Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas with Steve, Di and John!!! FINALLY

We put the tree up again this year! When we're traveling, this doesn't happen cause we're usually gone 2 days after Christmas.. Since we're going to be home this year...up went the tree! We even put some lights out on the new porch. The little boy next door told us that he calls those lights his "night lights". Hope that's a good thing!
John is now 2 1/2 years old....yes, I know, he's really growing up! We had a ball last night....he is just so much fun. He's so polite and well behaved...Steve and Di have done such a wonderful job with him. He said "Grace" for us at dinner and asked to be excused from the table! Steve made a delicious spaghetti pie and for dessert we enjoyed the ice cream cake. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus...a new tradition that the kids want to do for John so he knows the real reason for the season. We ALL agreed that this was a very special Christmas for all of us.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Dec. 26, 2010 - The STORM IS COMING!!

Keith is doing good...the visiting nurse is to come today...and I hope she comes this morning. The storm that we all thought was going to miss us...is COMING any time now. We're to get 6 to 10 inches...the first snow of the year. I got up early and drove up to feed Brad and Vivien's cats...and I filled the car with fuel...$3.03 a gal.
When I arrived home I backed both cars under the car port and moved all the furniture on the new porch as close to the house wall as I could. I filled the bird feeders too. We have plenty of food and Keith is fine...so we'll be staying put...until tomorrow when we have to be at the hosp. at 1 p.m. for Keith's appt. IF it blows and drifts like they say (20-40 mph winds) ..Keith is going to ask Steve to take us to the hosp.

We didn't have Christmas with Steve, Di and John yest... Steve and Di weren't feeling well.. We felt it best to wait til they DO feel better. We were glad that they could just stay home and let John play with all his toys...oh to be 2 1/2!!! He was having a ball!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wed. Dec. 22, 2010 - HE'S HOME!!!!

Thankfully Dr. DeVos came to Keith's room early today and took the 2 drain tubes out. Also removed 1/2 of the 27 staples! Keith and I were home by 11:30. All Keith could talk about was how thrilled Dr. DeVos was tellling Keith how perfect his surgery went....and how really glad he was to give him such good news. So many times the doctors have to give bad news:(
Keith has been eating regular food since Sunday and doing just great.
I can't tell you how good it is to have him home:) He's in his recliner answering the phone which hasn't stopped ringing:)
Hopefully, he'll get a good nights sleep.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tues. Dec. 21, 2010 - DAY 5....

MORE GOOD NEWS!!! The lab results are in.....EVERYTHING IS CLEAR....Praise God!!
More answered prayer!!! Thanks to ALL!
Keith will be coming home tomorrow....as soon as the doctor makes his rounds and takes the 2 drain tubes out...Keith will be able to leave.
Thurs. the visiting nurses will start to come. They want us to be home bound for at least 2 to 3 weeks... Again, trying to avoid any illness.
Feel free to call: home:610-779-8692

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Dec. 20, 2010 - Day 4

Dr. DeVos checked in on Keith during lunch time.. He was pleased to see Keith eating everything....said IF nothing changes in Keith's condition...he'll be coming home on Wed.:) Doc. told us what a perfect surgery Keith had...only lost 1/2 pt of blood...and how amazed he was at the shrinkage in Keith's tumor. He also said that it was a plus that Keith was in good shape and not over weight.
Tomorrow the lab should have all the results back.....we are anxious to hear :)
Sorry this is short, but I'm really tired tonight..:)
More tomorrow...M

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dec. 19, 2010 - Just 3 days since the surgery

Wow...can't believe it's been 3 days since the surgery.....and Keith is just making great progress.
Today they unhooked him from the "pole" that had to go everywhere he went...
And he's on soft foods now. The only thing he needs removed are the 2 drain tubes.
He and I walked all around the 3rd floor area....that was the first time he did that without the pole...That wore him out.
Tomorrow the nurses will start teaching him how to take care of the ostomy.
He says to tell everyone HI...
Until tomorrows post........

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sat. Dec. 18th 2010

It was a GOOD day! Got a call from Keith at 8:30 a.m. He was eating/drinking a liquid breakfast! Told me he had a good nights' sleep too! He's now walking around (slowly) holding on to that "pole" without the watchful eye of the nurses. They took his catheter out and all is well there. His one nurse told him the first time he burped or farted she would do a funny dance. I guess it's a BIG DEAL when you burp and fart! Last night it happened and she did her dance:)
After the epidural wore off yest...they put in a morph drip, which he is using when he needs it.
All in all I think Keith's doing everything they're asking. It'll be interesting to see what the doctor has to say tomorrow morning when he checks on Keith....
It's hard to believe it's only been 2 days since he was in that operating room....to me it feels like longer than that.
Just one more week til Christmas! I'm sure Keith will be home with me and we'll be glad to have this part behind us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday night - Dec. 17th 2010

