Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Katie's Visit

Big Tex says "Howdy Y'all!" to all who enter the state fair grounds in Dallas. We spent an afternoon at the fair when Katie passed through for a 24 hour visit! She was passing through on her way to a wedding in Colorado and wanted to go to the fair. So, Tim and I rested up and did pretty well walking the fair grounds for the afternoon.

Now there was some resting and checking out the fair exhibits. Of course, there was some eating, too! I had my carmal apple and corny dog. Katie had her dippin' dots and funnel cake and Tim didn't have a food request. He just wanted to see the Birds of Prey show. We did it all!

We sure did enjoy our afternoon outing to the fair. I'm not going to say we made it through with flying colors but we did make it through. I was worn out and slept well that night. It was fun to be able to spend a little time with Katie and talk as we drove, walked and watched -people watching is always a favorite past time! Always glad to have you home, Katie, even if it's only for a few hours. Thanks for making the trip!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tim's Birthday Surprise!

Mary Beth and I managed to pull off the best surprise ever for Tim's birthday. Several months ago Mary Beth called and said, "Mom, what do you think about me coming to Fort Worth to surprise Dad for his birthday?" Well, I knew how bad he wanted to see his girls and this sounded like a great idea for seeing one of them. So, we began to check airfare and put this in motion. Katie wanted to be here also but she and Matt were leaving for their trip to South Africa this weekend. She's coming in Oct!

I picked up Mary Beth up at the airport and we went to Tim's office to surprise him and that we did. He really had no idea! I'm not sure I've ever pulled off a surprise this good! I usually can't keep a secret. Mary Beth knocked on his office door and he looked up and then he looked up again when he really recognized it was Mary Beth. He jumped up and wrapped his arms around her in the biggest bear hug! Happy Birthday, Tim! What a gift!
We met friends for dinner at the new Texas Road House in Fort Worth. It was so good to visit with our friends, Kay and Don and Tricia and her sister, Karen, who drove from Dallas for the birthday dinner. Thanks, guys for making the drive. Our Fort Worth friends, Charlie and Carolyn and Terry and Jorene, joined us also. The server even got Tim on the saddle to sing happy birthday!

We took in a baseball game that weekend - the Fort Worth Cats at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth. We decided this field was a little bit more managable. It was a fun night of baseball in the heat but we figured we could be hot at home or at the ballpark. We sat on ground level right behind 1st base and really had to pay attention to the game and foul balls!

The game followed an afternoon trip to Target! What would time with Mary Beth be without a trip to Target!

Mary Beth and I got in a little pool time with Carolyn on Saturday morning. I introduced Mary Beth to the McDonald's mango and pineapple smoothie. Yummm - it's really good! On Saturday afternoon, we went to visit Blythe, Jimmy, Cole and Natalie in Lewisville. We had fun just catching up! Natalie and Cole are so cute and growing up so fast.

The weekend was too short but it was so good to spend time with Mary Beth! She seemed to enjoy being in Fort Worth for a few days. On Sunday, she did manage a quick trip to Dallas to visit her friend, Mary Lu, get some TC's and eat at Jakes!

You bring joy into our lives always! We love you! Come visit anytime. Maybe next time, Caleb can come with you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Resurrection Story

These are pictures of Tim's foot a year ago (on the left) and a week ago (on the right). His foot has been declared healed by both his surgeon and his infectious disease doctor and the wound care clinic.

