Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm trying to keep up with everything that is going on around me. Galen is still in the hospital. He was hoping to go to Price Is Right with his church next Monday, but that won't happen. His blood is still not thin enough to prevent a clot, so the doctors are watching him closely.

Last night, the phone rang at midnight. My friend, Lydia Akashi, was calling from Yokohama, Japan. Her husband was our doctor. (Lydia has an MD degree also.) She wanted some advice and didn't realize that it was midnight, not noon!! Oh well, it was nice to hear her voice and talk for awhile.

Kirk called yesterday. He's going to Nashville to help a mega church in that area begin a Set Free Ministry. We just laugh when we think about their staff of pastors in suits and ties listening to Kirk with his tattoos, jeans and T-shirts. Kirk is a "cool dude". He knows how to minister where the rubber meets the road!

So much is happening, I'll have to come back and finish this later!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24, 2009

Hospital Corner

Sondra called yesterday to tell us that Galen will stay in the hospital a bit longer. The scar on his chest has some seepage. The doctor wouldn't say when he will be able to go home. When Galen called me he kept me laughing. He is thankful for everyone's prayers.

I called Noel to get some advice on what kind of air filtering system we should buy for the house. I learned that he had been taken to St. John's Hospital for emergency treatment last Thursday night. He has bronchitis and wasn't able to breath. I worried about Noel last week when he came to visit. He suddenly stopped talking while drinking an icee at Taco Bell. After several seconds went by he said that he felt like his throat had frozen up.

Yesterday, I stopped by to visit Pat Slone who is in my Bible study class. She had broken her hip while moving into her new home. Paul took her home this week and she is doing remarably well. Pat and Paul are such role models! Paul is always joking and Pat is always smiling. Their faith is incredible!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

After a busy weekend, this has been my first chance to be at the computer. As I mentioned before, Bill is teaching two on-line classes this session and I grab the computer when I can. It seems that I have much to talk to God about these days. I was sorry to hear that Danny's father has been in the hospital! Galen called me during lunch yesterday. He had received a card from Danny and was touched by his thoughtfulness. Galen is feeling better, and is hoping that the doctors will let him go home this week. I think he was starting to feel the restriction's of his health because it was Sondra's birthday, and he was not out with the family celebrating. Sondra is considering taking an early retirement and moving to OK sooner than planned. That would be great!

Last Friday, I went to the doctor for a skin scan. A few months ago. Dr. Smith did a fantastic job of removing a small growth from my forehead. There isn't even a scar left! He checked me from my head to my feet, and gave me a thumbs up! I was finished in time to get to my class at SEI. That evening, we took Mom out for dinner. The Arrow Cafe on Hwy 9 re-opened after a make-over.

Saturday, Bill and I took advantage of sales at Shawnee Mall. I bought a new leather bag and several Van Huesen shirts for half price. Earlier in the day, practiced for a piano solo at church. It was a medley of "I Bow Down" and "Holy, Holy, Holy". I knew that I was going to play the offertory and for the choir practice, but----I didn't know that Sue was going to have the flu and I would be playing for the entire service! I did some talking to God because that is a lot of pressure after teaching a Bible study class. God came through for me. The music was all familiar. We sang, "Blessed Assurance", "Victory in Jesus", and "It is Well with my Soul". It really sounded nice with drums and guitar. Gayla plays the drumset, and her teenage son plays an African drum. I think he said it is called a jimson. I'll have to check again.

The Bible study lesson was about how to pray for others. In John 17, Jesus shows us how much he loves us by asking the Father to protect us. I feel so helpless at times to show people how much I care about them. At those times, I just talk to God and ask him to do what I can't.

I have to go to school now, but in my next blog I want to share something I just read about the blessing of natural disaster - from a scientific viewpoint.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009

Family Matters

I talked to Galen on the phone last night. It was the first time since his surgery. He had finally moved from ICU to the rehab floor. He had been walking a bit and felt much stronger. He said he only had a very small scar on his leg where his vein had been removed, and he had no pain. There is an eight inch scar on his chest, but he's feeling like he will be able to take on the world again. He also reported that Kirk preached for him last Sunday. Galen's kids went to the service and were very impressed! They said they could feel the spirit of God. Kirk has been tapped to lead a Cal Baptist team to Vancouver, BC in May.

Kelli has received strong support from her employers, Cornerstone University, regarding her divorce. She has been patient and been through counseling with her husband to no avail. Mayo Clinic has put a name on a mental disorder which describes his behavior. We are all sad, but feel a deep sense of relief. She has been in an emotional prison for too long.

