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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Medicine Cabinet

What do these things have in common?
Cervical Spine Stenosis
Spinal fusion
Bulging Discs
Chronic Pain
High Cholesterol
High Blood Pressure
Numb feet causing loss of balance
Numbness and or tingling and or sharp shooting pain from the waist down
A strong heart
and on . . . .
You guessed it, they are what my 52 year old loving husband deals with on a daily basis.
I started this blog for our grandchildren. I want them to know what kind of people they come from. I didn't ask my grandmother ,or mother for that matter, enough. I want them to get a feeling of what our life was like but when Tom recently got his glaucoma diagnosis we had no idea who or if anyone in the family had it so I wanted to put down in writing what he is going through so there is no question. By the way Tom had to call his dad who had to make some calls to distant family to find out six extended family members also have glaucoma. Heart disease (and baldness lol) was always our biggest fear because that was the only sickness we knew was in the family.
So, Ella, Jack, Wyatt, Sami, Lily and Piper your Pops has a strong heart, weak joints, high cholesterol & blood pressure, glaucoma, a high tolerance for pain and an ability to love us more than himself.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our Crazy New Life

Our new normal day starts like this now. We still make it to the gym most days with the kids before lunch but no two days are alike. We have people and children coming and going all the time. Tom has been seeing a lot of doctors and has a couple of new diagnosis' that I'll post about when I understand it all (wait I will probably never understand it all) Anyway new drugs, treatment & maybe even surgery. So goes our life.We had Ella spend the night with us the day before her Aunt Nenni, Uncle Shawn and cousins moved in with us. She has had her own room here since she can remember and we had to get rid of the bed she considered hers and decorate the room for Jack. We had spaghetti and "pink steak", watched a movie with popcorn and cuddled. She's been seeing some doctors lately too. She's getting OT and PT for her hypotonia and are working on treatment for her ADD and anxiety. We're waiting on results from her genetic testing. Everyone that works with her loves her and can tell how smart she is but are still trying to figure out how best to treat her.A couple of days after the big move in was Valentine's Day and we had four grands for the night. Ella stayed in her old room but this time on Jack's trundle. They did great, actually they enjoyed having someone to share the room.He sleeps well in the new big boy bed we got him.Lily sleeps fine at night but she won't sleep past 6:30am. I don't mind so much. I get both Jack and Lily up and spend about a half an hour with them before I go across the street to get Ella & Sami ready for the day.Sami had to give up the crib up to Lily at our house and move to the big girl bed in the same room. Sometimes they nap and sometimes they don't. They love each other and play well together but they are each a bit jealous of my attention to the other. Still working on that one. Jack & Sami love each other too.Lily & Jack so happy. Glad they don't know the turmoil surrounding us.We went to see Shawn's farewell at work.
They all told Jennifer not to hesitate to call them if she needs anything while he's gone.Jack got a free "Daddy Doll" made in Shawn's likeness for children of deployed dads. Jennifer bought Lily one too.He never hesitates to say "I love you, Daddy" Shawn will be with us for a couple of weeks.
He wanted his family settled before he left.Of course Piper & Wyatt are in and out.
At any time we can have up to six of our sweeties here. Charlie has had no luck in his job search but will be starting school March 5th and is getting unemployment. Michele is waitressing and it all breaks my heart so I'll save that for another post.
Wyatt loves his super heroes!
Lily wants to pee on the potty like all the other kids. I hope that's a good sign for a time a few months from now.
Sami still keeps us hopping.
She gets into cupcakes she shouldn't or plays tea party with my Slovakian canisters
Our crazy new life, it keeps us living.

Friday, February 17, 2012

There Once Was A Strong Young Man

I wrote this as a children's book for Tom to read to the Grands.
There once was a strong young man with a bright sweet smile who loved to play football.
He met a girl of his same age with short blond hair and blue eyes.
They fell in love.
Life would be easy.
The man was happy.
The strong young man knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life taking care of her.
Time passed and their family grew.
and grew
Life was hard.
The man was happy.
The strong young man was growing older.
He became a soldier to support his family and protect his country.
Life was hard.
The man was happy.
The family grew and moved and moved again.
Life was hard.
The man was happy.
The strong young man was no longer young.
He left the Army and he and the girl of the same age settled down.
Life was hard.
The man was happy.
Time past and their family grew.
Life would be easy.
The man was happy.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Forward from My Dad

Great Grandpa Bob & Ella October 2004
My dad has been gone for almost five years now. I was going through my Email account deleting old Emails and came across a forward from him from 2004. He loved forwards and as irritating as they can be when they came from him I always read them. I knew he thought about me when he sent them and there are still times when I get a forward and think "Dad would love this one". This one was one of my favorites. I won't delete it.

From: Robert Penney [mailto:RPENNEY@neo.rr.com] Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 10:51 AMTo: Rachel Penney; Michele Penney; Jenni Dennison; Dennison, Kathy M MsCPOCNER; Thomas E. Dennison Jr.; Erin Kovarik; Rob PenneyCc: Charlied5309@aol.com; Scott Penney; Ron Roharik; Cookie Roharik; MattPenney; Kim Dalton; Violet Hartman; Shelley Shantic; Chuck Dennison
Subject: Fw: A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee...
Thought you would enjoy this- A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of Coffee
This was too good of a life lesson not to pass on! A carrot, an egg and a cup of coffee... You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity... boiling water. Each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong,hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water,it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique,however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same,but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Week in the Life

Life here has been crazier than ever. Tom has been in a lot more pain with two more blown discs, more nerve damage and surgery in his future again. We've been changing up the house some to make it more comfortable for Jen & the kids to move in. Michele got a job as a waitress at Cracker Barrel and Charlie has had a couple of interviews with no job offers so is squaring away his financial aid and housing for Tech school in Philadelphia. Thomas spent the week on a mission trip in Africa leaving Natalie a single parent for the week. Needless to say we had a lot of "Sweetie" time.

Daddy loves to play on their level, usually getting them very worked up. Sure gonna miss him.
Piper is learning how to stack. Our littlest Sweetie isn't so little any more.
All those toys and this microphone from the $ Tree is a favorite to all of them.
The kids have had to be flexible about napping places. Our 2 1/2 year old didn't mind sleeping in "Piper's" bed. This time any way.

Seems like we always have extras for lunch
No candy is out of the reach of our little Chocoholic, even on top of the fridge.
The pictures are getting out of control, I know. Everyone enjoys them so much though.
She did have to go to time out for the candy incident. I did have to call in reinforcements on that one because I couldn't let her see me laugh.
I know she shouldn't be standing on the bench but she was so darn cute I had to take a picture before I made her get down.
Lily loves the hand carved bowl that Thomas brought me back, almost as much as she loves the stacking dolls that he & I brought back from Russia.
Another one of those moments I took a picture before I told them to get down

Jennifer is painting one of spare rooms pink for Lily. We're trying to make it their home for the next year and not just them staying at OUR house.This is what Tom does most of the day.
"In sickness and in health" I wish I could take his pain away.
Lily helped me clean out the bar. Making room for games and art supplies.
Yes Sweetie, you are worth the trade off of bar and game to toy room. Mommy says we should keep the kegerator though.