Friday, June 30, 2006

Grandpa Update Friday Evening

After being away from home since 6am, Ken and I travelled to Rome today to pick up Noah and Josiah (pictures tomorrow, I hope), I am finally able to give a short update on Ken's Dad.

As of this evening, Grandpa is in PCU, a step above intensive care..but still not a regular room. He is having bladder spasms that are causing him pain. The assessment is that the bleeding was indeed from too much Cumiden in in his system causing his blood to thin out so much it spilled into his urine. He will be in the hospital until his urine is clear once again, his blood thickened up, and he has control over urinating without a catheter.

Please pray for Ken and his brother, Tim, as they take turns staying at the hospital with Dad. Dad is growing impatient with his situation.

And pray for Ken's Mom, Mary. She is patiently waiting at home for her sweet man to return to her. :-)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Grandpa Update Thursday Morning

As of this morning, Grandpa is in ICU at Eastside Hospital in Snellville. He is fairly stabilized, but they still have not determined the source of the bleeding. Ken has gone to spend the day at the hospital with his dad. Thanks to everyone for your calls, emails, and prayers. I'll update when there is any news to share.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Prayers for Grandpa Still

Ken's father was rushed to the local ER this morning. We believe his blood thinner has gotten too concentrated in his system. Prayerfully, he will only be there a few days and will return home "as good as new".

This is a picture I took of Grandpa and Noah recently as they were observing the work being done on Ken's barn.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Josiah the serious horseman

Saw this picture on the camp website this morning. I cracked up seeing how serious he looks at the task that is before him. He really does like riding horses and wants to be as good as David at it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Sight for Sore Eyes!

Just in case anyone is prone to look at my blog regularly but not at Mary Helen's, I'm posting a picture here from her blog this morning. I was THRILLED to open her blog today and see this picture of our four youngins all together at an event at camp. Seeing them all smiling and happy together has my heart melting.

Momma Grand....see what you're responsible for?! They are so happy and blessed in this experience because of you!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ken's newest chicken

Although Mary Helen was away at camp for Father's Day, she left a special gift behind for him to open in her absence. Upon opening the gift, Ken discovered his newest Stillville chicken...a guitar playing, blues lovin', well-groomed Rooster. Ken is still contemplating his name. He has him proudly displayed in the living room for all to see. Be sure to check 'em out the next time you visit. :-)

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Porker's favorite place

Like most cats, Porker favors drinking water from a running faucet. Daily, we turn on bathroom faucets for him to have a cool drink.

A very funny thing about Porker is that his FAV place in our house to rest or take a nap is also a bathroom sink! We frequently walk into one of our three bathrooms to find Porker asleep in the sink. I managed to get him to look right at the camera for this shot. LOL

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Night out with Kevin and Kary

Every couple should have friends that remind them of their youth! Kevin and Kary Kennedy do that for me and Ken. Tonight we met Kevin and Kary at a quaint "meat and potatoes" restaurant in Monroe called the Butcher's Block. They serve delicious steaks at a very affordable price.

I don't really look 15 years older than Kary...DO I??? Thank goodness Myke and Amanda (Salon 124) can cut and color me just right. ;-)

Here we are..."footloose and fancy free".....Thanks to MOMMA GRAND! How many ways can we thank her for sending the children to camp??? Never enough. :-)
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Noah at Camp

Today I've been able to spot Noah in a few pictures on the camp website. I think in the first one he is in a "rocketry" class, and of course, in the second one he is in horseback riding class. Mary Helen sent me an email yesterday that she had seen Noah when carrying something over to boys' camp. She said it was sure good to hug his neck. He had not seen her in 3 1/2 weeks.

All that my boys know about riding horses, they first learned at Camp WinShape. Brother Steven Starling has told me many times that he is real impressed with the horse knowledge they have from camp.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A "slip n' slidin' Flintstone"

Ok, now, these are pretty funny. The first one is Mary Helen demonstrating how one should "slip n' slide" properly. The next one is a group of counselors dressed appropriately for an evening of Flintstone inspired box car racing. Each cabin of little girls is given a large cardboard box that has to be converted (via spray paint, etc) into a Flintstone racer. Then, of course, a car race (foot powered, naturally) take place. In case the picture is too small for you to tell, Mary Helen is the counselor on the far right of the picture. What memories she'll have of this summer!

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Josiah at camp

Here are a couple of Josiah at camp. (Just so you know, there are not any good ones of Noah to post yet.)

Looks like boys getting ready to rides horses. Of course, Josiah has chosen to stick out his tongue rather than smile with the other boys. Oh well....

According to the pictures that were also posted with this one, the boys were playing ball and Josiah is a baseman.

