Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School, Looking for Work, Wedding Pictures

Josh is a 6th grader now. Our least favorite part so far is the having to get up before 6AM to get him ready to catch the bus. But we've managed 2 days now.

He had a great first day of school Monday. His only problem was that his sunglasses broke as he got on the bus. But by the time he got home, he had them repaired. His new nurse seems very sweet and Josh showed confidence in her abilities, so that is saying alot.

We started out this morning (the 2nd day of school) with a snag. About the time the bus was supposed to be here to pick him up, we got a couple of phone calls that his new nurse, Michelle, was in the emergency room. She is suffering from an allergic reaction to a medication - no word on how serious - but it means that Josh is not riding the bus this morning. His doctor orders state he must be accompanied by a trained nurse to and from school and at all times during the school day. So, they would have to find a replacement for Michelle. In the meantime, I needed to bring Josh to school and he could sit with his old nurse, Maria, who is now the school nurse; and he can stay in her office until she can find someone to take her place.

So, I took Josh in and offered to stay with him in his class until they could find someone, but Maria said that was not necessary. I just got a call from Josh as I was writing this blog; and he is still in Nurse Maria's office - even though class has already begun. He was calling because he wanted me to come to eat lunch with him today at 11:40AM. I told him I might - especially because they may have trouble finding someone to relieve Maria so she can have a lunch break.

I've applied for several jobs but have so far not even been called in anywhere for an interview. That is very depressing. But I know God has something for me in His time and I need to wait on the Lord. I'm confident that He will provide for our needs in His way. But of course, I am nervous and we are barely scraping by. If you don't mind, say a little prayer for me. I so want us to be out of debt. The answers in my mind are that our house sells or I get a great paying job suddenly - but God may have something else in mind that I don't realize. And try as I may to be patient, it just doesn't seem to be working.

Well, we got Steffany married (see pictures taken by friends below - still don't have the professional shots) and semi-moved out. Her room upstairs is still filled with her belongings waiting for their move to a new apartment. She doesn't want to move everything twice in a short period of time. That makes sense. As soon as she decides what she doesn't want, I will try to sell or give that stuff away.


And I made a great find yesterday - a carseat for Steffany's baby due in January. A couple who lives nearby had been given this Cosco carseat through a group called FreeCycle (a yahoo group whose goal is to keep as much as possible out of landfills). They no longer needed it and offered it up. I just happened to respond to them in time and they gave it to me. I worked yesterday evening taking the cloth off and washing it and scrubbing down the rest of the surfaces to make sure it was nice and sanitary. I put it back together late last night before bed and it is in great shape. Now, I'll have a way to transport my new grandbaby after he/she gets here - praise the Lord!

James told me last night his work schedule may be changing soon. He's not sure, but will likely have to work overnights again. This is bittersweet for him. He'd rather work days because its so hard to get good rest sleeping days. But at least he will be awake to see Josh off on the bus in the mornings if he works nights. And he'll get to eat dinner with us that way, too. Right now, James doesn't even get to see Josh awake at all during the week. James is sleeping when Josh gets up for school, and by the time he wakes, Josh is gone. Then, when Josh gets home, James is at work until long after his bedtime. At least they have the weekends.

Oh, and James decided to come and maybe help out with AWANA this year. We had a leaders meeting Sunday, and even though I didn't even ask him, James said maybe he needed to go to it with me. I was super happy to have him offer. Now he has a shirt ordered and will likely be working in with the boys Josh's age. That will give him some more quality time with his son - and I am sure glad.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wedding Day - slideshow

August 15, 2009... our daughter, Steffany wed Bryan Walton Boyd.

I will post pictures of the wedding soon... some that friends & family took, others that are professionally made... as we get them and I get a chance to get them on here. But for now, I leave you with the video of the slideshow I prepared for the couple and families on their wedding day:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Papa Tom Passes

We are in Odessa this week before Steffany's wedding because my father-in-law, who has been battling cancer for the last 6 years or so, had a stroke Friday, August 7th. At that time, he became non-responsive and slipped into a coma. He was already in a hospice house to manage his pain (he'd been in and out of the hospice house several times in the past year). The doctors and nurses told the family this looked like it would be his final hours and they might want to get all in the family here quickly.