Mary Beth has named this a "Resurrection Story" and it is just that. It was a year ago that our friend, Carolyn, took Tim to the hospital because she knew he was sick. I was in Richmond with Mary Beth and Caleb for a few days to help them get moved and visit my family when all this happened. I remember talking with Tim earlier that day and he said he didn't feel good and that Carolyn was coming to take him to the hospital. I knew then he must be sick if he was going to the hospital. It was only a short time after arriving at the Emergency Room that Tim went into cardiac arrest and his organs began to shut down. Carolyn called me and said he was not good, the doctors were working to stabilize him and she would call me when she knew more. As we talked off and on for the next hour or so, it became apparent that I needed to figure out how to get back home. I went to work trying to change my flight and get out that night. After checking everything even driving to Washington, D.C. to catch a flight - I wasn't going to get out of Richmond that Sunday night, so I booked the first flight out the next morning. That was the longest night of my life! The doctors worked to stablize him through the night and I was talking with them every couple of hours getting updates on his condition. Tim had gone into septic shock due to infection throughout his body. The infection had started with his foot and spread through his body. His blood sugar was very high and a diagnosis of diabetes was made. That night was an emotional roller coaster and a night of prayer for Tim, the doctors and me! Mary Beth in her calming presence sang hymns with me 'til dawn.

I took the early morning flight and got to DFW late morning and to the hospital by noon. My prayer all morning was that he would still be alive when I got there. I had a layover in Atlanta and that wait seemed forever. I found Tim in ICU hooked up to all sorts of machines and fighting for his life. After seeing him, I knew I had to work to get the girls to Fort Worth. One of the doctors said to me when asked about this, "if this were my dad, I would want to be here." We (I'm not so sure I did anything but say y'all need to get here) worked to get Katie and Mary Beth here. That was another miracle! Thanks for friends and my brother, Johnny, who helped with no questions asked.

Katie and Matt arrived around 10pm and Mary Beth and Caleb came in around midnight. Friends picked them up and brought them to the hospital. It was such a comfort to have them there and we stayed at the hospital into the early morning hours. The husbands, our new son-in-laws accompanied them and boy was I glad to see all of them.

Tim was in ICU for 3 days battling for his life. Those days were very scary for all of us and many prayers were lifted for us all over the world. The waiting room quickly became filled with family, friends, co-workers and people who wanted us to know of their love and prayers. He stablized and remained in the hospital another 10 days while doctors worked to decide what was really going on and what was needed for the future. The conversation vivid to this day was with his surgeon at the suggestion to amputate the foot and leg below the knee because the infection in the foot was so bad he didn't see any other solution. It was Dr. Sotman, the infectious disease doctor, who held the opinion all along that the foot would heal but would be a long process. I also remember the first time the wound care nurse came to the room to debreed the foot. She said to both of us, "this is going to take a very, long time". In my mind, I was thinking 3 months or so wouldn't be too bad, we could do that. Oh, my - here we are a year later with the foot healed. Thanks be to God!

What a year - home health care, wound care, multiple doctors' visits, picc line care at the infusion clinic, no weight bearing to bearing weight, straight walker to walker on wheels to cane to walking without assistance, off work to returning to new work, new shoes with orthodic support - all in the course of a year's worth of healing. Well, here it is, 12 months and now I do know it takes a long time, lots of prayers, lots of help, lots of tenacity, and lots of hard work but we've done it! Thanks for all the prayers, all the help with meals, transportation and encouragement.

Tim has done an amazing job of getting his diabetes under control and keeping his levels consistent so that the healing could take place. Way to go, Tim! His doctors are amazed with what they have witnessed in this year. His surgeon and his infectious disease doctor were not convinced that Tim's foot would heal and that he would be walking with a foot and all 5 toes! What a miracle and a resurrection story! God is good and the people of God are wonderful!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!
We are certainly glad to celebrate with you today!

We're proud of all of your hard work this year and we celebrate the good news we received this last week, your foot is finally healed!!!!!

We love you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

It's hard to believe that a year ago today, we were in Birmingham, AL celebrating the marriage of Mary Beth and Caleb Foust! Happy Anniversary to you! Here are just a few pictures to remember the wedding!

I remember it was a beautiful day that began early with an 8am hair appointment. The pictures were taken before the ceremony and this window was the backdrop for some beautiful pictures. It was in the courtyard at Shades Crest Baptist Church. What a beautiful couple!

