Friday, January 30, 2015

Clara and the Oral Surgeon

I won't go into all the details. I'd probably get some of them wrong, anyway. But the short version is that  for 14 months or so Clara has had ONE permanent tooth in the upper front of her mouth. But the rest of her upper front teeth were impacted up in the gums because of an extra permanent incisor, which was blocking the rest of the teeth. (That's my simplified and probably somewhat incorrect version.)

Pre-surgery. (Picture swiped from Kelsey's blog.)

Yesterday she went in for oral surgery to remove that pesky extra tooth and open up some "windows" in her gums to encourage the other teeth to make their appearances. There's no doubt that she'll also need braces, once the teeth all emerge.

Dan and I were on pins and needles all morning, and were keeping the prayer line busy between God and us on her behalf. God is good, and Clara is brave, and the oral surgeon was skilled. Kelsey couldn't believe how worry-free Clara was as she headed in for the surgery. And now that it's over, she's enjoying a week-long diet of smoothies, ice cream, pudding, etc., which she considers quite a treat. The plans are that she will return to school on Monday.

Post-surgery (This one also swiped from Kelsey.)

Happy Birthweek to Me :-)

My birthday was Wednesday, but it turned into a birthWEEK instead.

On Tuesday I went to my art class. The rule in that class is that whoever has a birthday brings treats for the rest of the class. I made a "turtle cake" - a devil's food cake with a caramel/chocolate chip/pecan center. I left one piece at home, for Dan, and then there were a couple pieces left over after art class, so those came home with me, as well. My friend, Janet, is in art class, and she made my day extra special with a very sweet card and note and a gift card for Hobby Lobby (where I get most of my art supplies). Very thoughtful.

Wednesday was my actual birthday, and Mom and I went to ladies' Bible class. We had cake there, as well, and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. Then, afterward, we all went out to Cracker Barrel for lunch. The lunch wasn't really because of my birthday, but since Mom treated me, it felt like part of my celebration. Maybe the highlight of my birthday was the Skype call I got from my two precious grandchildren. That evening, after church, Dan took me to Starbuck's for one of my favorites - sweetened Earl Gray tea, with vanilla and a big splash of cream. I call this concoction a London Fog. Yum!

I received some email notes and cards from friends and family, as well. Uncle Bud, Mom's brother in Juneau, sent me an on-line card with a sweet note; my friend, Gloria, in Washington state, did the same. And my dear friend, Kathy, in Juneau, wrote me a very long, newsy email letter with birthday wishes.

Then, on Thursday evening, thanks to Dan's plotting and planning, we drove down to Georgetown to go out to dinner at Fish City with our long-time friends, Milt and Susie. After dinner we went to their house, played Train (dominoes), and had Susie's homemade Texas brownies with Blue Bell ice cream! (Oh, and did I mention that Fish City sent us home with a big slice of complimentary key lime pie, because it was my birthday? PLEASE don't add up all the calories that are scattered throughout this blog post!)

This morning, when we first woke up, Dan said, "Happy Birthday." I think he was stuck in a rut!  I told him that this birthday is OVER! Three days of celebrating was more than enough! All good things must come to an end. Many thanks to all of my dear friends and family for making turning 66 a sweet thing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

That January Lull - A Return to Normalcy

The holiday season - from Halloween through New Year's Day, and including two grandkid birthdays - is so busy. And then all of the hubbub just STOPS. January has not been a blog-worthy month. We have just been settling back into our normal routine and our normal diet, after all of the holiday festivities and feasts.

I'm back to my art classes, my ESL tutoring, my ladies' Bible classes, my Bible Bees preparation and teaching. Dan is back to cooking us breakfast every morning, taking care of car maintenance, and playing on-line games with Chris and Clara.

It's been a month for replacing things. First came our stationary recumbent bicycle. We both used it a lot, and we just wore it out, I guess. The pedal mechanism failed. It was going to cost almost as much to get the replacement part as it would be to replace it. So we got a new one. We both like the new one better, but would rather not have had to buy it.

