Monday, September 24, 2018

We Wore Purple

This month, is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. 

Looking back two years, the disease Alzheimer's wouldn't have even entered my mind in the month of September. And that's not a bad thing in and of itself, but it certainly changes things when you have a loved one who struggles with it.

An amazingly fit, strong man, my grandfather. Sharp as a tack. He could recount the most hilarious stories and imitate the most unique voices. Who would call his grandchildren's cell phones Just because. To tease and laugh and say he loved us. I look back and maybe wish I had cherished that a bit more.

But this is our new normal. We take every day and live it the best we can. Some days he remembers our names and some days he doesn't. He still loves cats. And I think he always will, no matter how bad his memory gets. He still asks for coffee when we take the occasional ride which is totally an Abuelo thing. And he still taps his fingers in time to any music he hears that rings a bell in his memory...which is just amazing to us. THAT is totally the Abuelo we remember and it's bittersweet every time we watch it happen.

So, we wore purple yesterday; standing with others who want to bring awareness to this heartbreaking disease. And one day, we pray there is a cure. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Oliver Turns Two...

Our adorable little monkey turned two last week! 
Since we couldn't be with him on his special day, we made him cupcakes this week when we babysat him and his little sidekick munchkin, Wesley:)

We love our little nephews (you too Kyler!!) and can't believe how fast they are growing up and becoming handsome little men! Olivers vocabulary is growing more every time we see him and when he kept trying to tell us he wanted to watch "tractor rio", we didn't understand and he looked at us like we had officially lost our minds. It wasn't until a quick text to his Papa was sent that we were told this means "tractor VIDEOS!" And boy does he LOVE tractors!

We love you Ollie-man!
happy birthday.

He wasn't sure what to make of the candles at first!

Samuel and Titus have never really experienced what it's like to have babies in the house, so they are so protective of Oliver wherever he goes and absolutely love when he wants to follow them around. He especially loves Samuel and it doesn't matter that Sam is still pretty small himself, he begs to be held by him! It's the sweetest thing.

Aaaand, just because I can, I had to post this!
Wesley's personality is really starting to show! He stares at you with his big eyes and is so quick to give us his gummy grin!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Moody Boy...

Unless Treasure said "you're such a moody boy!" his frown wouldn't budge!
Wesley's little personality is starting to show:)

You are home...

My grandparents are officially moved into our home/their new little home. The initial moving over was pretty smooth and we had no major complications! This was a huge answer to our prayers. Abuelo had a few days where he couldn't sleep at night because he was confused about where he was, but now, almost 3 months later, he is settled in pretty well. Last week he told me pretty heatedly that "this is MY house! I can do what I WANT!" And I know he was probably confused when I laughed instead of remained serious, because it was actually good to finally hear him SAY that he was HOME.

The nursing care is amazing and they have been so kind on the many visits they make to our home. Peter has taken the bulk of Abuelo's lifting and laying down and moving him to and from the bathroom and wherever he needs to go. When the other brothers get in from work they take over for the evenings. I am constantly amazed at their care and devotion. When Abuelo has had an accident and needs cleaning up, and you see the boys wheel him into the bathroom, you feel and see the sadness of it. But then, you hear your grandfather say something low and all of a sudden, loud, huge laughter comes rolling out through the door from your brothers and you feel and see ALL the love and grace of it....

It's taking some adjustments on all levels, and Abuela has her days when it is emotionally hard. And we will probably continue to have those emotional days. 
Right now as I'm typing this, I can see her out our bedroom window, standing under her cute little carport watching the boys mowing the lawn...back and forth and back and forth. She loves sitting outside watching the family activity and she says we are WAY too busy! We brought her porch swing over too and she and Abuelo sit out there and enjoy "your country weather" as she likes to say. 
When packing up her clothes in Lakeland we asked her about a particular, fur lined coat buried deep in the closet. Her emphatic answer to toss it or not? "NO! I'm moving out to the country and your winters are SO COLD! I'm going to need that!" Apparently, moving 45 minutes north into San Antonio makes the winters so much colder that you need a fur lined coat;)

Every day is different and we are still learning the ropes. But we are just so amazed at what God has brought us through and how He is clearly continuing to guide us in this new way of life.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Wesley Huron...

