Saturday, May 29, 2010

On This Memorial Day weekend.. Remember Our Troops...

This is my cousin Mike.
He likes to run.
He likes to run Marathons.
He will be running The Marine Corps Marathon in DC in Oct.
to raise money for Operation Homefront.
It's a great organization, you can read about the run here:
Mike will be running in support of our Troops.
This run is close to his heart, Our hearts.
Our cousin Thomas Robert Tormanen was a Marine.
He lost his life in the first gulf war.
On this Memorial Day Weekend I think of Tommy.
I remember him as a young preschooler
playing in the sand with trucks
fishing with his dad
eating ice cream...
The things that all of us do with our cousins,
kids, dads, brothers, and friends.
Tommy was proud to be a Marine.
Proud to serve.
He would be especially proud of Mike.
On that day in Oct. there will be many runners.
All with one thing on their minds
and in their hearts...
Our Troops.
I hope as you enjoy your camping, bon-fires, cookouts,
parades, fishing, gardening, swimming,
and family this Memorial day weekend.
I hope you take time to remember those
who made all the freedoms we enjoy Possible.
Take some time to remember those who have given their
lives for those freedoms..
Then remember those who are serving today.
They are far away from home, camping,
cookouts, fishing, swimming, bon-fires, and family.
Remember them, and support them.
Thanks Mike
Thanks for running...
Our hearts will run with you..

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My First Day of Physical Therapy...

My First Day of Physical Therapy....

This is not how I feel.... :-(

My knee hurts

I iced it again and went to bed.

I'm up again and taking non-aspirin products since I can't take any aspirin with the new medication.

The therapy didn't do it..

I did...

Decided I could take a bath....

I was wrong !!!!!

Getting in was tricky, but I did it...

Getting out was difficult, but I did it....

And then the pain... whooo doggy.. pain..

I'm going to follow my therapist's advice.

Take it slow

Ice the knee at least 5 times a day

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Finally Read The Book: the Five People You Meet In Heaven

The Five People You Meet In Heaven
By: Mitch Albom

I love to read. After getting all involved in the computer revolution, well after learning to email and especially after finding fb. I just don't read like I use to. This past week I've had to stay quiet and keep my knee elevated, so I've spent a lot of time on my bed and the sofa.

I pick up books at yard sales, flea-markets, and library sale days. I have a stack that I've bought and a stack that others have given me. One I've wanted to read was "the five people you meet in heaven". I loved the book that Mitch Albom wrote " Tuesdays With Morrie". So I guessed this book would be good too.

It was interesting. I guess my idea of Heaven is a little different; tho Mitch's idea of us all having a connection on a greater level with each person we meet then we realize is a good one. It's really quite interesting to hear that almost all beliefs have an idea of a "Heaven". I have mine too. It's changed since I was a little girl. Goodness, It's changed since I've been an adult, but back to the book.

I liked Eddie. I felt kind of sorry for him. All the years he spent wanting a relationship with his dad. His longing for the love of his life (his wife) , his nightmares of serving in the war and his injury, and his desire to know if he saved the little girl that he died trying to protect.

I walked with Eddie through each meeting. The one thing that I really liked and that really stood out was the fourth lesson. Eddie is with his wife Marguerite. They are discussing how he thought she died to soon. How he continued to love her, and how she felt that love. Marguerite tells Eddie that
" Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it.
You dance with it.
Life has to end, Love doesn't.'

Having lost so many of my family members at a young age, I learned quickly that Love never ends. Memories are the places that hold that love and keep it alive.

As for Heaven and meeting 5 people, I'm not sure about that. I tried to envision what 5 people I might meet first in Heaven and frankly I'm not sure. I know which 5 I'd like to see first. Then I wonder if that 5 would change.
It might.

I had thought for years after my brother Keith and my papa (my adopted Dad) died that I wanted to see them first. I knew it with everything that was in me. Then the day came, a Sunday, where I suddenly realized that they were not the first ones I wanted to see. The one I really wanted to see was my Savior, Jesus.

I know the Bible says that I will see him face to face, Nothing in between. No veil, no angels, no Pastors, nothing.. I'll get to see him and He will see me. I like to think it will be like the photo above. He will throw His arms around me and hug me. He will say " Welcome Home". I get tears just thinking about it.

