Yes, this headband is permanently on Livia's head. She even sleeps in it. Well, you never know when you need to look your best!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Early last week, my grandmother was placed under hospice care and a hospital bed was moved into the living room of their apartment. I saw them both on the morning of Christmas Eve and they were happy and talkative. On Christmas night my grandfather had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where a catheterization was performed and revealed that three arteries were completely blocked and a fourth had minimal blood flow. The cardiologist believed that he had less than a week to live. He was moved back to their apartment to be near the love of his life.
They were both awake enough last evening to realize that they were together again. When the nursing staff pushed their beds side by side, my grandfather reached out and took his bride’s hand and held it. He tried to talk to her but she was not awake enough to respond, so he tried to get into her bed with her to hold her. He eventually settled down and rested.
As his wife’s breathing became more labored, his breathing remained steady. At just after 7 we noticed that her breathing had changed. My father took her hand and she took her last breath. At just after 9 the funeral director left the room with my grandmother, and my sister, Lisa, noticed that there were tears in the corners of my grandfather’s eyes. We also noticed that now his breathing had changed from steady to labored. My father took his hand told him that he loved him and that his wife was waiting for him. A few minutes later he opened his eyes and looked at my father and took his last breath.
This has been a long hard week of emotions. It is painful to lose any loved ones, but it is also painful to watch loved ones suffer. It has been particularly difficult to watch my father suffer the loss of both of his parents in such a very short time. The grief will subside, but I want to remember the love that they shared and his strength and love for his wife. By all accounts, he probably should have gone first. His heart should have given out first. I believe that he held on and stayed conscious enough to know when she had passed away. He refused to leave his wife behind. Their love was their bond and he would have found a way to survive as long as his bride lived.
As I left the retirement home this evening, I was struck by the love and the love sacrifice that my grandparents displayed the last few days and their entire married lives. I also realized that they were just following the example of the love sacrifice of Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The day that God sent his Son to earth to become a love sacrifice for all of us. He endured our rightful punishment so that we would have the opportunity to accept His sacrifice and receive eternal life in Heaven.
Ray Ethelyn and Leonard Stouffer are together in Heaven. They have met their Savior face to face. My prayer tonight is to follow their example of love in my own marriage, but more importantly to follow my Savior’s example of love. Is He your Savior tonight?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
There are instructions all over the web, if you are interested. I start in Jan/Feb and split a lot of vanilla beans and let them soak in vodka for the year. You really only need 3 months, but the flavor and smell is waaaaay better the longer it sits. I order boston round bottles with screw top lids and make sure they are clean.
Then I use cheesecloth and strain the beans and pods (this year I had to do it twice because Safeway had flimsy cheesecloth- hear that Safeway! Flimsy!)
When it is bean free, I fill the bottles, wipe them all down, and put on labels that say "Vanilla, homemade by the Stouffers."
If you are nice enough to get a bottle, please don't tell me you don't know what to do with it, or can you drink it? It is pure vanilla, as in what you bake with!!! One neighbor likes to pour hers in coffee and confessed she used the bottle up in a week! At least it is used, I guess.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
With a little help from a certain midget, I made the best version I have done yet. It still isn't right (the cracker part didn't soak up all the toffee part, and the toffee part is a little chewy) but it is edible! I'm sure I didn't read something right- because this is a time tested recipe with a lot of ladies I know.
If you want to give it a try, here is the recipe.
1 c Butter; don't use margarine
1 c LIGHT brown sugar; not dark
12 oz Chocolate chips
1 c Nuts; chopped, YOUR choice
Line up the saltines on a jelly roll pan that has been LINED with FOIL that makes a bigger rim then the pan. There should be 5 rows of 8.
Melt butter and add LIGHT brown sugar. Stir often and bring to a full rolling boil for EXACTLY 3 minutes.
Pour over the saltines and bake in a 400 oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and wait until they are almost melted; spread over all the saltines. Drop the nuts over top as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for two hours and then break up into pieces. Can be stored in a pretty tin with tissue paper or clear Christmas bags with ribbon tied around.
As of today, Livia finished her Kindergarten reading program! I have been slowing her down some, but when I see her sneaking pages farther ahead, and hear her reading library books out loud, I just decided to let her fly. She really enjoys being able to read on her own, and it is quite freeing for both of us!
We are just going to start 1st grade reading after Christmas. This is supplemental to our main curriculum, so it does not have to match. Soon, I'll have her update the blog. hee hee
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We had to put our tree in the Porch (in-closed, but not insulated!) to keep it safe from a certain someone.....
Friday, December 4, 2009
2. I've been feeling oh so sick
3. We wanted to wait to see/hear the heartbeat!
Baby #4 is on his/her way and should arrive around June 11th! We are totally excited (when I'm not feeling run over by a truck and want to puke!!) ((I was never sick with the others, I'm such a baby!))
I will catch you up on our happenings as of late, even though a lot of it is just scraping by so I can take a nap with the little kids. :/