Monday Memories With My Mom

     There's never a totally quiet week it seems.  Nothing particularly earth shattering, but always a bit of a roller coaster...so hold on as we go for another ride!!  It's just a kiddie coaster this week...
     My mom has been complaining about her phone.  She says it does not work and that there is a constant busy signal.  That is not true, but it does have a stuttered dial tone due to the voicemail she was given when I first got her moved into her current apartment.  We never wanted or used the voicemail and have since cancelled it, but the dial tone is still messed up.  She talks about it a lot.  She calls it a busy signal.  Our cable/phone company has been a pain to work with on many occasions so I have put off another phone call to them. 
     In spite of this problem, the phone does work.  In fact, my mom called and left me a message last week to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day".  Thoughtful, right!?  I also received another call thanking me for everything I do for her.  Sometimes I think those calls are prompted by the medical staff where she is living.  That particular call came on the day when I know one of the nurses meets with her.  It's ok, I'll take what I can get in the positive phone call department.
     One morning last week I received a call from one of my mom's good friends.  She was heading to visit my mom and wanted to clear with me that she did not have plans.  When she got there, my mom was not in her apartment, but the staff did locate her (I believe she was in "the Don's" apartment).  This friend of my mom's was diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer this past year, so she had not seen my mom in about a year.  Unfortunately, my mom does not remember this diagnosis.  I know she would support her friend if she could.  After a few phone calls, they found each other and her friend took her out to lunch -- Olive Garden (again) at my mom's request.  It was 0 degrees here that day, but they went anyways.  Afterwards, her friend called me to tell me how it went.  She said she can tell my mom is "failing".  I do know this.  It's still hard to hear.  Those who see her less frequently are sometimes a better indicator of how much she has changed.
     It is true.  Just the simple fact that my mom seems to have no ability to put on makeup or do her hair anymore is very telling.  She has a curling iron, but never uses it.  I guess the part that's hard to come to terms with is, it's not because she is bedridden or physically incapable of doing so.  However, mentally she is not capable and likely does not even think about it anymore.  It probably has to do with "sequencing" and her inability to do so.  She needs to be prompted on the steps of doing things and some of those things are becoming harder to do without assistance.  Thankfully, she still manages to dress herself, although sometimes needs prompting on what to wear or what to do next.
     So, I stopped by Thursday last week and brought her a few things.  It was an earlier visit than usual.  I thought I would curl her hair and maybe put some makeup on her, which I did do.  I also called the phone company and requested they fix her phone problem.  Now, I am waiting the required 72 hours for a fix...and they still can't promise they can fix it.  Something about, "we might have to turn the voicemail back on in order to be able to do that, blah blah blah".  I also have to call the phone company my mom's phone or they really give me the run around!  Small things that end up to being soooo time consuming!
     Thankfully, my mom has not even asked about her lost rings.  I just did my third search for them while I was there.  I am losing hope of finding them, yet I know because they are small they could still turn up.  It is also ironic to me that they turned up missing on the morning of her birthday.  My brother has a picture with her wearing the rings the night before her birthday.  Now, I have to convince my brother to check the plumbing in her bathroom sink to see if they might be there.  I don't think he will be thrilled to do that.  After that, I am just about out of options.  I would still love to at least find her mother's ring...
     As I prepare this post, the plan is for me to take my mom to her primary care physician today, Monday.  It's been about three months (the fastest three months ever), and time for another visit.  It's also snowing at a fast steady pace here with predictions of a potentially icy commute in the morning.  We will have to see if my kids have school and whether it's worth dragging my mom out in that kind weather is questionable. 
     Stay with me as I make my way through another week of caring for my mom...while still trying to give the best care to my three kids...and, oh yeah, sometimes remembering to take care of and time for myself!!!

Visiting Mom
Putting Some "Body" in Her Hair
Always Loves Reading Letters from Her Cousin
That's My Elbow on the left...
Just Remembered Why I Don't Always visit Mid Morning -- Nap Time!!!
Typical Treasures Found When I Empty My Pockets After Moms...
A Missed Pill?  Lip Pencil Gets Confused for Eye Pencil,
No Longer Wearing Pierce Earrings...Perhaps Give Them To Kristin
Perhaps More Praying to St. Anthony Will Help Find These Rings!!