The picture taking moved to the playground with the whole wedding party. This event was made special because of all the friends and family who joined them to celebrate. Look at those guys!

and girls - gotta love those gerber daises!

and of course, the signature Red Boots!

Mary Beth and Caleb left in a shower of bubbles. They were walking into so much ahead for them. They went to New York for their honeymoon, returned to Birmingham to load a UHaul truck and move to Richmond, VA.

We celebrate with them today! This has been quite a year - they completed their 1st year of seminary and worked parttime jobs. They have made new friends and have made their apartment a welcoming home. Congratulations to you both for all you are and have accomplished this year!

Monday, May 23, 2011

These Shoes Are Made for Walking

Tim went Friday to get fitted for his new shoes and the orthodic that is made just for his feet that goes inside his shoes to off load the pressure when he walks. The process was interesting. We started with looking at different shoes. Tim chose a black smooth leather shoe. Tim stepped on what looked like a large ink pad with a plain sheet of white paper on the inked side. When he stood on the pad, it marked the pressure points on both feet. That impression was used to make the orthodotic just for his feet. We waited for it to be made, put into the shoes and fitted on Tim's feet.

Tim was very surprised at how good his feet felt in the shoe!

He walked up and down the hall trying them out! yeah! These shoes were made for walking and walking he is! He's already walking better will continue to improve each time he walks!

Congratulations to you, Tim for all the hard work you've done to get to this point! It's been a long haul but you've done what you needed to do to bring healing to your foot and now walking again. I love you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The death of our family cat

Murphy was just a little black kitten when I rescued him from a church parking lot in Fort Worth where boys were shooting BB guns at him. I picked him up and brought him home that night and he had been with us for the next 17 years. He moved with us to Dallas and then moved with us back to Fort Worth. He's seen several dogs come and go and was there when Gus joined the Gilbert household in 1996. He and Gus were pals and would often lay next to each other. The latest addition of Charlie and Lucy added to his list of pets to endure. They would try to play but Murphy had no use for these two dogs.

He usually slept on my head and would spend most of his days sleeping on the back of the sofa. He would meow loudly in the morning until he was fed. In the last few weeks, he had lost weight and would just sleep all day and night in odd places. We said goodbye to him last week when he died during the night. Charlie was so sweet with him in those last few days. He became his guardian - laying near him, following him around and watching over him. The other animals knew something was wrong with Murphy and sensed that he was sick. It was so touching to see them care for each other.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Few Days at the River

It's hard to believe that it was just a week ago that I was in Richmond for a visit. As a part of that visit, Mary Beth and I went to our family cottage at the "rivah" as they say. This cottage is on the Rappahannock River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. My grandparents bought the cottage the year I was born and I spent my 1st summer at the rivah. My family enjoyed spending summer vacations here along with the larger extended families. There were holiday weekends that this little place slept 15-16 people, wall to wall beds. There are such fond memories of time spent with family in this place. I had not been for a long time and was long overdue for a few days at the rivah.

It was chilly but really nice to sit on the side porch with our sweatshirts on and take in all the sites and sounds. Of course, being so close to the water, there is always the sound of the water hitting the shore. I can remember getting motion sick from this but wasn't bothered by the sound this trip. Deltaville is the town across the mile wide river and you could see the buildings clearly. It was so peaceful and relaxing just to sit and talk and laugh and be. I needed that!

The front of the cottage taked from the pier next door. Oh, the cedar tree at the front corner. We used to hate walking that way to the beach because we'd get cedar stickers in our bare feet. That tree is a landmark for the cottage. This little cottage consists of five rooms and a bath. I do remember when there was an outhouse for the bathroom! We don't drink the water so bring our drinking water and we don't have hot water so heat that in a kettle. This is the smallest place around with the land all around this cottage being developed with large homes built on lots all around. But we love our little place!

This is the view of the back! Home sweet home!