The others I see after that will just be icing on the cake, gravy on the biscuit, butter on the bread. My brother, my adopted parents, my Daddy Tom (my birth father), Aunts, Uncles, cousins, friends, teachers, all those I have known and those who have known me.

I know we will eat a big dinner all together. The Bible says so. I want to meet all the great men and women of the Bible and those of Faith. I want to hear their stories. I want to watch the videos. The Bible also says that I will Worship God. It won't just be me, but a great multitude, I'm thinking that will be a lot of folks.
There will be angels too.
That's going to be one great Praise and Worship service.

It was good to think about all those who have impacted my life. Those who know or maybe don't know how they made me who I am today.
Heaven, it's gonna be a great place.

Ahhh A wonderful Shower...

Ahhhh A Wonderful Shower...

I finally got into the shower today for the first time in a week.
OK, OK, it's not because I'm some kind of a weirdo freak unwashed person, but because I had knee surgery a week ago.
My knee feels somewhat wobbly, but good; so I decided today was the day.

I'm a Bath girl. I love long, hot, bubble filled bathtubs. good for relaxing and washing.

I am NOT a shower girl.

The time had come...
I had hubby at the ready "just in case". Surveyed the shower, arranged soap, shampoo, fluffy scrubby, towels, bandages, clothes, and hair stuff.
I realized I could grab and hold onto the window sill, so I told hubby to sit in the living room and I'd call if I needed help.

In I went. The step up was higher then I remembered, but I was in. whew... now to get the water on.. hmmm waiting waiting.. OK,
finally water, and let's see, I guess I pull up on this thing.... waiting..
yowwwww.. the water is cold.. whew.. there it goes.. warm.

after the shock wore off I was showering like an old pro. I even got the hair washed and was out in under 7 minutes.

Not to bad for bath girl.

It was good. I felt clean and new. Fresh and happy.

How did God know that such a small thing as a bath or a shower could make us feel human, glorious, fresh, and New.
I'm glad for that feeling. To often in my busy life I forget how wonderful little things like warm water, shampoo, and soap with a scrubby can feel.

Today I had a shower, and it was wonderful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I LOVE Packing Soldier Boxes....

This is probably the most fun I have throughout the year. It's Box packing day, and I'm pumped.

I'm a member of the Troop Support Group
"My Heart Supports The Troops". The group packs boxes for deployed Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We pack boxes twice a month year round. Troops receive the boxes for the length of their deployment. Since March of 2003 we have mailed over 10,000 packages to over 1000 different Troops in all branches of the Military and from every corner of the country.

In the beginning our group leader, Cheryl, decided that our boxes would be different from other groups. She decided "theme" boxes would be fun for us to pack and for our Troops to receive.. There have been many themes over the past 7 yrs. The favorites vary from Troop to Troop. Most love the Christmas boxes; especially the ones with the homemade cookies and candies. Some favorites have been Barbie, bug, luau, poker party, pizza party, Nascar, and pirate boxes.

This box was our annual " Great American Memorial Day Picnic Box". It was full of all the typical memorial day picnic items including beach balls, ants, chips, gummy hamburgs and hot dogs, chips, nuts, jerky, flags, bugs, bug catchers, and even a campfire kit for making s'mores...
(We have a very creative bunch)

All the items are donated. Yep, you heard me right, DONATED.. We have Individuals, Businesses, Churches, Scout Troops, Schools, Unions, and Clubs. All the sunscreen, chips, girl scout cookies, books, magazines, USA today papers, Everything you see in the boxes was donated..
I do add a few little things of my own for my special "Soldier" box.
***only if there is room... :-)

enjoy the pictures.. and remember that you can support our Troops too.. no matter your political views we all need to support our Troops.. Join a group in your area. Donate to a group. Donate money for postage, and items for box packing. There are groups everywhere.. get involved, write letters, send emails.. you can google Troop support groups and get info. on numerous organizations.... You can find our group website at:
You will find more info. about the group, donations, pictures, upcoming events, etc.. Remember to say Thanks too. It's a small thing, but means the world to anyone in the Military...

Campfire kit

A few extras from me. Chocolate fudge, a red white and blue sparkly bow-tie, Flag, chips, oreos, chips ahoy, along with Jerky and M&M's

Toys for the Troops.. Frisbees, Balls, even Bubbles.
a lot of the toys end up with the local Children.

