sequoia really doesn't rate up there as the most beautiful in my book. I found John Muir Woods north of San Francisco, far more picturesque with those redwoods. But there is no denying that the trees are magnificent. | Roots of a tree that toppled. The usual reason sequoias die is because their root system is shallow and they eventually fall over. I just really liked this hollow tree trunk. Russ did offer to crawl in there for a picture, but then I wouldn't have been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. | Big Trees
23: The above is the General Sherman tree, largest tree in world based on weight (how do they know that?) and volume. There are trees taller and wider, but not as 'big'! | The Sentinel - just an average tree among sequoias - but incredibly huge. Happy Belated Birthday to my brother, Jim Zylstra, who turned 60 on Thursday!!! I still can't believe it. And don't tell him this, but he doesn't act like he is a day over 50. He's pretty cool. | Saturday, November 7, 2009
24: Malibu Barbies | Well, not really Barbies. Just Malibu. We did look good though but definitely not Barbie-ish. Wednesday being Veteran's Day, Brooke, Ann and I took off to the Getty Villa in Malibu. This is not to be confused with the Getty Museum which is in LA. The Villa holds the antiquities from J. Paul Getty's collection. Think Greek and Roman statues with various body parts knocked off and you get the picture. It was a beautiful day in Malibu and the museum was gorgeous. Getty had it built in the early 70's in imitation of a villa that had been partially unearthed at Pompeii. The architecture of the entire site is a museum unto itself. There are gardens surrounding the building and also an inner courtyard garden. After viewing coins, pottery, statues, jewels, some dating back to 2,000 BC we enjoyed shopping and dinner at Third Street Promenade. I would highly recommend the Villa. It is free but you do need to get tickets for everyone in your party. There is a $15 parking charge. There is a picnic area if you want to bring in your own food (or the beach is right across the street) or a café if you want to spend a lot of money on lunch. Even though the museum itself probably wouldn't interest too many kids, there is a lot of room for kids to run around. Great day trip!
25: I'm sitting in my living room looking out at the mountains. Several years ago I stenciled on the cornice boxes atop my windows the following "I lift up my eyes to the mountains: Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1&2. Through the years during difficult times this verse has lifted me out of despair as I realize over and over again that my help doesn't come from within myself, but from the Creator of the mountains. Never has this verse been more poignant then this morning. It is difficult to take this all in. Just a few days ago I was going about the business of life, doing some projects in the house, planning a Thanksgiving meal, starting to think about Christmas and getting excited that Kevin would be home. Now, it feels like everything has stopped. Or maybe more, everything has slowed down. Priorities shifted. Plans changed (don't think I will be taking a girls trip to Miami the first week of February). Decisions now need to be made about things we don't understand, not things like what color do I paint the cabinets or if I'm only going to buy one winter coat should it be black or can it be a more fun color. What I do know - I have lung cancer but that cancer is up against a huge fighter - me. There are literally people praying for me all over the world and I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for these petitions. I love my life! I love my husband, my boys, my family and friends and I plan to enjoy them all for years to come. Please ask God to make that possible for me. So many people have offered help and love. I will probably need to call in those promises from many of you over the next few months. Thank you for willingness to walk beside us. | Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Thanksgiving Morning 2009