What's a trip to the river without eating some steamed crabs. I did get some steamed crabs from a river house in White Stone. That was its own experience. Mary Beth went with me to get the crabs and she asked as we left, "Mom, was she legit?" It was a old farmhouse and an elderly woman with her dog on a rope met us outside. I asked about the crabs and she went to a walk-in freezer to get them.

I sure did enjoy picking and eating them. Yum!

Spending a few days at the river was so nice. I found myself emotional as I remembered all the good times with Granny and Grandpa, Mama and Daddy, aunts and uncles and cousins. Oh, my, what a history! Fifty eight years worth! It looked the same as I remembered it, oh a few new pieces of furniture and fresh paint but not much had changed. I stayed in the "flip-flop" room which used to be the pink bedroom right off the side porch so you hear the water all night long!

Thanks for all the memories!

This was the sunset one of the evenings we were there! It was beautiful and such a great reminder of the days and nights spent enjoying God's creation with family.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wedding in Alexandria, VA

I've just returned from attending my nephew's wedding in Alexandria, VA. Brian Cocchiola married Caroline Skelly on May 7th and they are headed to New York where Brian will be starting his medical rotations. The weekend started with the Rehearsal Dinner at the La Strada, a wonderful Italian restuarant in Old Towne. The food was absolutely wonderful, served family style and lots of it. The toast was a wonderful way to say best wishes to the happy couple! Caleb and Mary Beth went with me to the wedding. It was fun to be with them for the weekend!

The happy couple taking more pictures on the stairway at the reception.

The parents of the groom - Bob and Jocelyn Cocchiola. Jocelyn is my sister - the one I call "Monk".

The DJ was great! He played great dancing music and the dance floor stayed full. Gotta have a little of the Electric Slide! That's my sister, Bev, and Mary Beth leading the way. Jenna, my niece, and her boyfriend Daniel following. Everyone was having fun!

The Grubb siblings all in the same place - Bev, Monk, Johnny and Karen. They were appeasing their older sister to pose for this one. Glad they did!

Then there were the cousins. Erin Cocchiola Rich, Mary Beth Gilbert Foust, Taylor Austin, Jenna Cocchiola, Brian and Caroline Cocchiola. Katie Gilbert was missed!

It was a weekend full of activity with family and friends. I was so glad I was there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Still Making Progress

It's been more than a month since we updated you on Tim's progress. He's doing very well and walking with a cane most of the time! The Wound Clinic has declared his two original wounds HEALED. Yep, they were so happy to make that declaration. They are still following him a little longer because he has developed a blister on the side of his foot from the walking. The blister is healing and should be completely healed in a few days.

Tim has an appointment on Friday to be fitted for his shoes and the special insert he'll have to wear which will off load the pressure so he won't have blisters.

I think Tim has surprised them all - Dr. Sotman, Dr. Wagner and the Wound Clinic nurses. They have been with us and this wound from the very beginning and are amazed at the progress even if it has been very slow. They are very pleased with the progress and the healing. They didn't really think it would heal. Of course, they didn't know Tim like I know Tim. He's worked very hard to keep his blood sugar consistent and do what they've asked him to do and it's payed off. He still has his foot and is able to walk on it. Thanks be to God!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bed Time

I had been sitting in the recliner with the cat in my lap watching TV and got up to get ready for bed. This was the picture I saw on my pillows. Lucy and Charlie had been sleeping on the pillows and looked up just as I took their picture. They were trying to tell me they were ready for bed. What a pair!

They had a busy day playing outside and chasing squirrels along the fence and in the trees in our neighbors' yards. When Lucy sees a squirrel she sounds like she's dying. Her bark is shrill, both ears are flying back and her whole backside wags furiously. She sits in the sun and waits for the squirrels. She also sits like she is the princess of the backyard surveying her kingdom. Charlie sits with her sometimes when he's not off chasing butterflies or bugs. They do enjoy their backyard. They have worn paths around the fence and through the yard where they travel.

