Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time flies whether you are having fun or not...

I've been planning to make a post for some time now, it just seems when I have time my brain isn't thinking along these lines and when I don't have time that's when I think about it. I have pictures from when the girls were here for Father's Day, but for some reason I can't get them uploaded to the computer...probably that lack of brain cell function again.
Our lives have been so crazy the last three months. We had to put Jim's dad in the Nursing Home at Prairie Grove the first of May. This has brought a whole new load of responsibility for me, one that I'd rather not have. His mother isn't doing the best either, and we are just trying to keep her going and able to stay by herself. Dealing with aging parents is a totally different roller coaster ride, and I've never liked roller coasters. With Jim's brother and his wife in Camden, it leaves all the farm stuff to Jim and there are way too many nights it is 8:30-9:00 or after before he gets home, and the weekends are used to play catch up! Thankfully the kids have been able to come home some or we wouldn't have been able to see them. It is very difficult now to try to get away. A word of advice to all you out there, make sure your parents have some kind of long-term care insurance and money set aside for care, because if you don't you won't make it. If they have any money at all, make sure they have it in a trust or something (for at least 5 years prior to needing it)to where when they need help they can get on Medicaid. If we would have known this it would have helped tremendously. It is ridiculous what it cost for this kind of care. There are certain aspects of this that I feel the seniors are being taken advantage of, but what can you do. We need to pray that the government would step up and do something to help take care of senior citizens, and better health care for all.
I'll get off my soap box for now, and hopefully have something more exciting to post soon. Take care and make sure you let your loved ones know they are loved-life is too short.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Break Visits

Last week was spring break for Mark and Cari. They left Texas Monday morning, drove to Oklahoma City, and then on to see Libby and Wyatt Monday, and spend the night with them. They had lunch with one of Mark's old professor's on Tuesday, and then on out here in the afternoon. Calloway had been taking some steps here and there, but after she got here she started walking more, and by the time they left she pretty much had it down. We went over to my parents for our family visit Tuesday evening. Mom cooked her usual supper (our favorite)of fried chicken, potatoes, corn, beans, etc. After supper we all went outside to watch for Libby. She had a student doing a cross-country flight from Tulsa to Fayetteville and back, they were planning on flying over mom and dad's when leaving Fayetteville, and we were going to see if we could see them. Needless to say we got some funny looks by people when they drove by and we were all looking up in the sky! We never saw her and found out later they were rerouted farther north. Oh well, maybe next time. We were all tired Wednesday morning so we laid down for a nap after Jim went to work, and then we went by his office so he could "show off Calloway" and then He took us to lunch at El Chico's. After Jim got home from work Cari, Calloway, and I went up the road with him to feed Freddie and let Calloway see the cows. She really enjoyed seeing them and hearing them "MOO"! I fixed barbecue chicken for supper and we just lazied around. Thursday we went to my cousin, Brenda's house to see her, Whitney, and Paris, then on to Mellow Mushroom for Pizza with Steph and Wes, some of their friends from the college days. Mark, Cari, and Calloway had dinner with his brother Adam and his girlfriend Sarah that evening. They had to leave Friday morning. I hated that they had to go, as Cari wasn't feeling well and was sick their whole way home. Their trip is always too short, but we are thankful for the time we have them. Calloway is growing up way too fast for our liking, but it is so much fun to see her learn new things and the day to day changes that come with this age. She is such a smart, happy baby, loves people and has such a sweet personality. She has that ornery side too, not sure who she gets that from!!! We're not sure when we will get to go back to Texas, but hopefully it won't be too long. I know for those in school and the families they go to visit the week is never long enough, I guess that's why they call it a break! I hope everyone has or is enjoying theirs!

Calloway with chocolate chip cookie on her mouth.

My sister LeAnn holding Sophia (Susan's baby), Lauren with Calloway, Brianna, and Mark in the background.

Sophia trying on Calloway's sunglasses.

Calloway eating her scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Sitting at Poppy's desk ready to work!

Poppy is proud of his granddaughter!

Calloway petting Freddie.

Enjoying the cows.
Calloway playing tug-o-war with Sassy! (This was so funny)

Calloway and Paris (Whitney's little girl-she's 2 months younger than Calloway)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Betty's Bovine Nursery is Officially Open!