Monday Memories With My Mom *

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Well, gosh, I know I kinda put it all out there last week with regard to my mom and how we spent her birthday and all.  I can't thank all of you enough for following along with our little journey (the good, the bad and the ugly).  Thanks, especially, to those who took time to leave me your kind comments and words of encouragement as I continue to try to do my best helping to care for and socialize with my mom.  You are truly a gift!! 
     A few days after last week's post, I was back to my mom's bringing her all that I thought she would need to wear to a family wedding we had this past Saturday.  My mom's youngest niece, Brittany (her brother's daughter) was getting married and after some discussion, and with my brother agreeing to bring my mom, we decided it was important that we make sure my mom tried to attend the reception.  Because there were five hours between the ceremony and reception, we did decide going to both would be too much for my mom. 
The Makings of a Night on the Town
     I'm not sure why, but it seemed a lot of work went into coordinating the logistics of getting my mom to the wedding.  I can't remember the last time my mom wore a dress or stockings...it's probably been awhile.  I retrieved a dress she had from her condo, bought a necklace in hopes of sprucing things up, some clip on earrings (my mom gradually tore her pierced ear by wearing her earrings to bed too much...yikes, I know), two pairs of stockings, and some "old lady shoes".  This is the first time I did not feel comfortable with her wearing a flat styled dressy shoe -- she officially needs more support than that.  (I also knew her favorite pink fuzzy Crocs weren't going to work and the taupe shoes she has a love/hate relationship with these days did not coordinate very well.)  I made her an official hair appointment with the beauty salon in her apartment complex.  She has not had a good haircut since this incident.  The lady was very nice over the phone and told me my mom frequently visited with her in the building and let the lady knowr she was waiting for her bangs to grow after cutting her own hair.  Got a card for my mom to sign, etc..  I guess it only seemed like a lot since I was also doing some of these same things for my three kids.
     I have to admit I was a bit anxious about how my brother was going to do picking up my mom.  Praying her hair held up from the appointment the day before.  Hoping she had some makeup on, etc...  I was pleasantly surprised to find my mom in presentable condition when they arrived at the reception.  Her grandchildren, my brother and my husband all helped to take her coat, get her some "Diet Coke" and take her to say hello to a few people.  The reception was at the very beautiful Lovett Hall, and my mom was duly impressed and commented several times how nice it was.
     When the dinner bells rang, we took the elevator up to the ballroom and sat my mom between me and my brother.  Rest assured, the questions kept coming...much like my experience in my last post.  My mom was particularly focused on seeing my cousin, Jeff, who lives out of state and she hasn't seen in a few years.  Even after she saw him and they spoke, she still kept asking.  We did have to tell my mom to be quiet several times during the various toasts and prayers before dinner.  She does not like to be told to be quiet.  She enjoyed her food, some of which I cut up for her to be able to manage.  Then, just when you think her appetite isn't what it used to be...along come dessert with a big chocolate covered strawberry on the side!  Let's just say that disappeared very quickly!!
     After dinner, the band picked up and there was lots of visiting with family.  My mom took many opportunities to tell her grandkids to "clap" during the toasts and much of the music that was playing.  This was particularly funny when my very "cool" 16 year old nephew was forced to clap because Grandma kept telling him to.  I do think at times she thought she was at another great party at the American House (where she lives).  At one point, she saw my blingy purse on the table and she said to me, "is that yours?".  I said, "yes".  She said, "what apartment are you in?".  She was in her world...and sometimes ours.  This was a late night for my mom.  She arrived around 6:30 pm and stayed until 11 pm.  I know she was tired, but as always, she hung in there not wanting to miss a thing. 
     My absolute favorite part of having my mom there or my mom was when the band played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".  My mom has been a die hard Neil fan for years.  I started singing it with her, reminding her of the words, and then my brother whisked her away to the dance floor.  I followed snapping some shots with my iPhone camera.  He even gave her a spin or two making me think perhaps I am too protective of her.  (But wait, let us not forget who would ultimately end up with the responsibiity for her additional care if she did happen to stumble or take a fall...)  Nonetheless, she was happy happy happy!! 
     This is likely the last of our family weddings in the foreseeable future...and I am not pushing for my kids to get married anytime soon!!  So glad to have added this to our "Memories With My Mom".

Don't Forget to Clap!!!
"Sweet Caroline"
(so good, so good, so good!!)
I LOVE this pic of my brother, Mike, and my mom!!