Keri's church asked her to co-lead a team to Israel in May. It's no surprise since she is an expert in world travel arrangements. One of Galen's rabbi friends did some research a few years ago and discovered that our father was not only German, but Jewish. We are from the tribe of Simeon. There is so much prejudice that I don't volunteer that information often.

Dr. Seahorn (a dentist in our church) has recruited Bill to go with him and a team of doctors down the Amazon River in June. After a day of medical work, the group wants Bill to teach the villagers some music. They will take a supply of recorders.

Christians who are THE REAL DEAL are the happiest and most positive people I know. It seems that people without God in their lives are so negative and often have "victim mentalities". Everytime I turn around I hear people whining and complaining. I've been in tough situations before, but it never occured to me to complain or ask for a hand-out. I have cleaned houses, eaten toast for dinner and still enjoyed my life. I had faith that God loved me and would turn my situation around. He did, and today I feel rich!!! I'm so glad that I have had those experiences because I know in my heart that I'm a survivor. I have no fear of the future as long as I am in the hands of God.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February 17, 2009

I have a few minutes before I go to SEI and teach my 4 classes today. I'm enjoying teaching "Lorna Doone". I use to think she was just a cookie! I'm also teaching advanced composition and beginning composition. I learn so much about my students in the process!

Sondra called me Sunday evening to thank us for the Hugs Bouquet. She said that Galen had developed an infection during surgery and would have to stay in ICU a bit longer. I'm hoping that by today he is better and will be able to go to rehab. Jason is back in Shawnee, and will be moving into his new home this weekend. It's a beauty!!

Bill and I ate at the new Bamboo Gardens in Tecumseh. We really liked it! We have been amazed at how Tecumseh has changed into an artsy little community just in the last year. We have newly paved streets, new cobblestone sidewalks, new gas lamps on the street, and 3 new restaurants. Several new gift shops have gone in as well. We just read that we are getting a new MacDonald's. Wow!! Who knows? We may have to get another stoplight!

Sunday was a very good day. I taught the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman in my Bible study class. It was new to most of those who attended. Pastor Larry gave a message on James 3. It is a warning against the misuse of our tongues. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, many of us have a difficult time controlling our tongues. After the service, we told at least 3 people how much they mean to us - and why. The warm fellowship of our church is a very rare experience. We need to express our love for others so much more, and stop the judging and revenge. Of course, as Dad use to say, "Some people are best loved from a distance."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Today is Valentine's Day and it has been a nice week. Jason called as soon as he got word that Galen's surgery went well, and the doctors had to do only 3 by-passes. I was able to talk to Galen on the phone the night before. He was is good spirits as usual. Galen is in St. Bernardine's Hospital in San Bernardino. It is a specialty heart hospital - and a team of 5 doctors performed the surgery in 5 hours. He will be moved out of ICU on Monday and sent to rehab on the 6th floor. I joked that Roger should join him since they are exercise buddies, and he joked back that they could then go to Panera Bread for breakfast. I'm so grateful for friends who have prayed for Galen and our family.

Noel felt bummed that he couldn't take off work to fly to CA, so he drove to Shawnee to be with me and Mom this weekend. He came with Janice, son Mark and his grandson, Hunter.

Last night, our church had a catered dinner for 100 people in the fellowship hall. It was decorated beautifully. Susan (teacher at SEI) and her husband, Al, attended with us. After the dinner, there was a talent show in the auditorium. We laughed and laughed! Bill played a medley of love songs on his wooden recorder. I have a dozen long-stemmed red roses gracing our dining table. I'm enjoying them because I would never buy them for myself!! I love Valentine's Day because it gives me a chance to say, "I love you" to my family and friends! And most of all, "Thank you God for loving me in spite of all my 'goof ups'."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Correction concerning Galen

Galen has been moved from the Kaiser Hospital to a Catholic hospital that specializes in heart surgery in San Bernardino. I talked to Jason this morning. He left Shawnee this morning and was in Denver waiting for his plane connection to California. I asked him to send me a physical address of the hospital so that we can send well wishes. I hope to write that soon. I was touched today when one of our SEI teachers prayed for Galen before eating her lunch.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feb. 10, 2009

Report on Galen

Sondra called this afternoon to report that Galen had an angiogram at the Kaiser Hospital in San Bernardino. There was much damage to his heart. He will have bypass surgery on Thursday morning. I pray that God will guide the surgeons hands. I know that Galen and Sondra both have great faith and feel at peace.

What's Next?

This week I learned that Kelli and David are separating, Galen is having heart surgery, and we are having tornados and hail storms in Oklahoma in February. I also had my eyes checked and learned that I have the beginning of a cataract in my right eye. My long distance sight is still great! I got my first progressive lenses so that I can use the same glasses for reading and for the piano. Tonight, I had my teeth cleaned and checked. I was told that I have taken good care of my teeth. Whew!