The Girl scouts in our area donate over 1000 boxes of cookies and cans of nuts and fruit slices every year.

Kermit even loves our Troops.. He is the official "Bug Catcher" for this box.

My Box ready to go. it's full of all kinds of yummy Picnic food...

Then it's off to the taping crew.. They make sure our boxes are just right.

Beginning the stack of boxes to be taken out to mail the next day. Our list includes about 40 names right now.. We have had as many as 100 during the Christmas holidays.

The VFW Post #2777 Sponsors the group. They also give us room to store some of the donated items, and we pack the boxes at their facility.

The Tank...
Many of our Veterans come out and pack boxes, donate items, and spend time helping with fund raising events. One Korean War Vet. made our Troops quilts.
Am I proud to be part of this group?? you bet.
God Bless America
God Bless Our Troops....

My Extra "Day in the Life" Fun Fotos..

Tuesday... The fun never ends.... I continue my mad cleaning spell. I'm not sure how long it will be until I can bend, scrub, and clean stuff, make beds ( I have one I wrestle with for 20 minutes to get it made up), cook, carry, etc.. so literally until Thursday morning I was trying to make sure all the big stuff was cleaned or at least wiped off.

My biggest chore of the day is Laundry. loads and loads of it. Now, you may ask " Karen, uh there are only two of you, so why all the laundry?" simple, I put it off, then decided I needed to finish washing all the doilies, bedding, blankets, summer clothes, etc. that I didn't get earlier this spring.

A few of my favorite laundry aids.. that and I just love the color... I am so into color. I'm so glad God made our world so full of color..

Hubby allowed another trip to the pizza parlor for supper. He really is a good guy. I was so tired and still trying to make lists of things that had to be done... Hungry Howie's was the place.. It was wonderful.. I even saved some for my "after surgery" snack...

This is one of my favorite fotos.. Rosie is waiting for Daddy's attention. I think he has a snack that she is longing for, or she is ready to head outside and see if she can chase off those squirrels.. she hates them..
That is a picture of total devotion, and unconditional love...

Wed. May 12th.. I'm BACK...

I finally made my way to the computer.. LOL actually I was out here yesterday. I spent a few hours trying to catch up on the fb stuff. I paid for it last night.. swelling and pain.. so today will be less time.. and I will have to elevate. I have a plastic storage box I'm using right now. We'll see how this works..

I just loved the Day in the Life series from the past week. I took pictures on Tuesday, technically day 8.. and on wed. day 9.. I'm going to post a few from Tuesday cause I like 'em.. and I'm going to add wed. It was Box packing day and it was a lot of fun.

My surgery went well. I have a lot less pain this time. I'm trying to keep it moving. Stitches will come out on Friday. I'll get the low down then. Apparently the Dr. couldn't wake me up after surgery. I could hear him calling my name, but just couldn't respond. LOL
hope you are having a great week..

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Am One Whipped Puppy...

This is how my week of Cleaning and getting ready for my knee surgery began. Full of ideas, energy, and looking oh so cute and stylish.

This is how I feel tonight... I am one whipped puppy. I got almost everything done. The rest will wait for me.

I took photos of Packing boxes for the Troops tonight. I'll post them later. I have to go take a shower and go to bed. Kind of weird I think. Not just one shower tomorrow.. but I have to take one tonight and tomorrow morning... And I MUST use anti-bacterial soap. thank God I have some..
OK, I'm off to my shower.. I'll let you know how things go when I can get down and up a stair. I am sure I will be in agony with no computer for a few days. I can't wait to get out here again. Now to find something I can use to elevate my leg.

A Day in the Life: Day 7- Monday...

I can hardly believe that an entire week has passed already.

If you read one of my posts about going to the Doctor or for tests back in Feb. you will see that I'm back. My blood pressure meds are not working well. I'm to tired all the time. So we talked and have adjusted the meds. So this is how the day begins.

I told you all about the Pink exam rooms. As you can see, this is the section of the office where the Blue rooms are. hmmm didn't realize that before. I told the nurse that I wanted the girl rooms, she looked at me as if I had just escaped from the local loony bin. I laughed and she left.

Remember that there are some really great posters and other stuff in the room to entertain you until the Dr. can get to you.

Here are some other things you can entertain yourself with. I love the gloves, and the tongue depressors. I was sorry to see that the depressors are now sealed in sterile packs. kind of sad, but more sterile. Probably a better way to go if you want to avoid germs.