Most of you know we live on a farm and Jim raises cows as a hobby (my opinion, its too hard of work for a hobby). He tries to plan for the cows to start having their calves around the first of March, notice I said plan. Well last fall one of the bulls decided he didn't agree with that plan (just like a male) so he just went ahead and got in with the cows a little sooner. So, calves started coming during the ice storm the end of January. For those of you who don't understand the reasoning behind this, I will do my best to inform you what little "cattle ranching" I know! If babies are born in the really cold bad weather and the mommas don't take good care of them immediately they could freeze, or have problems, this means they need mommy assistance of the two legged kind. In years past Jim's mom has always taken the babies into her home and did whatever they needed to keep them alive, build up their strength, warm them, or whatever! Well last year neither of Jim's parents were feeling well when the first baby needed help, so, what does my loving husband do..... he calls me from the hillside on his cellphone and tells me he needs to bring a baby to the house. My first thought was I don't like the smell of cow poop, and what other stuff was there going to be to clean up. What was he getting me in to? If I remember correctly we had 6 different babies in my bovine nursery last year. In March I had two at one time, now that was quite the experience, and you think one of our babies can make a lot of noise at night! We only had one fatality last year, that little fellow was just too big, and the birthing process was too long and hard on him. Needless to say Cari and Libby could not believe that I let Jim bring baby calves in the house, they thought I had lost it for sure this time. Jim's parents have since had to go stay with his brother and sister-in-law in Camden, so I don't have any backup help now, so earlier this year I told Jim he needed to make sure that all deliveries ran smoothly, that all babies were born healthy, and the mommies did their jobs. He just laughed at me! (Of course I knew that you seldom ever get through a calving season without any problems)
So last night around 7 p.m. the phone rings, Jim tells me he has had to pull a calf, the baby is alive, the momma not doing so well, so I might need to open the bovine nursery. He had to go back and get the tractor and finish feeding the cows, would be home in a while. He comes in, says the momma hasn't gotten up (not good) and after supper he's going back to check on them. About an hour later he leaves with a heavy towel to dry the baby and in hopes they are both doing okay. He's only gone like 10 minutes and I have this feeling that things are not good. He comes in the back door and says, "time for me to open the nursery"!!! Let me inform you of what is now involved in opening this nursery-since I got the puppy for Christmas the cat has been "jailed" in the utility room, aka nursery, SO we move the cat into the main bathroom, some stuff has to go to the garage, because you need lots of room for these "outdoor" children, and I start pulling out all the linens, etc. for drying, cleaning, and warming this little guy who has been born in 30 degree weather, who is very wet and cold. Once we are ready, Jim goes out to the car, carries the baby in(65 pounds)and I go to warming towels, etc. In the meantime Sassy(puppy) is not too sure about all of this and thinks that every time he makes a noise or moves she needs to bark, which scares the little guy, so we have to try to shush her, not an easy task, and then of course she still doesn't know that she is a tiny thing and wants to be right in the middle of the excitement. It takes about an hour to get him warm enough he's not shaking and is able to try to stand up-this is Jim's job, seeing as the calf weighs almost as much as I do. He does pretty good standing and is ready for some milk. We fix him a bottle and thankfully he does a good job sucking and drinks it down. Mind you, every baby that comes through my nursery gets a name. Jim didn't keep up with them very well last year after they were released from my care, but he is suppose to this year! So Freddy was the first to be cared for in 2009. It was after 11 o'clock before we got to go to bed and by 1:30 am Freddy was ready to play. Jim fed him again at 4 this morning, so it was not a good night for sleeping! Jim went to check on the momma this morning and we don't think she is going to make it, Freddy was her first and that's a big baby to have the first time around. So Jim came home, we fed Freddy again, and he went ahead and took him back up to the barn lot, in case by the momma seeing the baby it might help her, but doesn't look like it will. So now Jim has a baby to feed twice a day. Then comes the fun part of cleaning up....washing the "dirty" linens, cleaning the floor, etc. Gotta be prepared for the next one he says!!! I really don't mind all of this especially if its on the weekend, but I don't like it for Jim or the babies, because it means there is a problem which causes more work for him. He said last night that a little over half have had their babies, so I am praying that the rest(about 60) go as well or better than the first half. If you ever need some on hand experience with baby calves let me know and I'll give you a call next time the nursery has to open.

A long awaited visit with friends!