Tonight, they are tired and ready for bed. So, it's time for all of us to get ready for bed. Goodnight!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daisies & Strawberries

Two of my favorite things - daisies of any kind and strawberries, especially strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream. (This strawberry shortcake has the canned whipped cream - it was easier to do! ) I prefer strawberry shortcake for my birthday cake and enjoyed some on Saturday as I celebrated being another year older. Daisies just make me happy and so I bought some for myself to celebrate. Funny how the years come more quickly as one gets older. I spent the day being lazy. I didn't have to get up early to take Tim to school so I enjoyed my coffee and just taking a slow morning. It was very nice!

We did have to make our usual Saturday trip to the grocery store. I don't mind shopping in the store, it's just unloading the car and putting the groceries away that is not my favorite activity. But the groceries did get put away!

Birthday dinner was at, of course, Red Lobster. That seems to be the place we always go for birthday celebrations. It was really good - crab, lobster and shrimp! What a way to celebrate another year older. Gosh, so much has happened this past year. I can only hope that this year will be a little calmer and less stressful. I'm not sure it's going to be either - hasn't started off that way! Guess I'll just have to live it and see what's in store!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

He's Driving!

It's still dark in the morning when Tim is leaving for school. As of a week ago, Tim is driving!!! Woohoo! What freedom for him and for me! No more 7:30 am mornings taking him to work. He can leave when he's ready and doesn't have to wait for me. That will be better for both of us!

He is driving with the doctor's knowledge and approval. When we visited the Wound Clinic last week, we asked Dr. Sotman about driving. He paused and said I don't see why not. It uses an even pressure which is different from walking on the foot which he is not doing yet. So, they wrapped his foot with extra padding and put his foot in a sandle boot to give it more protection and a heavy cushion for the bottom of the foot for the driving. It allows him to try to do some walking on his heel. He is doing some of that and of course finding that his leg and foot is really weak. He's improving every day - so much so that we're going to the Wound Clinic every three weeks now. I'm the nurse in between visits changing the bandage and medicine on his foot in between. Guess I'm doing something right because the measurements continue to decrease. Way to go, Tim!

Monday, March 21, 2011

After Spring Break?

It's Monday and I just took Tim to the campus to start this week after Spring Break. The campus was busy with folks returning to the routine after a week off. Spring Break for us was pretty uneventful. Tim worked on his course work reading and creating power points for class lectures. I worked for both CBF and Broadway. Broadway is my new work - filling in a few hours as an administrative assistant! not sure that's my calling but maybe I can help out!

Friday, Tim and I took the day off and traveled to Dallas to each do different things. Tim spent the day with his friend, Ron. They talked and laughed and went to eat Asian food and even took in a movie. I visited with friends and met friends for lunch and picked up our completed taxes. That was really the reason for the trip to Dallas - to get the completed tax forms and find out whether we get money back or have to pay. Luckily, this year we're still getting some money back - actually enough to pay for the hot water heater we had to have a month ago! But it is money back and not money we have to come up with, yeah!

Saturday, we worked in the yard. The grass was needing to be cut. It was getting tall in the backyard and the dogs were beginning to get lost in some of it. Guess what? I was able to push the lawnmower and did the grass cutting myself! This is a miracle! What a new hip will do for you! But the picture you need to imagine is Tim with the weedeater. Yes, he was on his rolly walker going around the fence weedeating! Now, that's the miracle! We were both pooped after this workout but it was a good feeling to be able to do this all by ourselves and not have to ask for help from friends! We do thank all those who helped us with grass mowing last summer/fall but it looks like we're going to be able to handle this on our own this year!

Sunday was spent at church with Sunday School, worship, lunch at church, me in a meeting and Tim waiting for me. The rest of the day was spent resting and getting ready to return to work and the new normal for us right now!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The PICC line is gone!