* Yep, I know it's Tuesday, but it's been a busy weekend and my kids just got back to school from a 4 day weekend


Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     Intentions.  My intentions are soooo good!!  My mom's 69th birthday was this past Wednesday!!  My intention was to take her to lunch and spend much of the day with her.  My intentions were to arrive with armfuls of all of her favorite things.  My intentions were that we would have a nice day together.
     Reality.  My reality wasn't as good.  I arrived with all kinds of goodies for my mom.  She was in her bedroom and bathroom when I got there.  She said she could not find her rings.  I waited a few minutes.  She never came out.  I helped her search for her rings.  We could not find them.  The last of her "valuable" jewelry she wore were her rings.  A mother's ring which I gave to her more than 20 years ago.  Originally it had the birthstones of her mother, my brother, and me.  Later, we added all five grandchildren, too.  She loves that ring, and I didn't have the courage to take it from her.  The other, a gold ring with many small diamonds on it.  Not positive if she bought that one for herself or it may have given to her by my grandma's best friend.  Normally, I can "find" her misplaced things relatively easily.  This
time I could not. 
     She takes those rings off every time she washes her hands.  I wish she wouldn't, but she does.  I am still hoping they turn up.  They could be literally anywhere.  Like from a drawer to the refrigerator.  I have not turned her apartment upside down yet.  It was her birthday.  I wanted to do birthday things.  After almost a half hour of looking, I shared with her all the goodies I brought.  Even Diet Coke and Diet Vernors pop.  A couple new pairs of pants.  Some ice cream (Stroh's).  Lots of her favorite toiletry type items, etc...  She was kind of excited.  She did not know it was her birthday.  When I finally convinced her it was, we headed to Olive Garden for lunch.  Sometimes I give her a choice of where she wants to go, but she is not good at making decisions.  I knew I couldn't go wrong with Olive Garden.
     Before we left, I told the front desk we were missing two rings.  They told me to come in later to file an official report.  Again, not my intention...just my reality. 
     Also, after looking at my mom I realized she had not only used eyebrow pencil....but brown eyeshadow on her eyebrows.  This might work if you are Bobby Brown, but it was not working for my mom.  I had to get some makeup remover and start over.  I confiscated the brown eyeshadow.  I am confiscating more and more things.  Perhaps I should have confiscated her rings much sooner, too.

Decided Not to Include a Close Up of the Makeup Application...
trust me -- Her Eyes were extra brown
     She has been soooo perseverative lately.  As I have said before, she is not just repetitive.  She asks questions and wants answers and answers.  Where are we going?  Where are we going?  When I switch gears, she knows the answer.  Truth is, it is hard to play that game like we did on Christmas Eve, especially when I am alone with my mom.  Olive Garden, mom......  Then she says, "Ok, I'll shut up.  Ok, I'll shut up".........  (She doesn't...and I did not ask her to shut up...even if I wanted to.)  It was a ten minute drive.  Between the ring search, the presentation of her gifts, and the makeup removal and reapplication...I was reaching my limit as we entered the restaurant.  (Repeat to self:  Cindy, it's her birthday...whatever makes her happy....)
     "Can I have Diet Coke.  Is this Diet Coke?  Is this Diet Coke?  Is this zero calories?  Is this Diet Coke?.....  Ok, I'll shut up.  Ok, I'll shut up....."   Mom, it's your birthday, let's try to relax and enjoy it, ok?  "Ok, I'll shut up........"  Yes, I tried to change the subject.  Yes, I answered her questions.  Yes, I tried to ignore when she had 3 breadsticks before the food came.  Yes, I even texted an SOS to my husband...which brought on one of her favorite questions for the past few years.  "Why can't I have a cell phone?"  (Yes, she used to have one.)  "Why can't I have a cell phone?"  Another common "trigger" conversation.
     She also again shared the story of how she butters her friend's roll at the American House (because the lady has tremors).  She told me this many many times.  Perhaps she felt bad that she was not going to be at lunch to help her friend.  She was agitated.  She was also in a pissy (for lack of a better word) mood.  She was looking for things to take home, too.  I hid the sugar packets...  She wanted the coasters and straws.  On the way out, she tried to take several things.  Kids menus, business cards, whatever wasn't tied down.  She got mad when I told her to leave them there.  She didn't believe me when I told her they were for kids.
     A few years ago she was like that all the time.  Always questioning me, accusatory, mistrusting, confrontational, etc...  I was the enemy.  She would tell my kids I was "mean" to her.  Afterall, I was the bad guy.  I took over her finances, got a Power of Attorney, told her I thought she was having memory issues, took the cell phone, told her I didn't think she was taking her medication properly, took away the car keys, etc...  All of that and more, gradually over a long period of time... years.  She was definitely not happy with me!  It was not fun for me either, not fun at all.  Thankfully, she is not like this as much these days.  However, this day, her birthday, was not going too smoothly.  Perhaps the missing rings had triggered this.  Perhaps it's just our new normal...  I took a lot of deep breaths during our meal.  I am sure she did enjoy her food....a lot!  After an hour, I was no longer interested in getting her a birthday dessert.  I bought her ice cream for later.  My "intentions" of a fun trip to the dollar store were not to be.  (She loves the dollar store.)  She did thank me.  She did say she loves me.  She does tell me I am good to her.  She tried.  I tried.
     I am not trying to be a downer about all this, but I am trying to keep it real.  This is really how she was behaving and this is really how I felt.  I figure sugar coating will not bring awareness to those who have not experienced this.  No worries, I am over it.  I am also used to it.
     I got her back to her apartment safe and sound.  I went to the office to discuss the missing rings.  We also realized they could even be in "The Don's" apartment.  I am still hoping they turn up.  Truth is, her mother's ring is one of few sentimental things she has.  I will be sad if we don't find it.  I am still learning...I am definitely not able to always predict or be in control of this.  It is too much.  My intentions were for her to have a Happy Birthday...my reality is not sure.  Happy Birthday Mom -- we will keep trying with good intentions!!!!