After almost 3 1/2 years I was finally able to go visit some very dear friends, Larry and Carla Hency. Or maybe I should say, quit planning to go visit and just made it happen. I have told myself for a long time I needed "to make time" to go see them, but just never made it a priority, after all, to have to drive for a little over an hour.... I feel really bad about that. You see I met them in Springdale Hospital in October of 2005, when Jim had his second surgery on his colon. Larry was in ICU from an auto accident where one evening (Sept. 21st if my memory holds me) he swerved to miss some deer and ended up in the ditch and is now a quadriplegic. I met Carla in the ICU waiting room as we were waiting for visiting hours to see our husbands. We bonded immediately. They had been going through some very rough times and were trying to get Larry transferred to a better hospital in Colorado. She tells me I was her angel and prayer support, what she doesn't realize is that she was "the angel" who had more strength than an iron man. It is amazing how God puts people together and they form bonds that hold so strongly. I have thought of and prayed for them so much. We have kept in touch through emails and facebook, Christmas letters, and a few phone calls, but nothing is ever as good as seeing that person and being able to exchange hugs and smiles. Thanks for yesterday, I love you girl. Carla, forgive me for being selfish and not making time to come see you sooner and more often. After much trial and prayer they finally got Larry transferred to Colorado. He was there until Carla was able to bring him home in May of 2006. After the accident Larry could breathe on his own, but after the surgery in Springdale he was on a ventilator. He came home on a vent and through hours of loving devotion and prayer Carla worked with him and got him weaned off the vent. She has taken care of him 24/7 since then. They have since returned to Colorado, and need to go back for some more adjustments, surgery, etc. She is an unbelievable woman. Not a nurse, never trained as one, just enabled by the Great Physician above, to do a task few could do. I know I don't think I could manage the job. And that's just the thing, she doesn't see it as a job, she loves her husband with all her heart and is so thankful she has as much of him as she does. It is a miracle that Larry is as "normal" as he is, after all he's been through. He has a motorized wheelchair and motivates it with a hand stick, he's really good at getting where he wants to go, unless its to town and Carla won't take him until later!!! LOL (They were planning a trip to town yesterday afternoon.)
I've always heard if you think you've got it bad/rough just look around and you can always find someone else in worse shape. I have to admit my life has been very trying lately and I've had many days where I was down and just tired of fighting this thing called sickness. But after yesterday I am uplifted in knowing that there is a brother and sister out there who are Praising God for each day of "sickness" they have together, who am I to complain...shame on me! Thank you God for reminding me of your power, your enabling, that you make us strong when we are weak, and that there is good reason to bear one another's burdens. When you see a wheelchair, a deer, or just the thought of these wonderful people cross your mind, please pray for them, that's what gets them through. We are all here for a purpose, not only to love and serve God, but to love and help others. God bless you today my dear friends, and don't wait too long to make that visit you need to make, someday it will be too late.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Timing... an interesting word. Every time I hear that word now days I think of "God's timing." After all that is who controls the time. I sit here with so much on my mind, but don't want to bore anyone. Today has been an interesting day. Let me back up a bit. Last week I had to go stay with my parents for 3 days during the ice storm. After Tuesday night we had power, but no phones, and so Jim didn't want me out here with no way to reach anyone. My parents had a gas stove to keep us warm, but the rest of the house was cool or cold, so making a trip to the bathroom sure got your attention. I tell you all of this to say, with my health issues, going from hot to cold, etc. doesn't agree with my body very well. So by the time I got home on Friday I wasn't feeling well, and by Saturday night it was "start the antibiotics", to kick a super bad sore throat. I have been feeling much better since Monday, but this afternoon within about 30 minutes I went from good to bad. I can barely speak, and that hurts, my airway is a little tight, and so I had to call the doc for stronger drugs-which I hate doing, but that is better than the ER.
So back to my original thought-Jim and I were planning on going to see Cari tomorrow, (Jim's birthday is today and Cari's the 13th, plus I have Valentine goodies for Miss Calloway)but now we can't. Plus Jim is tired from working eight 16 hour days instead of five. I'm not sure what God's reason is for us not to go, but I have to know there is a reason. It is too obvious with the timing of everything. Cari calls on her way home, and she's had a rough day at work, then Libby calls and she had a frustrating day, Jim doesn't get off when he's suppose to and so I am thinking, ok, what is the deal? Then I have to remind myself who is in control and that we have to take the bad with the good, tell myself things will get better and they could be a lot worse. That this is life and its not always pleasant. I believe we are in a "time" of trial, and that as Christians if we don't stand dressed for battle the enemy will do his best to overtake us. I'm ready for some brighter days, but I also realize that God will not let America continue down this road of destruction too long. If people continue to "take" him out of everything HE will make Himself known. I believe the end is near and that's why Christians are all going through such hard times. We must use our time wisely, and trust His timing in our lives.
On a better timing note-Libby and I were talking about one of her Owasso High School friends the other day. She hadn't seen her in years and hoped she could connect with her somehow. So tonight after she left work "later" than planned, she drove to Owasso to get something from Hobby Lobby that the other store "didn't" have yesterday, then went to Wal-Mart in Owasso "instead" of by her house, and guess who she runs into at the checkout line????????? This friend!!!!!!!!!! Talk about timing! Isn't God good? All the "time"!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Oh, the feel of a clean house, thanks mom