This is a dear friend of mine, Juanita. She works in the lab and draws blood. I'm so glad she works at our office. I have very difficult veins to work with. She never has any problem. She is getting ready to draw my blood now.. she makes it much easier to tolerate.

After the Dr.'s office, my friend Connie and I decide to head to Sam's to shop. I thought lunch would be good, so did she. We went to this delightful little place and had wonderful sandwiches.

Then it was on to Sams. I love to look at Sams.. I buy stuff, but I still love looking at everything. I stocked up on some stuff so that hubby will not have to try and go to the grocery store. He doesn't do well at the store. He hates going to the store so would go to the local convenience store and pay lots more just so he doesn't have to go to a big store.

This is one of my Bessies.. This is Connie. We've been friends for longer then I can remember. Our husbands worked together at GM for years. We have a lot in common. She is a great friend. the kind I wish everyone had ...

A few shots inside. The size of Sams stores just amazes me.

After shopping we usually stop here and get a drink and a dog, or pizza. Since we ate lunch today before shopping, we just got something to drink.

This is the pot of chili I made to have for supper... It was wonderful.. then as usually off to the computer to check my fb. play the games.. and then off to bed...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Day in the Life: Day 6 Sunday....

If I had a to choose a favorite day of the week, I'd choose Sunday hands down. It's the day that I get to worship with my Church Family. It's a special time of Bible study, singing, praising, praying, and learning. It's a feast for my soul. Some weeks are difficult to navigate through. I have my own time of prayer and bible study during the week, but there's just something about Sunday. A day to re-charge, to be encouraged, to see God and myself in new ways. It's also a time of reflection. A time to see where I'm not following as I should. A time of self examination that sometimes reveals sin I was not aware of , or was intentionally overlooking. I long for Sunday. My soul revels in it and my spirit is lifted in a way that can not be duplicated during the week. God knew what He was doing when He told us not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together. He knew we would need each other to lift us up, to encourage, and to work along side us.
I am often lax in telling my Church family what they mean to me. I love them. I need them. I pray for them. I know I can count on them to pray for me.
They are God's special blessing to me.

This is Bob (white shirt), He is one of our greeters. He Greets me every Sunday morning. He is stationed by one of our back doors. You won't sneak past him. He will hug your neck and ask how you are. He really wants to know. Bob is one of the sweetest, most sincere, most loving and concerned servants of God I've ever had the privilege of knowing. I'm so glad he is part of my Church family.

This is Miss Ruby(print jacket) and Miss Robbie. Robbie is Greeter Bob's wife. These ladies have taught me a lot about how a Christian wife and mother lives. They are wonderful role models and mentors. They are steadfast in their faith. Their love for everyone knows no bounds. Miss Ruby always has a kind word and a hug. Miss Robbie notices when you are gone, she is quick to call and check on you, or drop a note and let you know you were missed. I want to be just like them.

These are two more extraordinary women. Cheryl (right) is Miss Ruby's daughter. she is so much fun. Look at that smile. Then there is miss Betty. The best chicken fryer in these parts. I love watching her, Miss Ruby, and Miss Opal cook. They have pretty much retired from kitchen duties, but you will find them in the kitchen now and then "helping". You can just see the Joy of the Lord on their faces. The best thing is that Joy also pours out onto others cause it lives in them.

I started attending Frank and Christi's Bible study class this past winter. I didn't really know most of the people in it. Oh I knew them if we passed in the hallway. But I didn't really "Know" them. I have loved getting to "Know" them. I love the discussions, ideas, perspectives. These folks are not afraid to put themselves out there. I love it. one of my friends in class refers to us as "the island of misfit toys" We are different ages (18-80) from different backgrounds, and are at different levels of Christian maturity, some would call some of us misfits.. I'm so glad that with God we all Fit...

This is another picture of the class. Frank and Christi are the couple in the back by the board. They are excellent Bible teachers. They make studying the Bible exciting.

I tried taking photos of the Praise team.. (the three girls on the platform) but every one of them was blurry. I love the music they choose to sing. It's contemporary but full of God. We are transitioning from traditional to a more contemporary service. Change is often difficult, but it keeps us on our toes. When we get to comfortable, we get stagnant...