We remained at home until Monday because we had to go with Steffany and her fiancee to get their marriage license, since she is still a minor. After some last minute chaos at the courthouse (lost money), we scrambled, got it together and then headed out for Odessa.

We arrived in Odessa about 5pm Monday, and went straight for the Hospice House. Tom was still clinging to life. We were told even though he was in a coma, he could hear us and would at times wrinkle his forehead and even try to open his eyes a bit.

A large group of us encircled his bed, sharing past stories and catching up. As the hour got later, the silence grew in the room as we listened only to the sounds of Tom's shallow breathing and ticking of the clock on the wall. We decided it would be a good idea to "sing" him to Jesus. We chose several gospel songs Tom had loved and all joined in singing. It was a lovely sound. Slowly, members of our group said their goodbyes and slipped from the room. Around 12:30, I took my turn and took the kids to my mom's to try and sleep some, leaving James and a few others to sit vigil with Tom.

My cell phone rang a few minutes before 5 in the morning. James simply said 4:46. That is the time Tom slipped from this world and followed his saviour home to heaven.

Tom's wish was for nobody to spend a large amount of money on his death and burial, so he asked that his body be donated to science. So, after his body was picked up at 7 that morning, there would be no more viewings, etc.

Below is the obituary the family asked me to prepare to run in the local Odessa American Newspaper:

ODESSA Dudley Thomas “Tom” Wooten, Jr., 66, a lifelong resident of Odessa, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009, at Hospice House of Odessa following a very long, courageous battle with cancer. He was born Dec 31, 1942 to Dudley Thomas Sr and Zelma Wooten.

Tom was a retired tool pusher and driller.

He and wife Betty Jane Nelson, married for 42 years, raised a large, loving family, who will miss him very much.

Preceding him in death are his parents, three brothers, Nicky, Terry and Curtis, and sons Tommy Ray and Troy Lee.

Left to grieve his loss are wife, Betty, sons: Terry and wife Rena, James and wife Vanessa, and Ronald; daughters: Janice and husband Scott, and Lavada and husband Wayne; brothers: Jim and wife Rose, Bill, Allen and Dub and sister Joyce, along with sixteen grandchildren: Diana, Tisha, Tammy, Tommy Allen, Angel, Gene, Mindy, Brandon, Misty, Aaron, Natasha, Kathy, Ryan, Shawn, Steffany, and Joshua; and 28 great-grand children.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held 10:30am Thursday, August 13th at West Odessa First Baptist Church with Bro. Glenn Clark officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Hospice House of Odessa.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Hospice House staff. Words cannot express our gratitude for your kindness, gentleness and compassion during Tom’s passing.

Some of my fondest memories of Tom include.....

when he came to the hospital after Joshua was born and just sat and held him, staring at him for what seemed like hours. He was so proud of that baby boy......

and then finding out that Tom walked the aisle at his church in Odessa the same day as Josh did at our church, both telling their respective preachers that they wished to be baptized. Tom and Betty were baptized a week after Josh so we could be here to see them. And the church here in Odessa got ahold of the video of Josh's baptism and played it for the church just before proceeding with Tom and Betty's baptism....

and Tom loved to hunt and fish with James and Josh. Tom and James even picked out a special gun to give Josh that had two different size barrels on it. It is certainly one of Joshua's most prized possessions today.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wedding Plans, Papa Tom worse, Nurse Jenny's friend dies from Swine Flu

We have so much going on right now that time seems to just fly by.

We are preparing for Steffany's wedding coming up August 15th.

Invitations are ready and sent out.

She's got a dress (not the one pictured below.. but one equally as lovely)

Her dress is out having a bustle (like the one pictured below) put in
(to keep the train up after the ceremony).

She's got the shoes (similar to these),

and garters (similar to these).

She is borrowing a beautiful tiara (somewhat like this).

She designed all the bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.

She did have some help from Josh, his nurse, my sister Amanda and me.

She's decorated her unity candle set.

We have even got our clothes for the wedding.

James got fitted for his tuxedo, so he can give away his daughter; but it has not come in yet.

And today, she and her fiance, Bryan picked up their wedding flutes and went to visit with the minister who will marry them.