When I arrived at Keith room today, I was surprised to find him in a private room. And, that only family is allowed to visit right now... All this to keep him safe from illness the best they can. IF there's going to be an infection, they say it's the first 5 days after the surgery. Even though you can't visit, Keith says his phone works:)
He looks good. They've helped him get up and walk about 30 ft to the nurses station and back. He must do this 3 times a day. Still no food....not for at least another day.
Keith says HI to everyone. I took the lap top to the hosp...and as the messages came in, I read them to him.
The doctors and nurses say he's coming along nicely....everything looks good.
Well, gang, that's what we want to hear. Now lets hope he can sleep tonight. Last night he didn't sleep much, and not because he had pain...he said he just watched t.v. and napped.
Let's see what tomorrow brings!

Friday Morning Dec. 17th 2010

Good morning to all...
Keith was still in recovery at 7:30 last night...The hosp. allowed Brad and me to see Keith for a few min. He LOOKED GREAT and was awake. He was in recovery longer because he had had stomach cramps.They upped his meds and he was feeling fine...just waiting to go to his room. We couldn't touch Keith and that was hard, but we were just glad to be allowed in the recovery room to see him.
The doctor had just been in to tell Keith the GOOD NEWS. Needless to say we were all very emotional.
When I got home, the phone rang - it was Keith calling to tell me he was in his room....someone must have helped him:) He said he was tired....I guess so.
All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us:)
Now, I'm off to the hosp...more news later...Thanks again for all the prayers...they were answered:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Keith was in the OR for 5 hours... At 3:30 the dr. called me from the OR and said that he couldn't be more pleased with how everything went. The chemo and radiation had done it's job...saying that the tumor originally might have been about the size of 1/2 dollar...but it was the size of a sun flower seed today. While he had Keith open, he checked everywhere and found NO cancer.
Dr. said for me to go home since Keith wouldn't be in his room for several more hours. As soon as I'm finished with this news, I will call to see where he is right now.
We are so very grateful.....
Thanks again for all the prayers....they have been answered.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wed. Dec. 15, 2010 - Day before surgery

As you can see, Keith is lookin' good:) Last Wed. we met with the surgeon and he is very pleased with Keith.
Still feels that he'll do very well... Then on Friday, we spent from 9 til 12 noon in the hosp. for pre-op testing.
We met everyone who will be taking care of Keith during and after the surgery.
So, here we are,.....the day before the surgery. Today is the "prep" day. We'll leave for the hosp. at 7 a.m. tomorrow. The surgery is scheduled for 9:40 a.m. as of now; that could change.
Diana and Brad will be coming to be with me from about 10:30 on. I'm told it might be late afternoon til Keith is finally in a room....
Feel free to check the blog or call..... Thanking EVERYONE for their prayers...God is with us!

Early Christmas with the KIDS!

Each year we celebrate Christmas early with Brad and Vivien as they leave for TN til after New Years'. The ONLY day that worked for all of us, before Keith's surg. was last Sat. morning. Keith and I made a huge breakfast to please everyone. Above is Di, John and Steve.
It was so much fun watching John realize what all this giving presents was all about. It only took one or two gifts and he was REALLY into it. Can you believe he's now 2 1/2 yrs. old?

Vivien and Brad got up early to be down at the house for breakfast. They've both been SO busy with their businesses. Vivien had to leave by 10:30 a.m. to take the photos for Pet Smart. She does a GREAT JOB and vol. LOTS of her time getting cats adopted. Brad was getting ready for Reading Highs Christmas Concert. Needless to say we are so very proud of ALL our kids.

John helped Papa by putting all the trash in the bag. Keith is feeling normal...looks normal.... had lots of fun today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keith's check up last week.

On Wed. Nov. 18th Keith had a check up with the radiologist dept. It went very well...:) First of all....Keith has gained all the weight back that he lost during the chemo and radiation treatments. That was very good news.
His hands and feet continue to peel, but that's from the chemo and will stop evenually.
They advised us that he should not have 5FU chemo ever again....
We left the office feeling happy, but also sad that we wouldn't be seeing these kind doctors and nurses again...well, we will but not til another check up some time in May:)
So there you have it.... We just have to keep Keith well til the surgery on Thurs. Dec. 16th.

Early Thanksgiving with the kids

John is really enjoying the deep fried turkey that Papa made! We had an early Thanksgiving because both boys will be at their in-laws on Thurs....out of state. So, Sat. was our time tog.. and it was GREAT. Just having all of us together and being thankful that Keith is doing so well.
Our table was FULL of food... Steve brought his yummy pumpkin cheesecake and Vivien brought a delicious choc. cake. I made a pumpkin pie.
Keith was really into the meal and forgot to take off his apron:) Happy Thankgiving to ALL!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surgery Date

John is helping Papa get the hot tub area cleared away...:) This was taken back in Aug....