26: Then and Now | It has been only five days since I was diagnosed with cancer but it seems like a lifetime. It's a little like after you have a baby - you have no recollection of what life was like before the baby - only not so joyous. Everything is surreal. I feel very singularly focused but yet, not well focused at all. I forget what I have said to who and what people said to me. I'm really hoping this symptom goes away! I told my family last night at dinner that if they hear me repeating myself in a conversation to do a finger swipe along the nose ala "The Sting" so I'll stop. To all of you, please feel free to use the same signal. A lot of people have asked how we got here. What were my symptoms? How did this happen? As many of you know last March, Russ was in the hospital for Pumonary Embolism. He had had a blood clot a couple of years earlier in his leg but this time he had no warning signs - just went straight through his heart and settled between his lungs. It obviously was a scary time for us but he physically felt very, very good. In fact, I remember having a horrible cold that week and wishing I could be the one laying around in bed all day! After he was released from the hospital, he found out the next week that he would not be getting his job back at ACA. Ugh! What else could happen? Obviously stress and fear dominated our lives for awhile but we were able to come to a place of peace and trust, knowing that God was in control and would take care of us. About this same time I started feeling a pressure in my chest, right in the middle. I initially thought that my cold I had while Russ was hospitalized had moved to my chest and just settled. My sister, Jeanne, mentioned to me that I might have walking pneumonia so I made an appointment to be checked out. I couldn't get in to see my GP right away so I went to a Physicians Assistant. He was very perplexed but he did listen to me. Gave me breathing treatments. He ordered a chest X-ray, EKG and stress monitor test. Everything came out good and clean. Thinking that everything serious had been ruled out I went away feeling somewhat better but still with that pressure in my chest. I remember sometime in May crying over our changing circumstances. I was lamenting the idea of moving away from friends that have become like family. I dreaded the idea of leaving a warm climate and possibly moving to a place that had long, cold winters. I cried for my children not having that 'house' to come back to. As I cried, the pressure in my chest became stronger and stronger like a balloon that was ready to burst. I called Russ and told him in tears "I know what I have. It's grief." In July I was still struggling with this "pressure". I called my GP again and was able to get in to see her quite quickly. She was also perplexed as I had no pain, no problem breathing. She asked a bunch of questions, looked through my previous tests and diagnosed me with Costochondritis which is an inflammation of the cartilage around the rib cage. She told me to start taking Aleve to get rid of the symptoms. I did this but saw no improvement. We went camping in August and I remember worrying about it and wondering if it was ever going to go away.
27: Sunday, November 29, 2009 | Which brings us to October. Still no improvement though I can't say things were worsening. I went back to the Doctor. She now was really stumped and referred me to a Pulmonologist and had me scheduled for a pulmonology lab. I did the lab a couple of weeks ago and my appointment with the pulmonologist was scheduled for December 12. Which brings us to last week Friday. I woke up in the morning with a pain in my left calf. The pain had been there a couple of weeks but it was really bad and my calf was swollen. I had this epiphany that I had a blood clot so went to Urgent Care in Redlands. I specifically told the doctor I wanted a d-dimer test. (This is a blood test that will be negative if no clot. If it is positive you may have one.) The doctor looked at me skeptically. I then told him about the pressure in my chest and that it got worse if I raised my arms or laid down. He said "That means nothing. It is only something minor." (I put this in as a warning to all - if you think something is wrong push for it!!) He did do the d-dimer test and it came back positive. But the ultrasound on my leg came back negative - no blood clot. Huh? The doctor was ready to send me home. No way. I pushed to get a cat scan. This new doctor didn't think it was necessary. Said "I want a cat scan." Was told that if I could find someone to drive me across the street to ER I could try to get one there. One funny thing, she told me to tell them I was having breathing problems so they would take me seriously. Wow. My friend Brooke showed up to sit with me in ER and shortly thereafter, Ann showed up. Can I just say here that I have the greatest friends in the world? Who knew sitting in ER for an entire night could illicit so many laughs? As I was taken in and out, different steps being performed, I was continually told I just should have an EKG. "No. I'm not leaving here without a cat scan." They finally did a scan and at about 10:30 that night while sitting in ER I got that bad news that it was abnormal. Brooke called Russ, he headed home from Hanford, and the rest is history, albeit a short history. Which feels like forever.