David at camp

Here are a couple of pictures of David I've come across on the WinShape website. He is smiling and appears to be having fun! Whoo Hoo! :-) Sorry the pictures are so small, but WinShape puts them on the site in super small files so that they can be viewed more quickly.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Lake House

Our dear friend Barb Cushing and her family will soon be moving to Tucson, Arizona. Barb's husband, Norm, has already relocated, and Barb and their son, Cody, will be joining Norm in about 3 weeks. :-( Major sadness for all of us who love them so much.

Tonight, Gail and I took Barb out for Mexican food and a good chick flick. The food at the new Mexican place in Snellville was delicious.

After supper, we went to see a new movie called The Lake House. With Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves in the main roles...we hoped it would be pretty good. was WONDERFUL! Yes, it is based on a time concept that couldn't possibly happen...but it is a love story to the fullest! I highly recommend it to anyone who likes chick flicks.

Barb, Carolyn, and Gail

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Monday, June 19, 2006

On your mark, get set,...VACATION

Wow, what a feeling it was to drive away from Berry College and Camp WinShape yesterday afternoon without any children! Ken and I almost giggled as we made our way over to Jeremy's house to have dinner with his family. Since they live so close to Berry, they invited us to begin our vacation by sharing a meal and fellowship with them. We had a wonderful time, pigged out on delicious shiskabobs, and chatted until late into the evening. We finally made it home about midnight and crawled into bed in our quiet house. :-)

It did not take long, though, until the silence was broken by the sound of Porker, our cat, meowing. Porker walked around the house throughout the night meowing like he was wondering where all the kids were. He went in and out of the boys' room meowing as well. It was odd and comical.

Today was full of errands, lunch with Mr. Shoultz of AYC , a trip to Alpharetta to visit Sister Cagle in the hospital, and then a late mexican dinner with my sweetheart. It was a full day...and a very pleasant one.

Ken and I were both so blessed by our visit with Br. and Sister Cagle. Those two precious saints of God have been married for 59 1/2 years! They married when he was 19 and she was only 15 years old. They still adore and love each other deeply. I was moved by the tenderness displayed watching him help her drink some water and helping her put some lip ointment on her dry lips.

Oh to have such a relationship for so many years with my own one true love!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Five Minutes and A Hug

After three long weeks, Ken and I were able to see Mary Helen for about 5 minutes on Father's Day. After we got the boys settled in their cabins at camp, we drove over to Girls' Camp and found her in active duty. She hugged us both and gladly took the brownies I'd made for her. I thought she looked pretty good considering all that she has been doing for the last 3 weeks. She said she'd gotten some good rest the day before on her day off...after doing her laundry and posting to her blog.

As we were about to leave, Mary Helen saw a little girl in the hallway who she'd actually met last year. Her name is ALSO Mary Helen! Isn't that cool! So, of course, I had to take a picture of the two Mary Helens.

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The roof goes on...Part Two

Ok, so here are three more, not two, of today's roof activity.

Once again, Tim's Genie tool was a life saver in being able to do the necessary work for putting the uppermost roof onto the barn.

I actually took this picture through a screened window on our back porch.

Ken and Tim scooted along roof to place the top cap onto the edges where the pieces of metal meet.

I was extremely thankful to see today's work completed without anyone getting hurt. I spent most of the day inside my kitchen where I had a great view of the work being accomplished. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 17, 2006

And the roof goes on...Part One

First let me say that for some reason I can't get Blogger to let me upload more than these 4 pictures, so I'll do a Part Two post with 2 more pictures I want to share from today.

Here is Ken getting started on the roof. What a great thing it is to have a big brother with the coolest tools ever! Ken is on Tim's "Genie" tool to find himself lifted up where he can easily do some of the initial work.

After a productive morning and afternoon, the metal is nearly all in place.

Each strip is carefully lifted into place...

and Ken measures each strip to make certain it is
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Living in a Bubble

I finally got to have a nice chat with Mary Helen today. It was the first "more than 5 minutes" conversation I've had with her since she left for camp 3 weeks ago. Three of her nine weeks are now over. And boy has she learned a lot in these three weeks. She has never been so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted as she has now experienced being a camp counselor. Her body, mind, heart, and soul are tapped into 100% daily.

One of the most interesting comments she made to me was that she finds herself "living in the WinShape Bubble". At first this sounded strange and almost comical, but the more she chatted about it, the more I realized that she, and all the rest of the camp, live a "camp life" that is separate, almost cut off (in a good way) from the outside world. She is so totally occupied by her camp responsibilities and her precious young campers, that she forgets that the outside world is happening without her. She LOVES being able to post a couple of times a week on her blog with a few pictures and a few words about what she is doing, but she admits to not being able to communicate much else other than that. She is not even responding to all of my emails (yes, I do probably email her too much....but it is because she is not here to chat with me daily). And several folks, including her Daddy and her Uncle Les, have also said they've emailed her but have not received a response other than the "gone for the summer" automatic response that her email is set to send anyone who emails her.