My brother and my niece took my mom to McDonalds on her "Birthday Eve"...
I received a text message with this picture saying "Live Photo from Mom's Birthday Party"
The Sometimes Painfully Long Wait for Food
She Asked if She Should Smile....I said YES!!!!!!



Words FOR Friends

     So, ya know that thing called Pinterest!?  Well, I sometimes wish I had no other responsibilities besides pinning, crafting, and baking or cooking the treats on there.  Oh, and of course traveling to all of the exotic beautiful places, too -- especially the tropical ones!!  Reality check -- I have three kids, a big Goldendoodle dog, a mom who needs my care, and a husband who is sometimes like another kid.  However, I have managed to do a few crafts and make a few recipes which you can see here and here.
     One of my BFFs, Donna, had a birthday about a month before Christmas.  Somehow she and my other BFF, Nancy, were able to get together for a rather last minute GNO (Girl's Night Out) on her birthday eve.  Donna LOVES the game Words With Friends.  Well, guess what!?  She's also really really good at it.  I mean, I knew she was "smart", afterall she went to The University of Michigan (Go Blue!), but she comes up with 80 - 120 pt. words quite frequently.  I especially laugh when they are words that I am quite sure I have never heard her use in a sentence, in the 35 years I have know her.   She's good and frustrating to play, which brings out my competitiveness and yet I always lose to her!!  The real kicker...I told her about the game in the first place and now she just keeps wanting to beat play me.
    So, I've wanted to make her these Scrabble coasters from Pinterest and thought she just might be the one to appreciate them -- for the girl who has everything!  Oh, and she might like wine, too!!?

     I pretty much followed the directions, however I used those rubber foam sheets for my backing instead of cork (I used brown).  I think that worked out ok.  I do regret using polyurethane instead of shellac as a sealant.  It changed the color of the tiles, and I liked the original natural color better.  I also made my coasters a bit bigger, 5 tiles x 4 tiles instead of 4 x 4 tiles in case she wanted to use them with a big coffee mug.  As with most things, I did this project in a bit of a rush and the coasters were barely dry when I gave them to her.  Allow yourself more drying time than I did and you will have a neater finished product!!!
     She seemed to love them and was amazed that I "made" them.  She was also drinking wine at the time, so more easily impressed perhaps!?  (Ha!  That was part of my plan!!)  I did manage to squeeze in a few of our favorite words as best I could.  Her husband is an MSU grad, so thus the reference to MSU.  I'll spare you the other personal references, but you might be able to spot them yourself!!
     Are you a Words with Friends or Scrabble player??  It was a fun easy little project and perfect if you are a "wordy" or want to give a gift to someone who is!!! 




