Saturday, September 23, 2023

She Likes to be Independent

Every Thursday after work Beth and I go grocery shopping. Sometimes we don't need very much but most of the time we fill our carts. Beth is pretty independent, we each grab a cart and then we go our separate ways. We sometimes pass in the aisles, I'll say to her, "Hey! I know you!" and she'll smile as she walks by or she'll ignore me and pretend like she's never seen me before in her life.


She pretty much buys the same things every week but is trying to cut down on the amount of junk food she buys. We're also trying to get her to go dairy free but this week there was a huge, family-size block of cheese in her cart. I had to remind her that it's the cheese that causes her stomach aches and digestive issues. She wasn't happy about putting it back but she did.
Whoever finishes first waits by the registers until the other one arrives, then we check out together. This last Thursday she wanted me to check out first. Then she unloads her cart, pays for it, unloads all her groceries in the car, then unloads again at home. I'm thankful she's so independent when it comes to grocery shopping.


I happened to spot her as I walked by one aisle.
 I think she was making more room in her cart.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Shoes, Needles, and Pretzels

 Beth and I spent the day running errands on Friday. She had to get some follow up lab work done, we went to DSW for shoes and socks, Big Lots for an ottoman for her room, dropped some things off at Goodwill, and we walked around the mall.
We weren't on a timeline, we weren't rushed, it was just a nice, slow-paced afternoon.
She does so well at the doctor. This was before she had the blood draw - look at that smile! She always talks to the phlebotomist, she can be so chatty in there! I can hear her tell them about her job... how her mom doesn't like needles so she goes in for her blood draw by herself and that she doesn't mind getting them... Miss Chatty Cathy!

 We left there and headed to DSW. I needed some socks and while we were there I asked her if she wanted to buy another pair of shoes. She loves the shoes she has so she bought a pair just like them. Quick and easy!
While we were at the mall we stopped at Auntie Anne's, we hadn't been there in such a long time. We used to go a lot, in fact she used to work there! Not long after graduating she used to hand out samples. She was there a few months then moved on to something else, I don't remember what. She was in a job training program that found her jobs throughout the community. That's how she ended up folding boxes at Little Caesars. I think that's been her favorite job so far. I don't have any pictures of her working at Auntie Anne's, but here she is at LC. She worked there 5 years and used to fold upwards of 1000 boxes during her weekend shift. Some of you might remember when she worked there.

 And this was Friday - 

 More walking, then a little break. I was really proud of her for walking the mall. We didn't do the whole thing but she did a good amount. Even went into a couple stores to look around. She was on her feet for quite a while.

 We got the lab results today and her thyroid levels are 'back to normal.' Thank you Lord! I believe the changes we're making are helping a lot.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Fall, Old Cars, Graduation Gift

 We woke up the other morning to this...

Today we have blue skies and it's gorgeous out but it's cooler than it has been. You know when 70 degrees in July is different than 70 degrees in September? I think it's time to put the comforter back on the bed.
I went to our local car show last weekend. I don't know a lot about cars, but I sure love lookin' at 'em! Especially the older ones.


Do you see the Queen waving from the hood?

My first car was a 1969 Mach 1 Mustang. My dad gave it to me for my graduation. I only had it for a couple of years but I sure got a lot of attention when I drove it around. Didn't know why at the time. Now I know! I sure wish I had taken better care of it.

 What was your first car? Did you have it for a while?

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Breakfast, Like Germany, and Swings

The kids arrived safely last week. Their seats were near the back of the plane and Adelaide spent a lot of the time watching the people go back and forth to the bathroom. She absolutely adores people! She cried for about 5 minutes of their 6 hour flight and was happy and content the rest of the time. A direct answer to prayer!

 We went to the park; went out for breakfast; drove up to Leavenworth, a Bavarian-style town up in the mountains east of us. We all spent most of our time just watching Adelaide. She's a character! Growing so fast, and learning so much. She can wave goodbye - she doesn't just move her hand, she actually moves her fingers up and down; she talks to anyone and everyone who will listen! She's absolutely adorable.

Yelling to the kids playing in the splash park

The scenery heading up to Leavenworth is just stunning. 
Well, some of us are captivated by it!

The girls tried to get some pictures but it's hard with an active 8 month old!

Me, Chuck, and our granddaughters
I love this picture more than I can say

 Back at home she found the bin with the winter hats and scarves
This was her first time on a plane and she did so well coming here and going home.

We played cards, took walks... it was SO good having them all here! They pulled out of the driveway on Wednesday and I went into the house and cried. I'm so grateful we get to see them for Christmas!