She told me that she had NO idea how all consuming this summer job would be. She does think God is moving in her life through this job, and she is completely satisfied that WinShape is where she should be this summer...but she is experiencing physical and emotional toll that she did not know she was capable of enduring. When I asked her about some AYC stuff for the upcoming year, she told me that she can't really think about anything but camp right now...all other aspects of her life need to "be on hold" until July 29th. "I'm living in the WinShape Bubble, right now. I'll resume "my life" after the last staff obligations on July 29th. Then I'll be ready to pick up my life where I "left it on hold" on May 28th."

Please don't misunderstand anything I'm writing, Mary Helen is very happy and loves her summer job. And she will leave the WinShape Bubble for a nice weekend in mid-July. Our family and Jeremy's family will celebrate Josiah's and Sister Elaine's birthdays by spending July 14th and 15th together at their home and at the lake on Brother Stephen Halbgewach's motor boat. She told me that she is looking forward to a break from life in the bubble on that weekend. After that time of family fun, she will only have 2 weeks until she comes home for good. By then, those will be a tough two weeks. Although she'll be glad to see the end of the summer nearing (a body can only sustain the activity level at which she is living for a certain period of time you know), it will also be very sad for her to see this incredible job come to a close.

My heart goes out to my daughter who has come to recognize that sometimes adult jobs bring along major adult responsibilties and sacrifices. She has discovered that with THIS job, she must sacrifice interacting with her regular life so that she can give all that is required of her for her camp life. I admire her greatly for realizing that in order to give 100% to the job for which she has been hired, she must close her mind to the outside world. Goodness knows that no one could live this way all the time, but we are talking about only 6 more weeks.

The other major part of our conversation today was how impressed she was with all of the young people with whom she is working. She said, "Mom, I'm living and working with some of the most godly young ladies and guys I've ever met. Camp WinShape has done an incredible job of hiring wonderful people to work at this camp." So, if she is living in a bubble where the life inside the bubble takes over her attention from the outside world, at least she is in the company of trustworthy, upstanding people.

I can't fully explain how much I miss my daughter. My heart aches daily when I can't chat with her. Not hearing from her via email last week had me extra upset. But now, after hearing about her perspective of life at camp as a counselor, I do believe I'll find it a little easier to endure the next 6 weeks. Instead of emailing her, perhaps I'll write out letters that I just don't mail. Then we she comes home at the end of July, she can have fun reading about what was going on outside of the bubble while she was working.

And really, with the boys all gone for the next two weeks, and David gone for the next four weeks, by the time we celebrate Josiah's 9th birthday, the long summer job will be nearly completed. The older I get, the faster time passes by....NO WISE CRACKS ALLOWED! :-)

Keep Mary Helen in your thoughts...even if she is not thinking about us! LOL! Just kidding!

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Visitor From Russia

Stillville was blessed to have a visitor from Russia today. Galina is a friend of Momma Grand's who is passing through Atlanta for a few days. Momma Grand brought Galina to Stillville today. Galina seemed to enjoy her visit..including holding a chicken!

Galina and Momma Grand seeing how the boys access the nests for collecting the eggs.

Galina was very impressed with Ken's handwork on the treehouse.

Thanks for coming to Stillville, Galina!! We enjoyed seeing Momma Grand TOO!

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Austin and the Alamo!

It is official! Whoo Hoo! Our family will be making its longest trip ever together in August. Ken has arranged for the time off, Brother Coy Thomas has agreed to preach at Shiloh on the Sunday we will be in gone, and Jeremy has agreed to be our fourth driver so that we can take our two small fuel efficient cars. So, 7 of us will drive to Austin in mid August to attend the Oak Hill Primitive Baptist Church's summer annual meeting, visit with the wonderful loved ones we have in Austin, and visit the Alamo over in San Antonio. In addition to all of that...we will celebrate Mary Helen's birthday while we are there as well. What a FABULOUS trip we have to look forward to!

Here is a picture of me and MH when we first visited the Alamo as part of the trip that just she and I made to Austin for Mark and Emily's wedding back in November of 1999. I have such sweet memories of that trip with my girl! I'm sure that this year's trip will be packed with its on special memories as well!

Can you believe that hair??

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Our Indian Girl

I came across this picture of Mary Helen from last night's Council Ring at camp. She has been given the Indian name, Gleeful Song Bird. Hopefully she will post on her blog sometime tomorrow after the first session campers have gone home. I'm quite tickled I was able to copy and past this picture from the camp website. I'll try to do this when the boys are gone on their camp experience.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Shiloh youngsters having fun!

For some reason, all of the pictures I wanted to put on the previous post would not upload all together, so this is a continuation of the last posting.

Here are Chelsey, Cori, and Chrissie being girl silly after church.

Danielle and Robin are hot and sweaty from running and playing.

I know this one is a bit blurry..but it is because all the kids were moving so fast playing basketball.

With it staying so light outside till so late these days, we find ourselves enjoying each other's company for nearly an hour after Bible Study has concluded. How wonderful for us all to have this time together! Posted by Picasa