Phone Calls

If you have tried to call me this week and I didn't pick up. Please don't take it personal. Keep trying! I was probably teaching, on another phone, in a meeting or in some doctor's office. Roger, I didn't hear your call because we were celebrating Bill's birthday! I'm glad you tried again.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Peace that passes all understanding!

Satuday morning was sunny and warm. It felt like the beginning of spring. Bill and I had lunch at St. Benedict's Market, and then drove through the country to Shawnee Twin Lakes. That evening, the phone rang. Kelli was crying and told me that she and David were divorcing after 15 years. It seems that the entire family had a similar response....."Why did it take you so long to get the courage?" Kelli is a beautiful, talented writer, and we know without any doubt that God is going to take care of His child!! Sunday morning was equally beautiful. There were 14 people in my adult Bible Study class. I continue to be humbled that people choose my class because Dr. Mike teaches another adult class in the auditorium. The morning worship highlighted the people (20) who have committed to going on mission trips this year. Most of the people are sacrificing to go to Brazil, Malawi, and India in order to take food and medicines. After church, we had our first Easter choir practice. It went well. On Sunday evening, I made an enchilada dinner with cherry pie. Sandra, Butch, Ian and Phyllis came over and we played Mexican dominoes. We celebrated Bill's and Phyllis' birthdays. We had just cleaned up when my brother, Roger called. He reported that Galen was in Kaiser Hospital with chest and arm pains. The doctor said that his heart was damaged and that tests will be run. Sunday evening, I was completely exhausted from all of the activity and the family news of the weekend. However, I felt a complete peace because I know that I have a God that is never surprised. He is in control and no matter what happens ...He loves His kids and will take care of us!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday, Feb. 6, 2009

This week has gone so fast! I was only away from SEI for 6 weeks (including Christmas holidays), but you would have thought it was a year. The faculty and students gave us hugs and welcomed us back. The Saudi boys even kissed me on both cheeks. That must have been a stretch for them! In the mornings, I teach advanced reading and writing to two Korean boys and a Japanese boy. We are reading the book, "Lorna Doone". It's a love story that takes place in England. During the discussion time, I learned that Choi has fallen in love with another student, Kasumi. They were both at our house for Christmas dinner when the magic happened. I had no idea!! In the afternoon, I teach 3 Saudi boys. Ibrahim is new. He is a 23 year old college graduate. Yesterday, he brought me a whole pound of dates that he brought with him to the US. I think I will have to share! I am so grateful to God that He has given me a job that I really enjoy. Tonight, Bill and I will go out to Red Lobster for dinner. We had planned to go last Tuesday evening, but he felt too tired. Teaching for GCU and for SEI at the same time has been very taxing. The overlap will only last for 3 more weeks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

The ice and snow continue to melt, and it feels so good to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the sun on my face! Saturday, Bill and I saw the movie, "New in Town" with Renee Zellweger. It is so sweet and funny! I thought of Michigan in the winter while watching it.

Sunday, my Bible study class focused on prayer ----why some prayers are answered and others are not. I really enjoy the lively discussion. We encourage each other, and we all feel so positive for having met together! Pat Sloan, one of our members fell while moving into a new home and broke her hip. We stopped by Unity Hospital after church and took her a Get Well balloon. Paul, her husband, seemed glad to have the company. We'll be taking meals to him this week. During the morning service, Bill played a trumpet solo. The people loved the "Amazing Grace" arrangement. Pastor Larry baptized a middle aged man who had been in the World-Wide Church of God (Armstrong). That church use to be similar to a cult. However, it is my understanding that the people have changed their thinking and have become very Bible based and free.

This morning, SEI called and asked Bill to come back and teach full-time. Since he is already teaching on-line for GCU, he only accepted the morning hours. I have been asked to teach reading and writing for 2 hours in the morning from 10-noon, and also in the afternoon from 1-3 pm. I was told that I will have my boys from Saudi Arabia again. They keep me laughing, so I'm glad. Some Saudi women have applied, but since they are required to have escorts, they have not been approved yet. That could be interesting! After having been off for a month, I'm looking forward to teaching again.

This afternoon, Mom asked me to take her shopping. She wanted to get Bill a gift for his birthday. I took her to the mall and she was able to sit down frequently and rest. It frustrates her that she doesn't have the energy that she use to have. I told her about the card that we sent to Bill's twin brother, Dr. Jim. It says, "Yeah, yeah, Happy Birthday! Now can we focus on me?" He's a shrink so he'll get a kick out of that one. Smile!