March 10th was a long awaited day for us. Tim finally has his PICC line removed after 8 months. The Peripherally Inserted Central Catherter was put in while Tim was still in the hospital in July. He has been visiting the Infusion Clinic weekly for the past 8 months. The weekly visit to the Infusion Clinic was for a dressing change, blood work and to pick up his infusions. For the past several months, we would visit the Infusion Clinic twice a week to pick up the infusions. Tuesdays and Fridays always included a trip to the clinic. Thanks to Trish and Jane for taking such good care of Tim!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Gilbert Cars!

This week has been pretty normal - well with the "new normal" of taking Tim back and forth to work, keeping up with the weekly clinic appointments and working myself on CBF contract work and job searching. All seems to be going pretty good! I'm even managing to get the clothes washed, groceries bought and even some meals cooked!

The last few weeks my new challenge has been the cars! so here's the story-
A couple of weeks ago, I had to get what I thought was a new registration sticker for Mary Beth's car. So I went to the courthouse, waited in line, gave my form to the person and she looked it up and said that the registration had already been paid and was not due. After telling her that I had just been in two weeks ago for my car, she said to me, "honey, I bet you have the wrong sticker on your car"! She went out with me to look and sure enough, I had the sticker that should have been on Mary Beth's car on my car and her's was expiring in a few days in Richmond, VA. Easy fix to that one - just pay the money to buy two replacement stickers - one for my car with my license # and one for Mary Beth's car with her license #. Seemed easy enough to do and now we both have the correct sticker for our cars.

Two weeks ago, I was going to get Tim's little red car inspected so it could be a back up car for a friend. The inspection ran out in Jan and I had just waited to get it inspected. I took Tim to work and returned home to take his car for inspection, sat in the car and turned the key and nothing! It was dead! I thought I had kept it started so that wouldn't happen. I do know how to jump a car but just choose not to do it except for times like this. So I got the jumper cables from the garage, pulled my car up as close as I could to Tim's for the jump (which meant I had to get into his car from the passenger side and crawl over to the driver's side to start it), put the jumper cables on and then get in Tim's car to turn the key. It started and all was good.
I crawled back across the front seat so I could undo the jumper cables and put them back and move my car. Got it all done. Put that little red car in reverse (standard car, don't you know) and off I went for the inspection.
I got to the station and told them what I wanted and that the car had been sitting for 6 months. They asked if I had had to jump it and I said yes and they said it couldn't be inspected that day. It would have to be driven 60-80 miles and let the computer reset before being inspected. Do What! I didn't have time for this - I needed the car inspected that day so all the other pieces would fit into place. So, me and that little red car headed south on I-35! I drove it 61 miles and came back to the station for the inspection. It passed and all is good. The car was ready for use if needed.
I learned that I could jump a car without mixing the positives and negatives and having sparks fly everywhere! I also learned that my new hip was good because I could climb back and forth across the front seat of Tim's car with the gear shift in the middle and do what needed to be done! Mission accomplished!
Well, last week was my car! I took it in for inspection and it passed without any hitches. I got the inspection, an oil change and new transmission fluid (since it was brown and is suppose to be changed around 50,000 miles and it has 90,000). Whew - this car thing has certainly been an experience. They are all ready now for somthing else to happen!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Long Time No Write!

I've looked at this blog for a while now thinking a fairy would just write and give an update on all that's been happening the past month. But no writing fairy has appeared and so much has happened that I'm going to attempt an update. So here goes ---

Tim is back teaching full time and loving it! That's good news! He's got 5 classes - teaching MWF and Sat. morning (teaching in the weekend college) which leaves TTH open for wound care clinic, infusion clinic and whatever else needs to be done. He's got office hours on those days but it does give him the flexibility to do what needs to be done. He's teaching intro to philosophy and world religions and working hard to stay ahead of the class. He's teaching with powerpoints these days which means he doesn't have to move around the classroom a whole lot and he can post the powerpoints on the web for students to have. So, picture this - I drop him off at the curb and off he goes on his rolley walker, book bag over his shoulder, brown bag lunch and red lunch sack with his 2pm infusion in hand - off for the day of teaching and encouraging students! quite a site I must admit.