The other big purchase was a new dishwasher. Our old one was still working. At least it was working as well as it ever had . . . which was poorly. We got fed up with having to re-wash things as they came out of the dishwasher. And tired of having to run the dishwasher only when we went to bed, because it was sooooooo noisy that we couldn't carry on a decent conversation or watch TV. It was the dishwasher installed by the house-builder, and it was bottom-of-the-line in quality. So we stepped it up several notches and got a beautiful new Bosch dishwasher. It's so quiet that we don't even know that it's running! And every dish, every pot and pan, and all the flatware are coming out sparkling clean.

And speaking of replacing things, I called the orthopedic surgeon's office yesterday to get an appointment to see about getting my left knee replacement surgery scheduled. I wanted to get this done as early in the year as possible, so as not to ruin another summer with rehab. Sadly, I waited a little long, since I can't even get an appointment to see him until March. I'm sure that April will be the earliest I'll be able to schedule the surgery, which will mean I'll still be hobbling until June or July. That will make the third summer that we have been dealing with recovering knees. I had my right knee done in June of 2013. Dan had both of his knees done in the spring and summer of 2014. Oh well. We only have four knees between us, so this means we will be DONE!

Yesterday I had lunch with two good friends - Wynn, who has moved away and is now living in Huntsville (she had to come to Temple to take care of some personal business), and Susan, who is so busy we seldom get together. Since it was close to my birthday, they made it a birthday lunch. Wynn gave me a wind chime, with a brass turtle at the top - she loves turtles. She instructed me to hang it out on my back patio and to think of her every time I hear the bells tinkling. I'm eager to get it hung.



I'll also be having lunch out today, with my art class buddies. There is a fun little lady in our class, who is turning 94 this week. (You'd NEVER guess her to be that old!) So we are going out to celebrate her birthday.

Like I said - not many blog-worthy events this month. Kind of sad when a new exercise bicycle makes it to my list of highlights.






Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Part 2

Chris, Kelsey, Clara and Robert rolled into town on Friday evening. Our extended Christmas with them was really fun.

Here's a little peek into our time together.


Clara is pretty happy with all of the American Girl doll accessories she unwrapped.


Clara spends some quiet time playing with some of her Legos and with Robert's Magnatile set. 

Robert asked Santa for some Ninjago Legos, and Santa REALLY delivered! Besides these three sets, he has two more at home! Oh, you might notice the cellophane wrapper on his head. Yes, after two days of Christmas picture-taking, his patience with posing ("Say cheese") was wearing a little thin, so he got creative.
Chris helped Robert to sort the pieces, so they were easier to to find; then Robert went page by page, following the directions to assemble this nearly-200 piece Lego set.

All finished!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day 2014


Christmas Day was relaxing and enjoyable. We started the morning with a special breakfast treat of fresh kolaches, from our local Kolache Kitchen. Then we exchanged gifts.

Here's Mom, showing off a painting of a pear that I did. Although it was only an exercise, she really liked it, so I had it framed for her. We also got her a portable ice-maker for her apartment at Stoney Brook, so she can have iced tea whenever she wants.


Tim has been playing all day with his quadcopter drone with HD camera. Sadly, we forgot to get an SD card, so he wasn't able to take any video, but we'll pick one up tomorrow.


Dan will be kept busy for a while, putting together his wooden model of a working trebuchet. He enjoys small woodworking projects (like the doll house we built for Clara last year), and has always been interested in trebuchets, so it seemed like a good match. 


And Dan knew just what to get for me . . . a table-top easel. It'll make painting a lot more enjoyable!


Even after opening presents this morning, there were still packages underneath the tree. They are for Chris, Kelsey, Clara and Robert, who will be coming to celebrate Christmas with us a little late. 


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tim is Here!

Tim arrived, to spend Christmas with us, on Sunday evening :-)

Tonight we took him to see the Christmas lights at BLORA (Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, which is located on Fort Hood property). They put on a marvelous annual Christmas light display, which takes about an hour to drive through. I was doing the driving this time, so I only snapped a few quick photos for you. It is much more spectacular than these snapshots would lead you to believe. Mom didn't go with us this time, by the way, because she went a week or so ago in a Stoney Brook bus.

It wasn't quite dark when we began the course, but got dark pretty quickly. As you can see in this picture, BLORA is on the shore of Lake Belton.

The entire manger scene stretched out too far for me to capture in a single picture, but here are the wise men traveling to Bethlehem.




You drive through this tunnel of blinking, pulsating lights to exit the park.