28: I tend to remember my dreams. I'm also a firm believer that what our subconscious mind is thinking about often comes to fruition in our dreams. And, I believe that God will speak to us in our dreams. Of course, sometimes it is not at all clear what He is trying to say. My dreams are sometimes so bizarre that my wakened mind can't even recreate or imagine what my sleeping mind seems to be able to do, let alone pick up any kind of message from it. Saturday night I had one of these bizarre dreams. I dreamt that my good friend, Susan and I were at an amusement park. Of course it wasn't a normal amusement park by any stretch of anyone's imagination but, nonetheless, an amusement park. As we walked through the park, we would have to go through different turnstiles. Each turnstile would require that we have change to put in a slot to get through to the next spot. Everytime I approached a turnstile, I never had enough money. I would be frightened to approach and uncertain as to what to do. But then, all of a sudden, I would see a dime on the ground or a quarter, pick it up and, lo and behold, I would now have just the right amount of money to get through. Another time I got all the way up to the turnstile and I knew I didn't have enough money and nothing was materializing on the ground. But I went ahead anyway, and just starting pushing my change into the slot. By doing this it unleashed change into the return slot and I then had enough. What does this say to me? God's grace is sufficient for each day and He will grant me the strength that I need to move forward to the next spot. And even if I don't feel like I have the strength, like I didn't have the money when I got to the one turnstile, I still must go ahead, trusting that somehow God will provide for me even though I have no idea how He will do it. "Great is they Faithfulness" keeps running through my mind and the line "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow" is my mantra today. Lamentations 3:22-23 says "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." | Strength for Today | Monday, November 30, 2009
29: Last night was not a good night and this morning wasn't too great either. For some reason my calves are killing me! I mean, when I get out of bed I can't even straighten my legs and walk I feel like I'm about 88 years old. In fact, I went to the lab this morning to get my blood drawn and as I was walking in all these old people were passing me by. That's a little depressing. I know they aren't blood clots and they definitely aren't sore because I over exercised or something. Just strange and bothersome. I will have to check with my doctor. Then at 10:30 I had to go in to Redlands Community for my petscan. Carol Kreuter had paved the way for me in radiology and they treated me so kindly. It wasn't bad at all. They inject a "radioactive sugar" which after about 45 minutes of resting finds its way to the cancer in my body. Then I was given the scan which was also about 45 minutes. No problem at all. One funny thing - the hospital shares the scan with a couple of other hospitals. So it is literally brought to the parking lot and put behind shipping and receiving in a trailer. They wheeled me out of radiology and down this long hallway and before you know it I was out on the dock where all the trucks deliver the hospital goods. If it had been a horror movie, the nurse would have wheeled me to the edge of the dock and dumped me over! I almost started laughing because it seemed so ludicrous to me. Then across the parking lot and into the trailer. We will find out the results on December 8 when we have the first appointment with the oncologist. And tonight I packed a bag as we are flying to Chicago tomorrow for two job interviews in Indiana. This is something we had planned before and we feel must continue pursuing. I am struggling with going, worried that my legs will hurt and worried about having to be "on" with strangers. Please pray - that my legs will feel back to normal tomorrow, that the cancer has not spread and that the weekend in Indiana will be a time of refreshment and relaxation, not tiring. I have had a hard time praying today. Thank you to all who are lifting me up to God. I feel His presence through you. | Sore Legs, PetScans and Packing | Wednesday, December 2, 2009
30: Here it is, December 9 already. Time is either crawling or flying - I am still not sure. There are so many things I am not sure of right now. What does one do when you are diagnosed with lung cancer at age 47? It doesn't make any sense. I'll back track a week to update everyone. Russ and I flew to Indiana as he had two interviews there. It was in many ways a difficult weekend. Physically it was a struggle - my legs are not cooperating and I also have an infection in my left arm from where the IV was put in for my petscan. This is also very painful. So basically I have one appendage that is working well. But on Saturday my siblings and dad drove down from Michigan and I was able to spend time with them. What a blessing that was for all of us. It seriously made the trip worthwhile despite how difficult it was. We got back late Monday night and yesterday we met with my oncologist. We did not receive the news we were hoping for. (like "your cancer has miraculously disappeared!!!" or "it isn't near as advanced as we thought") Sadly we were told the cancer is quite advanced. The one good piece of news is that it has not spread to my brain. On Thursday I will be starting chemo. The chemo will take about four hours to be administered and will only be once every three weeks. I guess one good piece of news is the doctor said this particular chemo doesn't have a lot of side effects. I haven't asked about losing hair yet. But frankly, losing my hair seems like the least of my worries. The nurse asked us if we wanted to see the treatment room. Russ and I answered together "No". The reason is because we both saw it as we were walking into the doctor's office and it was so depressing. Everyone in there is old - I mean really old. It isn't a spot for me. But Thursday, I will have my chair and the plan is to start killing cancer cells. So how are we doing? Honestly, right now, not very well. We are just so sad. Sad for our children, sad for each other, sad for our parents, siblings and friends. I am physically feeling so wounded - I need the doctor to figure out what is going on with my legs. This problem is making it almost impossible to do anything at a time when I desperately want to do things. What do women do this time of year? Shop, decorate, bake, plan for the holidays - nothing has happened and it is just breaking my heart. Please, please, please continue to pray for healing. Pray for strength for us emotionally, strength for me physically. Hang onto hope for us, ask that we feel God's presence in our lives and that He will give us a miracle. | Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | A week later.......