I think you can gather from this that he's still not walking or driving, going to the wound clinic in HEB once a week and the infusion clinic once a week for dressing change and meds. The foot is making progress each week, the measurements are getting smaller each week, but still not healed completely. Just last week the wound clinic has changed his visits from weekly to every two weeks with me doing the in-between wound care. Now that's a little scary - but I'm doing it. I've learned lots about wound care in the last 7 months!

The new normal for us right now is me driving Tim to and from work daily and him teaching. He continues to visit Dr. Sotman at the wound clinic, Trish and Jane at the infusion clinic and keep his blood sugar levels steady. I think we've got that part under control for now!

As if all that wasn't enough for us to handle - my position with CBF has been eliminated as of Jan. 31, 2011. I'm now trying to figure out my own "new normal" with all this. CBF did offer me a contract which I have accepted. The contract is to continue to work on some of the projects I was working with as a full-time employee but for a less money and no benefits. I'm working to update my resume and look for other possibilities. I'm open to most anything right now! I'm really trying not to panic but that's a whole lot easier to say than to do. I found this quote by Seneca that I think sums it up for me, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." I'm working to make some new beginnings!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Objects of the Divine Love - the Intolerable Compliment

"If God is Love, He is, by defintion, something more than mere kindness. And it appears from all the records, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense....
When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man, not that He has some 'disinterested', because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that, in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God: you have one. The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the 'lord of terrible aspect', is present: not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist's love for his work and despotic as a man's love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father's love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes. How this should be, I do not know....We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine Love may rest 'well pleased.'"
     - C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't posted in awhile, but here are the newest updates. I have now returned to work. I will be returning to the classroom and will be a tenured professor of philosophy at the Northwest Campus of TCC. I'm very excited about the return to teaching and the classroom and am looking forward to being a part of the campus where I began my TCC teaching career. It appaers that you can go home again...:-).

As for my foot, we're still in the healing process. Things are progressing but slowly. I've still got the picc line and the antibiotic infusions and probably will have them as long as the foot has an open wound. However, as we measure the wound each week it grows smaller, so my time on the walker grows shorter with each passing week. Teaching on a walker will be a new adventure for both me and my students. Karen will be glad when I am able to walk and drive again so she won't have to be my taxi.

Missed everyone at church on Sunday because Karen didn't want us out in the bad weather, that didn't turn out to be so bad...lol

Thanks for your continued prayers!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas in Birmingham

Tim and I drove to Birmingham on Christmas Eve Eve to spend a few days with our kids. It was a long drive but we made it and had such fun for three days with our family. We spent Christmas Eve cooking (yes, we made German Chocolate cake and Grandma's potatoe salad!), talking and attended the Christmas Eve service at First Methodist. That was an adventure just getting Tim at the right door and finding the elevator to go to the sanctuary on the second floor but the service was so meaningful and worth all the work to be there.

We gathered at Katie and Matt's home for Christmas morning. Upon arrival, we had new stockings "hung by the chimney with care" for all of us. Thank you, Katie.

The tradition of matching PJs was still alive and well at least for one more year!
We exchanged gifts and laughed and cried and laughed until we cried with some. What a wonderful morning for all of us! Thanks for all the surprises!

The grand dogs were having a wonderful time with all their new toys. Of course, Maggie Mae couldn't quite figure out why all these people were at her house. They were happy to snuggle with Tim and me for our Christmas afternoon naps while the kids went to their respective in-laws for visits.
We made some new family photos that I hope you enjoy. We did have a white Christmas with snow in Birmingham on Christmas Day. It was wonderful - just enough to be pretty but not stick to the roads. Katie and Matt with Maggie Mae in front of their house with the snow falling -

Mary Beth and Caleb -

Katie and Mary Beth with Tim sitting on his walker -

Matt, Katie, Tim, Karen, Caleb and Mary Beth -

We had a great time just enjoying family. We are looking forward to 2011 and all it holds for each of us!