I tried several times to get a good photo of Pastor Kevin. It just wasn't possible. LOL He moves all the time. I didn't realize how much he preaches with his hands.

This is our Pastor Kevin and his wife Debbie. A dedicated and wonderful couple. We are so Blessed to have them be part of our Fellowship...

This is Alex.. He is stationed in the fellowship hall collecting donations for one of the Student Ministries "dinners". The Students will be going on a Mission trip to Chicago this summer. The Students work at various activities to raise money to pay for their trip. Alex looked so sweet I had to make a donation...

Some of the Students and Teachers dishing up the dinner. Sloppy Joes, Chips, and coleslaw.

I made my donation to lunch at Church.. Hubby wanted grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for lunch.. I made them and then it was back to the room. clean, sort, toss, organize, condense, move to the place where it belongs, re-locate, and finally after about 25 hours I was done...

I finally finished it up. I didn't get the drawers cleaned out. Nor did I get the file cabinets organized, but all the junk is out of here and I can breath and enjoy my time here. It is not a place of chaos but of peace and rest now... I collect perfume bottles, and other dresser things. I told hubby I really need shelves to put them on. He agreed some maybe he will get a chance to make me some this summer.

I love looking at the nice clean area. Now don't get me wrong, The room needs painting in a bad way. the foundation of the house has settled and there are cracks. there is a hole in the ceiling from when the guys put in the new rafters. the house is old and needs an update.. but all in all it's a much more pleasant place to be.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Day in the Life: Day 5 Saturday.. What a day !!!

I can't believe that it's Saturday already. Where has the time gone. I'm already on day 5.. you know my morning routine. It is not the same as far as breakfast or when I get started, but it's usually pretty uneventful.

This morning I thought I'd peak at the lilacs. They are opening up. I wish you could smell them. in another day or two they will all be open and sending their perfume through the yard.

I thought this photo turned out kind of cool. I love taking pictures. I'm not very good at it, so I take tons of them and then weed through and pick out the ones that are pretty good..

I had to make another trip to Meijers. There were some good deals on TV dinners and Hubby wanted me to get some extra. He thinks they are pretty good for lunch. I decided on McDonalds for lunch. We haven't had their fish sandwiches in a while, and thought they would be a good change. Yes, I know probably more fat in the frying and the tater sauce and cheese then in a burger. They are yummy. very yummy...

I have a party tonight. My Niece and great Niece (her daughter) have graduated from College. They are now officially Dental Hygienists. It's very exciting as they both have worked long and hard for the past 6 yrs. I'm so proud of them. More about that later. All of us party attendees were asked to bring a dish. I know the girls love Dump cake. It's easy peasy to make and then it just bakes and your done. I'll add the recipe later. but you will see the basic ingredients except for the butter in the photo.

Here is the cake all baked. It didn't really brown the way I like, but I had about a 1 inch sliver the width of the pan left over when I brought the dish home. It's very yummy...

Some of you wonder why my Special Soldiers and Marines like my little additions to their boxes. This is why.. LOL fudge, jerky, homemade cookies, m & m's, and oreos.

The big weekend project is to clean out my room. It has been the catch all for everything over the past 10 yrs or so. If there wasn't a place elsewhere it was stuck in here. There is also all my craft stuff that can't get damp or be in places where there are huge temperature changes. I have filing cabinets full of papers, crafts, Bible studies, and just piles in here. I took condensed, tossed, and moved all kinds of things. It took me 5 hours to clean the first 3 feet. I still look in shock at it. after 25 hrs. of hard work the room is looking good. You will see those photos on Day 6.

The guests of honor at the Party. Heather and Mom Melissa.

There were toasts and gag gifts from Ken, Melissa's special friend. We had no idea that at the end of the gifts He would tell Melissa that the gifts for her were done, and he thought she should give him a gift. He hit his knee and proposed. We were all stunned. None of us knew except for Melissa's parents. Ken had made a trip down a couple of weeks earlier to ask their Blessing.
Ken is an exceptional man and Melissa is a very special woman. It is so thrilling to be part of their new forever journey. The party really got under way and there was lots and lots of celebrating.

The ring was oohed and ahhed over appropriately.

The evening ended for me a little early. I had a room to work on cleaning. On our way out the Karaoke machine had been fired up and Ken sang the first song "White Wedding" to Melissa. It was so sweet. I can't wait for the wedding.