31: Today was the day we started fighting this evil thing called cancer. Russ and I were both nervous this morning. Fortunately, I felt so much better today then I did yesterday. I am much stronger mentally, physically and spiritually and that helped so much. We met with Dr. Ibrahim first. He did give us one good piece of news. The MRI I had yesterday did not show that cancer was pressing on any nerves that would cause my leg pain. He gave me a prescription for Vicodin (I know what you are all thinking - "Now I know who to call when I need the good stuff"!!) and also suggested I wear support hose. Hmmmmm, that ought to be attractive. But I'll do it if it helps! He then went over some of the details of the chemo. When I first got into the treatment room the nurse told me Maribeth Spoelstra was going to come see me. She works in the same building and has been a friend for years and years. It was so awesome to see her and she brought me a couple of thoughtful items. It just made me feel calm to see a familiar face. They then proceeded to get my IV going, put saline into me, drug me up on 100mg of Benadryl (they were all amazed that this didn't knock me out) and some anti-nausea drug. Next step - the chemo. The plan was to first give me Taxil. We were told that it would be administered very slowly at first because some people can have an allergic reaction to it. Well, let me tell you. I am not only one of those people who get an allergic reaction, but I get an extreme, severe allergic reaction after only one minute. My heart started racing so fast, I became light headed and semi-fainted in the chair. Russ told me that they (the nurses and my doctor) were on me so quickly - getting me oxygen, pumping me with drugs to stop the reaction, taking my vitals. I was quite panicky so don't remember much of this. I say this in all seriousness - I thought I was dying, plain and simple. It was the scariest experience I have ever had. Fortunately, from that point on it went uphill. Once they got me stable and regulated they went to plan B for chemo. This new drug they are giving me will be just as effective but I will now have to go in every week rather then just once every three weeks. I feel so much more hopeful today. I know a lot of that is coming from the wonderful things that people are emailing me, posting on my facebook, texting and cards and phone calls. I wish I could respond and answer everyone but it just isn't possible. But know that these things are so uplifting to us. One friend posted on my facebook a youtube link to Alan Jackson singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". I've always loved that song and it just felt so beautiful and soothing to hear it. Another posted a link to a blog where the author wrote about remembering that Jesus is right there next to us in the midst of our storms. Jesus said to his disciples who were in the midst of their own storm on Galilee "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith." and then, the best part "Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm." It is really hard for me to not be afraid. But I have to remember that Christ is with me at all times. One funny thing that made me laugh today. When I was almost finished with the chemo, I texted Kevin and Kyle the same message "I'm kicking cancer's butt right now." Here are their separate responses which both came back immediately. From Kevin - "Go Mom!! How much longer?" From Kyle - "I'm kicking some kids butt in Call of Duty right now." Two kids, same parents, such different responses. And I absolutely love each of the responses - a good laugh and encouragement - just what I needed. Oh, and why Ice Cream in the title? I read some nutritional pamphlets the nurse gave to me. It said to make sure I eat high calorie snacks and ice cream was one listed. Hey! I have permission. Yummmmmm - mint chocolate chip. | Chemo and Ice Cream | Thursday, December 10, 2009
32: Being diagnosed two days before Thanksgiving really threw that holiday into another realm. How do you find things to be thankful for after receiving a diagnosis like lung cancer? During the last few weeks I have been blessed in so many ways I could never list them all here. But I will try to list a few. I am thankful for my husband, Russ, who is willing to do anything for me. Even the smallest and most annoying requests don't annoy him. He just does them cheerfully and with love. What more could I ask for? I am thankful for my son, Kyle, who is remaining upbeat and keeps me laughing. He brings me whatever I need when I need it and often what I need is a hug. He's right there for me. I am thankful for my son, Kevin, who is far away in Michigan but will be home on Friday. I am so glad that he sent an email one day insisting that I may not worry about him. Believe it or not, his insistence worked and I have been able to lay aside my worry. He is strong and I look forward to having