We saw the surgeon at the Reading Hosp. today. Keith will have surgery on Dec. 16th and be in the hospital for one week. Dr. DeVos assured Keith that he'll start to feel himself in a few more days.... all we have to do now is get him STRONG for surgery. On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for a LARGE Milk Shake:) That trip to the hosp and back played him out...now he's asleep on the recliner...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Distressing News came on Aug. 23rd.

We were getting all our Dr. appointments out of the way since the summer was going by pretty fast. Keith had his annual physical the end of July. As always, the dr. said Keith was perfect...WELL, I already knew that! All he said was - go get a colonoscopy... So, Keith made the appt. and did all that drinking prep stuff....and on Aug. 23rd we went for the test. You can only imagine our shock when they asked me to come back to be with Keith and the doc. came in to tell us he didn't have good news for us. Keith has colorectal cancer. After many tests and scans, the surgeon shared with us that it would be best for Keith to have a round of radiation and chemo before surgery. This would shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove.
On Sept 20th we started the radiation treatments at the Reading Hosp. Arriving at 8 a.m. everyday Monday thru Friday. Most days we were in and out in less than an hour. On Tuesdays we saw the Dr. so that was always a longer day. The 5FU chemo was started on Tues. and was a pump which Keith carried with him 24/7 giving him small amounts of chemo every 10 min.
Long story short.. They had to take Keith off the chemo pump the 3rd week as he developed ulcers in his mouth, lips and other warm parts of his body...After a 2 week break from the 5FU...the oncologist thought we should try 1/2 dose for one week and finish up when the radiation treatments would end. After less than 24 hours Keith started with the blisters on his lips and the ulcers again. They took him off the pump for good. Keith doesn't have the gene that allows his body to metabolize the 5FUchemo. It was like giving him 10 times the amount of chemo. Poor Guy. We finished with the radiation last Thurs. Hooray!
This Wed. after lunch we'll meet with the surgeon, Dr. DeVos at the Reading Hosp. and he will give us the date for Keith's surg.
I will continue to up-date the blog on Keith's progress.... We thank everyone for their prayers...
We are TRUSTING that GOD will take care of us..

Our OUTDOOR Living Area

O.K...I didn't get all these in order, but I'll try and tell the story as I go:) Back in April when we were in TX, we decided to get some estimates on covering the deck....or, we'd lose it due to age. Brian B, from the Berks Career and Tech. was our first choice. Brian only takes a few jobs each summer and we wanted to be one of them. This project was started on Aug. 9th and we were so happy to see this dream come true...
While the porch project was in progress, Keith was working on the fence project from the year before....and John was right there with Papa helping:)

I think they make a GREAT TEAM!!!!

The area to the left of this photo is still a work in progress for next year. It's going to be Keith cooking area..This is where the hot tub used to be....so there was electric and water already in place....HEY MITCH, what else could a chef ask for? Right now this area is on hold....this will give us time to pick out the pavers or whatever we decide ...

I took this shot just before we cleared the deck of everything in preparation for the demo on Monday Aug. 9th.

After the build...Keith started on the walkway in front of the porch...This was a huge project and he did a heck of a job...

After the porch area was screened in, Keith and I realized that we didn't have any electric outside for the water pump feature....so good ol' Brian came to our rescue ....and put the electric post up in 45min... I LOVE BRIAN..:)

This is a shot from inside the dining room looking out on the new living area... The furniture is so comfy and I love the style/shape of the new table.

This is a view from the door coming in from the hot tub side of the porch. Some of you know what a TERRIFIC SPRAY PAINTER Keith is....well, he made the old glass top table and side tables all match the new color. Everything looks like it ALL came new. He even spray painted Michele and Larry's dark green table to match her set on their NEW covered porch... Oh, Michele and Larry also had Brian cover their deck - they were Brain's first job of the summer...We were able to watch their roof go on and got us even more excited about our porch.

And here's the finished job.... I know I know...it doesn't look finished..but we have lots of little touches that have been done since this photo. We are so very happy with the 10 ft high ceiling with 2 fans...and the area which is the same size as the deck was originally...16X22. We spend as much time out on the new porch as possible. So...IF you come by to see us...you best come round to the back of the house...that's where we live!

Happy Halloween - Our Little LION:)

First of all...I know it's been awhile since I've been on the blog....sorry... I'll be doing A LOT OF UP-DATING for the next few weeks...:) Here's Steve, Johnny, and Di - We are so proud of them...we are so Blessed.
John turned 2 the end of June. He is the apple of our eye....

This little Lion was our favorite ....wonder why?