Blogger...We Have a Problem :(

As you may have noticed, my recent Target post did not have pictures (it now does...I had to go back and edit via html). I was also posting in a rush...not good.
Come to find out there is an actual Blogger issue with posting pics the way I normally do... Ugh!! I like to edit my pics. So far I have only played with Picasa, but normally download via memory card, edit in my laptop Pictures library, and then "Browse" and select pics when composing a post.
I know there are better/faster ways. How do you guys do it?? I will be taking more pics with my iPhone now, so what is the bestest fastest way?? Tell me oh smart bloggers!!

**I did this post via Blogger app...and I don't really like it!

Monday Memories With My Mom

The Adventures of Caring for a Mom With Alzheimer's Disease
     There are a few things that were going on around the holidays that I chose not to get into.  Trying to keep things "lighter"!?
     However, I did get a call from the Med Team staff a week or so before Christmas.  They asked my permission to get my mom some more visits with the behavioral nurse (Kim), whom she has seen before.  She met with her once shortly after my mom first moved in, and again last May when things were going on with my mom and "the Don".  She normally visits my mom once a week for approximately 8 weeks.  I think this is good for my mom in many ways.  Also, the more people checking on her the better is what I figure... 
     This time the staff noticed some innocent PDAs (public displays of affection) and wanted to keep it in check.  Nobody was complaining.  However, the staff knows that I am cooperative and "the other" family is not.  So, they thought they would try to work with me.  I, of course, said yes.  They also assured me it was not just my mom who was initiating these PDAs...it was both of them.  I am still upset that the other family is so against my mom and the Don seeing each other.  Thankfully, it appears I have the staff, and most people, on my side on this one.  Companionship is so important and can go a long way in bringing happiness.  As long as there is no safety issue and things remain innocent, I am still in favor of them spending time together. 
     You may recall, my mom became very agitated when the other family switched "the Don's" meal times at the senior facility.  My mom now knows that they have different meal times.  Lately, when I do ask about "the Don" my mom usually says "I don't really see him because we eat at different times."  Yet, I know they do manage to see each other -- just not as much as they used to.  Also, breakfast does not have an assigned time.
     In addition, there are also some changes taking place with my brother and his family.  One night before the holidays, my mom called me at 11:30 pm to talk about it.  I think my mom is somewhat distraught, but five years ago would have been much more so.  It is hard to know when and if she is retaining certain information.  However, for the most part, I don't believe in unnecessarily reminding her of unpleasant news.  It is a fine line to walk, one of trying to keep her informed, not wanting to upset her, and knowing she may or may not retain the information.  
     In other somewhat exciting (for me) news, my mom seems to be using fewer and fewer of those personal hygiene items that were causing such a problem the last several months.  Yay for that!!
     My mom is celebrating a birthday on Wednesday!!  I plan to spend much of the day with her and take her out to lunch or dinner -- more news next week!!!



No Plans Today?? How 'bout a HOT Deal??


     I will make this quick 'cause you gotta go...  Many Targets went 90% off today on Holiday clearance. Of my four closest Targets, two were 90, two still 70%.  I called and if you are nice, they will tell you on the phone the percentage.  You may remember I posted some of my 50% off deals here.      However, my main reason for posting is to share this hidden HOT deal that my cousin and Aunt shared with me a few days ago.  In fact, it was so HOT, I made my purchase at 70% off ($14.99 each)....but the good news for you is, if you're lucky, you can now pick it up for 90% off.  I've been eyeing these Rachel Ray dishes for awhile, but could never quite bring myself to buy them, even when there was a good Kohl's sale and some good Kohl's cash.  But, wait no more!!!!  It is currently scanning at Target for $4.99 (regularly $49.99).  This item is "hidden".  No clearance sign, no clearance area, no special tags.  Just scanning at 90% off!!!  Awesome, right!?
      Here are the other items I got today at 90% off.  I have been to Target several times this past week.  I did not post my 70% off shopping trip.  However, if you REALLY want to see someone who shops Target....visit www.ramblingsofasuburbanmom.com my cousin, Jennifer's blog!!!!!! 

Snowman sugar bowl .49
Blingy zipper pouches .80
Hello Kitty Christmas shirts .99
"Believe" shirts .99
Glass snowman ornaments .80
ELF nail polish .19
Wreath Holder .50

     I am curious...  If you make it to Target, let me know if you get any goodies.  Also, I'd love to know if anyone else gifts themself (or someone else) the Rachel Ray set!!!!!????


2013...All the Makings of a Big Year!!!