him home the next six weeks. I am thankful for Julie In't Hout and Kristen Slagter who asked if they could help by coordinating meals, rides, etc., etc. I love these women in my life. They are busy with their little ones but still take the time to help me. I am thankful for my small group Bible Study - Marsha, Bev, Ruth & Deb - who came over last night to decorate my house for Christmas. They brought dinner, friendship, tears, calm, and Psalms. I am thankful for my friend Gayle who lives just across the street. She stops in to see if I need anything from the store, brings me soup and is so close I know that she will be by my side in a heartbeat if I need her. I am thankful for an anonymous friend who has lovingly offered to pay for a housecleaner. How can I begin to thank him/her? I am thankful for the hundreds, no, thousands, of people praying for me all over the world. "Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf." Psalm 66:5 | Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Being Thankful
33: I have been trying to get a handle on how I feel about everything and it is not easy. When we first were diagnosed, it was simple to grasp what we were feeling - shock, sadness, numb, overwhelmed. But one can't stay at that level of emotion and so as time passes a certain normality settles into our lives. With that new normal comes a sense of confusion. Yes, I am still in shock, but I am gradually getting used to the idea that I have a dreadful disease. Yes, I am overwhelmed, but I still must do what I can to keep things going. Bills need to be paid, Christmas gifts need to be wrapped (though I have declared this year a "no bow" Christmas - paper only), and decisions need to be made. Thankfully everyone is home now to help with all the chores - I have done very little in that department. Yes, I am still sad, but I cannot continually cry or yearn for what life was just a month ago. As I heard in church yesterday, I must find joy within my sorrow. Joy is there! I believe this is a huge gift from God that in the midst of the chaos that is now my life, I can still feel and take incredible joy in the things that have always brought me joy. Another thing that is real confusing about this disease is the chemo. Wow! I have been trying to find the words to describe how it makes me feel physically. I remember when my mom was getting chemo she hated the way it felt when the medicine went into her body. I don't mind that so much but it seems to me, by the end of the day, I can smell the chemo seeping out of my pores to the point where I can hardly stand it. Russ assures me I don't smell like poison but I don't know.... Since I was in grade school I have had the onus of bumpy, scaly skin on the back of my arms. Since my first chemo treatment - Gone. Smooth as silk. What's up with that? I have lost the weight that I have wanted to lose for the last couple of years but instead of being happy about that I'm trying to bulk up not wanting to become too gaunt and skinny. And of course the nausea always seems to be lurking around the corner, jumping out to surprise me when I least expect it or when I'm not ready for it. Thankfully, the anti-nausea pills work wonders. But is the chemo working? I really have no way of knowing until a pet scan is done again in a few weeks. So in the meantime, I am praying that the chemo is doing its job and that the cancer cells are being killed off, and that I am on the way to healing. I remember a woman telling me several years ago after her husband had been diagnosed with cancer that it was a series of hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait. That is so true. I must get all the tests and treatments, but then must wait patiently to see if they are effective. Waiting. It is so hard to do but it is what is asked of us. When I woke up yesterday morning one of my favorite praise songs popped into my mind. "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord. Our God, you reign forever. Our Hope, our Strong Deliverer. You are the Everlasting God, the Everlasting God, you do not faint, you won't grow weary. You're the defender of the weak. You comfort those in need. You lift us upon on wings of eagles." When I rest in this knowledge, life is a lot less confusing. | Cancer and Confusion | Monday, December 21, 2009