He's not the little baby we took care of the first year of his life.... but he is our angel.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 12, 2010 - First Daylily Bloom & Yard Photos

Some friends and family asked to see our yard and flowers...so here are a few... The rain has made everything so lush and green....and most everything is blooming about a month ahead this year.

The first daylily to bloom is "James Spencer" given to me by Sandy L. last year from her collection. It's so beautiful...I wish they'd stay more than ONE DAY! That's why I have to take a picture of each one - so I can look at them on the computer any time I want.

The new additions to our yard are the play things we have for John..:) This area will be made into a new flower garden and the toys will be moved. We are moving ALL the plants that are close to the deck away from the deck... What a job this will be!!!!

We'll be moving the plants out to the new line of rocks...and there will be a walkway in front of the deck.
We have 1/3 of the digging completed as of Sunday June 13th. We worked until the rains came...and came...and really came. Tues might be the next time we work on it some more. I hope to keep a before and after photo log. More later...

June 9 & 10 - Fever

Got a call Tues night from Steve. John had a fever and couldn't go to school Wed. - Could we watch him from 7:30 til noon. SURE! We were glad to help out and John was so very good. You'd never know that he wasn't feeling well.
Steve called again Wed night and asked if we could watch John again on Thurs morning as he still had a fever...Of course we could help out. ...We made sure he kept drinking his water... He was such a trooper about not feeling well.

But you can see in his eyes that he's not feeling well...

I kept Steve's Fisher Price Garage from when he was little... Took it up to give John something new to play with and pass the time. He loved the garage and so did Papa:) Not happy that John didn't feel well, but happy to have time with him. He counts to ten, sings his ABC's, twinkle twinkle little star, the wheels on the bus, the itsy bitsy spider, and can say ANYTHING now. He'll be 2 in a few weeks.

Sat. June 5, 2010 - Hershey TT - Pickleball

Brad was ready at 7 a.m. and so we were off to drive the 50 min. to TT Hershey to play Pickleball. From left: Carlton, Carla, Dean, (his wife, Marge, came later) Keith, Karen, John and Brad... The courts are in GREAT shape...look and feel like new. Lots of players...enough to have 2 courts going all morning and so we only had to sit out a short time before we were playing again. A good workout.
Dean offered to take another photo so I would be included:) We played from 8:30 til 11....the storms were coming and...we had to get Brad home as he was playing for a wedding ...plus he and Vivien had 2 cake tastings going on at their house. Vivien makes wedding cakes for those of you that don't know.
It felt so good to play again.. We promised John and Carla that we'd drive over again when they are back at Hershey in a few weeks.

June 5, 2010 - Love my rocking chair.

We babysat for John. In the kitchen was the rocking chair that Becky, Tim and Cayton gave him before he was born. It's so fun to see John fit in it .....and like it so much. He's having a snack of pretzels while he rocks away.
This is the shy boy....RIGHT!

June 2, 2010 - Pickleball and Meatloaf!!!

We knew that John and Carla were coming into Hershey so we planned this day to drive over and play some ball... it was a perfect day to play...no wind, and a little overcast at first. It was humid but hey, you can't have everything... Carlton and Dawn invited us to visit with them after the morning of play.
Carlton took me up on using my camera. I don't usually get in any photos. The courts were lookin good and felt so good to play. We hadn't played since we left Conroe, TX..

Thanks again Carlton for the great photos...:)

Here's Karen, Nancy, and Tom... We sure had some good games... Several other players came but I didn't get their photo:(

I goofed and didn't get a picture of the GREAT looking meatloaf dinner we shared with Dawn and Carlton. It was a real team effort. I mixed my meatloaf recipe, Keith taught Dawn how to make his gravy...and Dawn made the mashed pot. and corn. When we were ready for dessert, Dawn brings out this choc. peanut butter pie...oh my gosh was it good.:) Sure did have fun. As always the day ended too quickly. We did manage to get home before dark... LET''S DO IT AGAIN!

Tues. June 1, 2010 - RHS Orchestra Banquet

Because we help out with Brad's orchestra whenever we're home, we were asked to join them at Shady Maple for the end of the year banquet and awards event. Keith, Vivien, and I met the buses at the restaurant. Shady really has their act tog...they make sure there's a "room" ready with microphone and podium.
I tried to get a shot of the food ...but everyone was eating so fast, I almost missed out. Look at Vivien's face to the right! I'm not sure what she's looking at.

This was the room we ate in. The students ASK to come to Shady Maple cause they can have ANY thing and EVERYTHING they'd like to eat and...as MUCH of it as they can eat. Some students boasted that they had 5 plates of food and...dessert too.

Students giving Brad a standing ovation.

This girl was so happy to recieve her award! Everyone got a good laugh from her reaction.
Well, Brad...another year under your belt...Hard to believe you've been teaching for 9 years.!!!!