This weekend, Steffany has another ob doctor visit. She will be almost 17 weeks pregnant by then. And we also meet Bryan's grandparents at their home over the weekend.

Joshua's health has been fairly stable. His main trouble lately has been his temperature going up and him getting really sweaty when he gets off the vent and outside much - even when he is in the swimming pool and you would think that would cool him off plenty. But get him inside on the vent, in the air conditioning and drinking a tall drink with lots of ice, and his temp comes back down and he recovers nicely.

Josh went to the dentist today (well, Wednesday Aug 5th). He got a pretty good report - no cavities, but he needs to brush a little better. And the dentist mentioned he has a cross bite that may need fixing sometime in the next year - once his canine teeth all come in. But he said that should not be a difficult or lengthy fix.

Of course, Josh is still connected to his ventilator almost all the time as we wait for his lung doctor to be ready to start us on the diaphragmatic pacemakers. I imagine that will happen around our next scheduled visit to him - September 1st.

Papa Tom

We are really worrying more about the health of Joshua's Papa Tom right now. You may remember back almost a year ago, doctors said Tom's cancer was terminal and estimated his life expectancy would be around 3 months. Well, Tom way outlasted their predictions. But that isn't all necessarily good news, because he is hurting so badly and worrying so much about things he cannot change. Tom has been in and out of hospice care for months. Everytime things look so grim that we're sure he can't possibly make it much longer, he seems to get enough better to go back home. He has even been well enough (at times) to go on short outings with the family. But he has fallen several times and has become so weak he cannot get out of the bed now. He is weapy more and in so much pain. We continue to pray for complete healing for Tom - whether that be in this life or in heaven. We hope for his pain and suffering to be over.

Swine Flu Death

And we have been touched by a tragic death related to swine flu. The victim is a 31 year old wife and mother - a dear friend and former colleague of Joshua's nurse, Jenny. Jenny's friend, Melissa Cantu developed pnuemonia after catching swine flu just before making a trip with her family to San Antonio and New Braunfels in mid-July. Melissa was hospitalized days after the trip back in Corpus Christi where she lived. She had to be put on a ventilator and was in very bad shape for the next two weeks. Jenny shared with us news of Melissa's illness and hospitalization and asked us to pray for her - which we did daily.

Jenny went over the weekend to visit Melissa's family in Corpus Christi. Monday, back here with us, she said there was talk about whether Melissa would benefit from a tracheostomy tube - like Joshua's. The tube could allow her to remain on a ventilator but maybe free her to talk and eat and drink, etc. It sounded very encouraging. But late Monday night, Jenny texted me that her friend, Melissa was dying. She'd had a heart attack and cardiac arrest. The family was being called together at the hospital to prepare them. Minutes later, Melissa passed away.

Melissa had two children, the youngest only 3 years old. She did not have any health insurance. The doctor's office where Melissa had worked is planning a bar-b-cue benefit to help pay for medical/burial costs. It will be held this Sunday, August 9th in Corpus Christi. And a bank account was opened to help with fundraising for her family at the Army/Navy Credit Union.

Here is a link to a website with the story about Melissa and the benefit and bank account: http://www.caller.com/news/2009/aug/04/breaking_news_080409/?partner=RSS

Looking for a Job
I am currently looking for work. I was hoping to get the chance to work at Joshua's school - especially with his transitioning to pacers. But that job was filled; and apparently all the others with the school district. So, I am looking at all my options. I want to be doing what God chooses for me. I would like to think it would be in a job that uses my office skills, but I really don't know what job that is exactly. I have been applying for various positions and praying for guidance.

House Sale Update
And we are still trying to sell our house. We dropped the price some last week and included information about the new neighborhood park that is in the works. So far this week, we have had 3 showings. That is the most we've had in any given one week time since the house has been on the market. But we have not really had any feedback on the showings. So, we are hoping God brings just the right person/family along to make an offer we can accept.

Oh, and on a happy note - I am an "aunt" now to a brand new baby kitten! My sister, Amanda is "Mama" to this little cutie we named Lilly.

She is 6 weeks old.

Discovery Documentary - Life or Death : Battling to Breathe