Since I knew yesterday that I wasn't feeling up to going to Texas this weekend for Calloway's Birthday Party (you have to understand that trip just about does me in when I am completely well, let alone fighting a sinus infection), I decided to work on putting up my Christmas decorations. Jim was home so a good opportunity to use him as my pack mule. He carried in all the boxes and tubs from the garage, and I started to work. He helped with the trees and the stuff that was too high to reach from the floor (I have been banned from climbing utensils). I decided to put everything in plastic tubs this year as somehow a mouse had gotten into the box of Christmas stockings and enjoyed a meal on two of them. Living in the country has its disadvantages, but I wouldn't trade it for the big city life. So repacking became a new challenge. Before, I knew what went where and how everything fit together, not anymore. I decided I would try to pack what went in each room together, well that lasted all of 30 minutes. It's just simpler to put all the snowmen together, that way they can keep each other cool while hanging out throughout the year. It didn't take me long to realize why it had taken me so long to decorate this year, isn't it suppose to come down in less than half the time? Well after 4 trees, over 100 snowmen and various other things, I decided that was enough for the day. The beds were still to be changed out, the kitchen cabinets were still covered in lighted garland and snow, but that could wait until today. My sweet mother came this morning to help me finish up, iron, swiffer, and mop. This old body just can't handle those tasks very well anymore. I remember up until just a few years ago, after Jim and the girls would leave on Friday mornings I would get started. It was laundry and cleaning day. I would get ALL my laundry, ironing, cleaning, etc. done while they were gone. I was ready for the weekend and was free to go and do whatever came up. Boy does that seem like forever ago. I am still very thankful for the times when I feel good enough to do those things, but they are much fewer and farther between these days. I thank God I am still able to do what I can, with His help I have far surpassed anything the doctors thought would be possible. Some of you bloggers out there know what its like to have health issues and others who don't, I pray that you thank God each day that you can do what you do. Life is a very fragile thing and too often times we take it for granted and then when something happens like Cassie's new fight with cancer we are rocked to the core. GOD is in CONTROL and he made us, knows exactly what we can handle, but we also have to be willing to be submissive to the path He is leading us down. Generally a dark path, with not enough light, or so we think, to lead us, but a light none the less. A path not well traveled and unfamiliar to us is often scary, but that's where the faith comes in. It's all about FAITH-do you really trust Him? No, I mean do you? Think about it! What will come across your path in this year 2009? Are you prepared for heaven? I am, just not ready to go there just yet! So this day after New Years, I am thankful for a clean house, a mom who loves me more than enough to help me, and thankfully she is still able to do those things, but more importantly a Heavenly Father who is building the ultimate clean house for me someday where I won't have to be concerned with any of the things I've mentioned here. Love you mom and many thanks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas, Birthdays, and then some...

Since I told you of the story of Sassy a lot has happened. The kids all came home for Christmas. Libby, Wyatt, and their puppies got here Wednesday evening in time for a late supper. You know it's terrible when you have to bribe your children with food to get them to come home earlier, but I say if it works whoohoo! Anyway, they got a late start form Tulsa, and since Christmas Eve is my dad's birthday we had planned on going to visit after supper. Since they were running late I decided to just go ahead and run over there for a short visit and then come home and cook. So Libby called when they got to Springdale and I headed home. I got home and started cooking, you want to know what the menu was, ok, deer steak and rice and gravy. One of the girl's favorites, and it was fresh too, which makes it even better. So after supper we just relaxed and discussed plans for the following day.