34: I asked Joyce if I could be a guest blogger on Christmas Day and she graciously said yes. I hope that I am not a disappointment to those of you that enjoy what Joyce writes. I too look forward to her updates and am inspired by her. I wanted to use this space to wish all of our family and friends a very Merry Christmas and God's blessing for the New Year. I also wanted to thank you for your prayers and support over the last month. I cannot begin to express to you our appreciation for the love that you have showered on our family. So many people have communicated with us and have expressed their concern and support. I cannot count the number of times we have heard the words "if there is anything that I can do...." and we know that those words are not throw away words but have meaning attached to them. Our family is overwhelmed by the love and support we have received. The first time we were in church after receiving the news of Joyce's illness was Thanksgiving morning. The message that morning seemed to be spoken directly to us. We were encouraged, by the pastor, to focus on the blessings in our life even in the midst of our suffering and disappointment. Even though this past month has been tough, as a family our cup is still over flowing with God's blessings. I would like to list just a few: An intact family unit (Russ, Joyce, Kevin and Kyle) that truly loves each other. Family and friends that have shown their love and support in a variety of tangible ways. Many phone calls, emails, cards and Facebook messages from friends. Many of those came from people that we have not heard from in a long time. A school community, Hanford Christian, that couldn't be more loving to a guy they have only known for a few months. Also, former colleagues that let us know that we are not forgotten. The comforting messages in God's word. Many people have shared scripture that has personal meaning to them and these have impacted us. I have also stumbled upon passages that now take on a whole new meaning (Psalm 72:12-14). A church that surrounds us with loving arms. A walker that has recently turned into a clothes rack (Joyce's legs are feeling better). The love that my boys show their mother that gives us, as parents, a glimpse of what kind of men they will be (their future spouses are very fortunate). Doctors and nurses (and pharmacists) that have been kind and helpful to us. People that are praying for us daily. I am amazed by how many people are praying for us. I am convinced that not an hour goes by (who knows, maybe not even a minute) that someone is not uplifting us in prayer. It feels like that on November 23 everything in our world changed forever. But in reality maybe nothing changed. We never knew from one day to the next how long we will be on earth. It could be one more day, one more week, one more year, six more years or 32 more years. The one constant in our life, God, did not change. His one promise, everlasting life to those that believe, will never change and for that I am grateful. So, on this Christmas Day and everyday thereafter give your family a great big hug and let them know that you love them. Everyday that God gives you with your loved ones is a great gift. Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow. Shalom, Russ
35: Christmas | Merry
36: The Memories Will Remain | I don't want to spend a lot of time writing about Joyce's death except to tell you how she died. I heard this evening from a friend, who is a nurse at Redlands Community Hospital, that her liver shut down due to the cancer that had over taken it. I also want you to know that I was was with her when she died. I had my hands on her when her body relaxed as her last breath was taken. At that moment her soul left her earthly body that was infected by this terrible, evil disease and entered the glorious Kingdom of Heaven. I'll be honest with you, I am jealous of Joyce. Previous to today, I was not in a hurry for Jesus' second coming. Now my feeling is "come quickly Lord Jesus". I long to be in the presence of God and to see my wife again. Until that time come our memories of Joyce will have to sustain us. Thank you for sharing with me how Joyce has impacted your life. I always knew that she was special but I did not fully understand or appreciate how special she was to so many people. I was fortunate to have her as my wife for 26 years, five months and 14 days and I wouldn't trade my time with her for anything. My boys and I would like to thank you for all your support and prayers over the last five weeks. We all prayed for the miracle of healing and our prayers have been answered. Joyce has no sickness or pain as she dances in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I would like to invite all of you to Joyce's Memorial Service at 3 pm on Thursday, January 7 at the University of Redlands' chapel. With appreciation and love, Russ | This picture was taken by our friend Judy while her husband Phil piloted the pleasure craft. Joyce spent that weekend at our second home in Hanford. Even though we did not enjoy living a part during the week, the old saying is true "absence makes the heart grow fonder". We truly enjoyed and appreciated our weekends together.
37: This is my all time favorite picture (and I'm not even in it). She loves her boys and her boys love her. In addition to that she looks gorgeous. | Our good friend Brooke gave me this picture yesterday. She loved it and so do I. When I look at this picture I see Joyce as she really is; a beautiful person both inside and out.