We would like to welcome little
Wesley James Huron
into this world!

Born to Ben and Ariana on Thursday, April 19th.
6 pounds 15oz, 20 inches long.
He is a chunky little guy and loves to eat!
Big brother Oliver warmed up to Wesley right away and loves to be near him. We are so thankful for God's goodness!  

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou
camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee
a prophet unto the nations.”

Jeremiah 1:5

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Try to Catch Him Smiling...

Abuelo tends to end up in many of our pictures these days. He rarely smiles anymore, but sometimes we manage to get a smirk out of can see it in his eyes.

A day at our house...
We sometimes want to shake up the day and we'll pack him up and drive him over to San Ann. It relieves the occasional tension in the house in Lakeland if he's grouchy and he genuinely seems to enjoy his time, especially with the little guys running in and out and around him:)

He loves the gazebo at his house and so do we. He built this gazebo, and we have some great memories connected to it. I wish we could pack that up and take it with us when we move them over.

It's also the perfect spot for haircuts! Especially when the Spring weather is gorgeous and you don't want to be cooped up inside. 
On this day he was in a bit of a mood and did NOT approve of my haircut;) He said I wasn't getting paid and definitely wasn't getting any tips! (Not that he was in the habit of paying me before, but he seemed to want to make that very clear to me that day!) we are about ready to sing! He traveled over to our church that evening to hear his grandchildren sing at our family concert last month.

Monday, April 16, 2018

La Casita....

This March marked a year of Abuelo's Alzheimers diagnosis. 

Around September of last year, we started praying and seriously talking about our future plan for his care. 
My grandparents live forty five minutes to an hour away from us and throughout this whole year we have taken that drive up to 3 times a week, back and forth. God has given us stamina to do this, as well as the finances for gas and it has been amazing to see His provision. But with a new year ahead of us, and not knowing where Abuelo's health might turn from one day to the next, we started praying about an addition onto our home here in San Antonio. This was a huge step, but one that we increasingly felt great peace about. 
This would enable us to care for him right next door, without all the travel of back and forth. 

Our family was hardly together for most of 2017, and even though we knew God was and is in control of the circumstances surrounding our life, it is difficult at times to not be a part of certain things. 
Luke has a toy cellphone that has seen the most activity through this year EVER in it's entire "toyhood"! He is constantly calling Peter, Jonny or one of us girls asking when we are coming home; saying that he misses us and telling us what he did that day.
We use FaceTime quite a bit! We will even send things through the mail, even if it's just for laughs! Singing together has been put on hold aside from events closer to home when it is possible to either bring my grandfather with us or ask a friend to watch him for the evening until we can get back that night. 
These months have certainly stretched us and grown us and I can say without doubt that it has been good. God knows exactly what we need.

So, after prayer and planning, we broke ground and the new addition to our home was started in December of last year. It is coming along very nicely and at this point in the building process we are picking out flooring and cabinets and paint! 
Even though this addition connects to our home, it is basically an apartment all it's own. My grandmother will be able to cook and do laundry and everything she normally would do here in Lakeland. My grandfather will still be cared for by us, it will just be closer and possibly easier to schedule different things into our family schedule that weren't possible last year.

Please be in prayer for all of us as we start to pack up our grandparents home and prepare to move. Some days are very emotional as we navigate through the many memories that surround so many items either hanging on the walls or in the drawers and even furniture pieces Abuelo so beautifully made with his own hands. 

My grandmother has started calling this new place "La Casita" meaning "little house" or "the little home" because it very much looks like our home, only smaller. We loved the name, so "La Casita" it will be.

God's goodness to us is great and mighty and we thank Him for His direction and leading through every single step.