Mark, Cari, and Calloway left early Christmas morning to come to Arkansas, since Mark had to be at church the night before for the Candlelight Service. We had a late breakfast and Libby had to have a manicure and pedicure (no one was going to see those toes in the cold weather, but you know how these girls are!), so she got 'em all painted up red for Christmas. They looked really pretty. Then the Burnett bunch got here around noon, we had a few minutes before we had to go to Jim's parents for lunch. We normally have lunch with his family and supper with mine. Jim's mom is one of the best cooks I know. She makes THE best mashed potatoes. We had turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry relish, brown beans, green beans, homemade rolls, corn, apple pie, and cherry pie. I think that was all. We had 18 people in all. We decided not to do gifts this year. So after everyone was complaining about their bellies (that's Arkie language) being full, we went in the main living room to have pictures taken. Now you have to understand, taking pictures with this bunch is like a three ring circus. You never know who is going to do what and when it might happen. A perfect photo opp just might be ruined by someone acting up. But this is part of what makes this side of the family fun and relaxing. Jim's parents are getting up in years and their health is not so good. His dad is 86, and his mom 81. So after running the batteries down in the camera we head back down to our house to have our family Christmas.

I bet you can't guess who had the most presents under the tree? It wasn't me or Jim! As I've told you earlier things happen when I go shopping in the children's department. We got so excited about Calloway opening presents that we forgot to take pictures, can you believe that. Well, I'm not taking the blame for it, because I had my own baby in my lap to take care of. We had a really nice time and got some good stuff. Jim got a web-cam so now maybe we can see Calloway more often, if he'll get the thing hooked up. Of course the big kids normally want money for some crazy reason, so that makes that easy enough. Although there was one present I couldn't locate in time, a pair of red leather Mary Jane's, for someone who, when they were little always wanted a pair. I won't say any names, but it wasn't my girls. Libby always wanted to play the drums, so she finally got one for Christmas! Mark loves puzzles, and so I was able to find one that I think will keep him challenged for a while! After opening gifts you can probably guess who had Calloway. She was making the rounds seeing things and saying, "What's that", and of course you know Poppy had to make sure she was satisfied at all times. No spoiling going on that day.

We went to my parent's for supper. We had fried chicken-mommas is the best, mashed potatoes, biscuits, gravy, beans, banana pudding, pie, brownies, and lots of homemade candy. She makes fudge, peanut butter balls, and coconut balls, the best part is you always get to bring some home with you. We decided with our family getting so big that we would just buy gifts for the kids this year. I have never seen a camera flash as many times as it did that night. With it being Calloway and Sophia's first Christmas, we had to make sure nothing was missed, or at least that was Susan's thoughts! (love ya sis). Mom and dad always get us stuff, no matter what "WE" say the rules are-I guess that's one of the benefits of being the eldest and the parents. I am really proud of my parents. They neither one have a high school education, but have worked hard all their lives, and instilled in us girls that a hard work ethic and a life of integrity is essential. I thank God to know that when their days on earth are through, that they have tried to do the best they could with what they've had and that their reward will be in a heavenly home. Life has not been easy for them, but they have showed us what family really means, that you stick it out and do the best you can. Their love is truly unconditional, and I'm grateful for all they've taught me. (Don't ask me how that fits in with Christmas-I guess just knowing that God gave His best for us, and that's what they've done.) We didn't stay too late as it had already been a long day, and Friday was going to be too.

Since Mark and Cari had to leave Friday afternoon to go to his dad's, we had a big birthday bash at Susan's Friday morning. We had 3-"first" birthdays to celebrate, my dad being 71, and the babies turning 1, Sophia on Saturday and Calloway on Monday! Lots of nice presents, food, and fun for all. We left there and went to Jim's Razorback Pizza for lunch, then Jim, Wyatt, and Sassy came home while Mark and Calloway dropped Libby, Cari, and me off at Trees N Trends, then he went to get something from his brother, returned to get us and headed home. The Burnett bunch got ready and left around3, then the Wagner bunch left shortly thereafter. A good Christmas and birthday fun, but just way tooooo short for my liking.

I hadn't felt good off and on all week, and by the time the kids left Friday I was feeling it! The sinus crud caught up with me and today is the first day that I've really felt like doing anything. And NO, I didn't stay up to see the old year out and the new one in! I know you are so disappointed, but I was sleeping good when it happened! What a way to bring in the new year! Happy New Year and hope you had a wonderful time with your families this Christmas season as well.