Saturday, August 26, 2023


 Hi everyone,
I thought I'd give you some updates on things I've written the last couple of weeks.
A few posts back I wrote about dozens of sirens. More than I've ever heard in the 20+ years we've lived here. The fire trucks and Battalion Chiefs... they were all going to a house fire. There was nothing on the news and even our little local paper just mentions 'crews assisted with a residential fire' so I'm praying it was small and no major damage was done. 
The police cars in the Bartell's parking lot were from the officers chasing a guy who stole shoes from a store. He took off running and ended up in the same store we were in. Thankfully he was caught and put in jail. 
We're monitoring Beth's meds more closely and have added a few things like iron and Vitamin D. I can tell she's trying to eat better and exercise more. During the summer since there's no preschool she just works one day a week. On Thursday she worked about two hours disinfecting the main foyer, the bathrooms, and the stairwell railings. She came up to my desk and asked if there was anything else. She was breathing heavy and I could tell she was tired but she said she wanted to keep working. So I had her vacuum one of our largest rooms. When I peeked in on her a while later she was moving chairs to be able to vacuum under the tables! That's something she doesn't always do in the preschool rooms.
Chuck and I are talking about moving her to the bedroom upstairs. Our daylight basement doesn't have running water and I'm wondering if that is a factor in her hygiene. We bought her a large serving tray so she can carry her dirty dishes upstairs but she ends up leaving them down there. And maybe the tray isn't the right tool? In the bedroom across the hall from our room she'll be right next to the bathroom, it's a quick walk to the kitchen, and she won't have to haul her trash cans or heavy laundry up the stairs... So, we're still figuring things out. We got a random email the other day (a blessing, or is it a little creepy because we've been talking about it?) about getting information on respite providers. There's so many things to consider.

Thank you for all of your ideas and suggestions, and for your concern for Beth and our family. I appreciate each one of you! 

Diana, Peter and Adelaide will be here in 5 days!! I think Adelaide is as excited as we are!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

I'm Getting Weary, But I Don't Know What the Answer Is

I took Beth to the optometrist last week to get some new glasses. We went a few years ago but her prescription hadn't changed so she decided to keep her glasses. It still hasn't changed much but she was ready for some new ones. They're close to the same shape she has now, but they're a different color. She should get them in a few days.

 We left there and went straight to the dentist. Got two done in one day! The hygienist was very impressed with how her teeth looked and Beth told her that she brushes "in the morning and at night." Leah told her she was doing a great job. We love her, she always talks to Beth, not just to me. She remembers Beth's activities and her family members and talks in a way Beth understands. She's priceless!

 Writing is like therapy for me, so I want to talk a little about Beth's recent health issues. 
When we went to Iowa last month, we walked into the airport and got in line to use the kiosk to check in. I could tell Beth was starting to look lethargic and when I asked her how she was she doing she mumbled, "Okay." I grabbed her arm and tried to get Chuck's attention. He was in line at the kiosk while Beth and I waited in the back with a crowd of people. I could feel her getting weaker and hollered to him that Beth needed to sit down. I began to panic because the airport was doing construction and we were all crammed against these tall barriers. Thankfully Chuck's 6'3" height allowed him to see some chairs in a different area and he helped her to them while I got all the luggage. She was so pale. I began to fan her while Chuck went to find water. After about 10-15 minutes she was feeling better so I was able to get her to a bathroom. She couldn't tell me the last time she had had any water. She did okay through security but then started walking very slowly. Chuck found a wheel chair at a nearby gate so I pushed her and he pushed the luggage to our gate, then I took the wheelchair back to where he found it. I bought us all some bottled water and we waited for the flight.
 Using both hers and Chuck's walking sticks
By the time we got to O-Hare, she was feeling great! So... off the plane and making our way through the airport when she begins to slow down again. I mean, really slow. Barely moving. She said nothing hurt but she couldn't tell us why she was going so slow. We asked for a wheel chair and an employee pushed her to our gate. We learned that you can ask for a wheelchair when you first check in so we did that when we landed in St Louis.

 Since we've been home we had some blood work done and her thyroid levels were way off. Come to find out, she stopped taking her medication! She takes two medications and a few months ago, just quit taking them. She's always been so faithful about it. When I've asked her why she stopped she doesn't answer. She won't - or maybe she can't - tell me. She doesn't have the language to explain why.

Either way, I'm now monitoring her meds. Checking with her every day to make sure she takes them.
We're also taking measures to dramatically limit her dairy intake. She buys the same food every time she goes grocery shopping and most of it is sugar... and dairy. I've struggled with this because she's 38 years old. I don't monitor what my other daughters eat. They wouldn't be very happy if I did. So I've tried to let Beth make her own decisions - good or bad - for herself. But it's coming to a point where it's really beginning to affect her health. And she can't take care of herself in many areas so Diana... encouraged us to step up our game.
This week we found some healthy alternatives to her snacking and at the grocery store she showed me how she found a small package of m&ms (instead of the large family size) and a small licorice. I told her those were great choices and she was doing such a good job! And, those were the only junk food she had! That's huge!
Chuck and I have family members on both sides that are hoarders, and Beth is too. It's not like you see on those TV shows but it's bad enough. I'm trying to spend more time in her apartment (our daylight basement) helping her clean but I noticed today an area we cleaned a couple weeks ago is starting to fill again. And it's not that she's attached to any of it, she just won't throw anything away. Literally. Old shoes, empty kleenex boxes, grocery bags, old papers... she just tosses everything on the floor. And she's got a big trash can in the kitchen and one by her desk.

I don't know what the answer is. 
Do we put her in a group home? (I don't want to.) Do we hire someone who specializes in clearing out hoarders homes? Send her to a psychologist? Quit my job so I have more time to take care of her? 

Please pray with me that the Lord would show us what to do. That He would heal Beth, and  provide the answers we need and bring the resources to help us through this. Thank you!