     So, my kids went back to school today, I took down the tree and all the Christmas stuff, and my calendar is pretty current!! 
     There's nothing like a clean slate to motivate and make some changes.  I feel the need to get organized, reclaim the parts of the house I have lost control over, and in the process feel better mentally and physically.  More of that to come.
     As far as actual resolutions, I don't really make them anymore.  I always seek to be a better person and a healthier person, not just on January 1st.
     While updating my calendar for 2013 I became very aware what a big year this is going to be for us...a milestone year!!  Speaking of calendars, I know many of you have the super fancy ones like Erin Condren, or use an app on your phone, or perhaps the ol' Franklin planner.  However, I have found this Family Time Mine spiral calendar to fit my needs in keeping the five of us, plus my mom and the dog all on track.  It's only like $20 or so on Amazon.  But, I digress.  So here are the milestones coming up in our family of five:
In May my husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary
In June I will turn the Big 5-0 AND Jacob and Kristin with become teenagers -- 13!!!!!
In September Megan will turn Sweet 16 (at least I hope it's sweet!)!!!!
In November, my dad will turn 70!!
     No matter how you keep track, time is going oh so quickly!!  The reality that my kids will not always be living with us is starting to set in with Megan having about 2 1/2 years of high school left and Jacob and Kristin on the fast track to high school as well. 
     I hope in the new year I am able to slow things down just long enough to savor the memories made while giving my kids the tools to become happy, caring adults who are able to make good decisions and find their way in this world!!
What are you looking forward to?  Any great plans, milestones or resolutions??
**Of course, I have not been sponsored by anyone to praise this calendar! 


Reflecting on 2012 on New Year's Day...

     Well, I may be a day late (and a dollar short), but this ol' blog helps me reflect on the days, weeks, months, and now even years gone by.  Although I haven't been as disciplined about capturing everything I would like, I do love all the connections I have made, pictures I would not have otherwise taken, and memories captured here.  I am definitely going to keep at it!!
     2012 was a good year and a pretty busy year.  Here are some highlights:
     We went on a family trip to the Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona areas which I blogged about hereWe love Arizona and had a great time!!
     There were, of course, several things that came up with regard to my mom and caring for her.  One of the more alarming days was when I picked her up for a doctor's appointment and found what she had done to her hair.  I am sure my blood pressure was through the roof that day.  Then, there was the call I received when she fell and was taken to the hospital while I was up north with my family.  That was scary and has a sense of deja vu to it.  I think a lot of us remember this past summer as being especially HOT HOT HOT!!  We got a surprise call that the power was out at my mom's senior apartment complex, so Grandma came over for a sleepover with us and we helped her "keep cool".  We were also very happy to celebrate her one year anniversary of living at her senior living apartment.  There were times we were not sure it would work.
     I was proud and lucky enough to travel to Orlando, FL to see Megan perform with the high school marching band at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.  It was a fun getaway and a once in a lifetime trip for Megan.  Megan also survived her freshman year of high school and hasn't looked back.  She also took driver's ed and is driving with a permit.  She was very busy with soccer, marching band and her heavy class load.
     Jacob and Kristin turned 12 in June and had a small celebration with some friends.  They survived their first year of middle school, played soccer, volleyball, and football, and kept good grades during an extra busy fall.
     We did not get to our place up north as much as we would have liked.  However, we did have a great time when we did as shown here and here.
     The highlight of our summer was traveling to the East Coast for a family visit.  The weather was noticeably cooler and more bearable and we all had a great time!!
     All of the kids and the parents were exceptionally busy during September and October.  The past four months have gone by super fast.  You can always check out what Megan was up to.  Megan remains a very responsibly student.  She loves anything to do with One Direction (obsessed) or music and her friends from school.  Jacob kept busy, too and enjoyed his first year of middle school football.  He has developed quite a sense of humor and I am enjoying watching him become a young man who is also smart, polite and sensitive.  Kristin is always happiest hanging out with friends, but kept super busy with soccer and volleyball this past fall.  She is kind hearted, diplomatic, and has become quite creative with her arts and crafts this past year.  We laugh together a lot!
     Once November hit, things really went by fast preparing for the holidays, going to concerts, a visit from my mother-in-law, and some post season football games.  It's all been quite a ride and we look forward to a clean slate in 2013 and making the most of all the new year has to offer!!!
     Looking forward to following you on your journey, too!!