Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Granny Update

Per Mandy's request and in an effort to let others know about the on-goings in our family I thought that it might be a good idea to update everyone on my grandmothers.

Nana (Fran's mom's mom) - Nana is doing really good. She is still working and she and her husband Bob are very busy with rentals, business, dr's appts, and other tasks that they have on their plate. Nana is a wonderful person and a blessing to our family. She has been so helpful to Francie and I (as have others) in getting settled in to where we live. She has had a wonderful Christmas and if the good Lord wills will continue to do the things in her life as she can.

Granny H (Jack's mom's mom) - Granny H has been doing good. My uncle and aunt from the Windy city came in for part of Dec. It's been good to see them since we haven't been able to do so the last several times that they were in. Since they were in it gave my mom (and her sisters) a break from having to take care of my grandmother. The timing couldn't have been better (see Granny D update for reasons), and for the most part Granny H has been doing wonderful. We did have a slight scare last week as her blood pressure was very high and she was complaining of a headache. With her history of strokes this was two things red flags that need to be dealt with immediately. Since it was at night (btw why does this always happen at night? Why can't people just get sick during the day when Dr's are actually in their offices?!?!?) we took her to the ER and after a few hours (3-4) and some new blood pressure meds they sent her back home with instructions to the family to keep a close eye on her blood pressure. Other than that things have been going good. Christmas time was a wonderful event and more posts on that hopefully will come soon. But all in all Granny H is doing really well. Granny D on the other hand......

Granny D (Jack's dad's mom) - for followers of our other blogs this might be somewhat repetitive, however I'll try to be as brief as possible (which for those that know me can be somewhat difficult). The last part of 2008 has been one thing after another with Granny D. Here is the timeline.....

Sept - my uncle (her son) passes away. Very unexpectedly and very difficult on the family and my grandmother.
Oct - Granny falls at a local restaurant and cuts her knee. No damage other than the cut which is about 6 inches long going across the knee left to right. 13 stitches are inserted to close the cut and Granny is sent home.
Oct (a week later) - Granny says that the stitches pop open. The story changes and still to this day is somewhat uncertain to exactly what happened. However whether they popped open or not she did admit to using scissors at some point in the process. Surgery is performed, infection is cleaned, cut is cleaned up, staples are applied, and a immobilizer is applied to where she can't bend the leg or touch the staples. She spends a few weeks in rehab for strength and treatment.
Nov -Granny with my aunt head to FL for the winter. During a stop at my cousins house Granny falls and the staples come loose. While in the hospital they find a spot on her lung. Scare is given that it might be cancer and we go down to meet the rest of the family just in case it is. The spot ends up being pneumonia and after a few more days she goes and stays with my cousin at her house. Dad stays with her to help with Granny and the kids. Before she leaves the hospital to go to my cousins the doctor takes the staples out. As you might have guessed, while staying at my cousins the cut pops back open and more staples are applied. After about a week Granny and dad come home.
Dec - Granny calls dad saying that she is dying and for him to come down immediately. Dad goes down to Granny's house (she lives next door to my parents) and they make the trip to the ER. Granny goes back in the hospital (4th trip since Oct) and is given treatments for the infection in her body. While there she gives us a scare on the heart and blood pressure. Making a long story short she finally gets to go back home a few days before Christmas. She's now been back at home for 8 days (at the time of this blog). And if she makes it through today, it will be the longest period of time she has been at home without having to make a trip to the hospital since she fell in Oct (at least according to Fran). We were able to find someone to stay with her during the day. This has been a HUGE blessing for her and the family. I try to go see her as often as I can, however with everything else going on in our lives it can make it quite difficult. Hopefully Granny D will continue to improve and be able to stay at her house for many more days, weeks, and months.

So there is the update on the Granny's. I hope that this wasn't too long, and I hope that each and everyone of you have a wonderful new year. Even though the end part of 2008 has been very difficult for my family, 2008 as a whole has been a good year for us. Fran became a Dr., we moved to our hometown, we have our health, jobs, a roof over heads, family, and many other blessings - we are so blessed to have what we do and I'm very thankful to our Heavenly Father for those blessings.

Happy New Year!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's funny how Christmas makes you reflect on the past. We have dedicated our Christmas tree to sentimental, meaningful ornaments which means that each one tells a story and reminds me of something. I could stare at it for hours.

My life has been filled with many Christmas memories, both good and bad. I remember waking up as a small child to find Santa's presents in my grandmother's living room floor. One year (when I was 7) I received a doll house that you had to put together. Santa's elves had brought it to me unassembled and by 7am, it was done! I remember being so proud of myself for putting it all together alone. I also remember being in the hotel in Memphis when my grandfather was in the hospital with his heart problems. Mom went to the hospital gift shop just after it closed and convinced the clerk to let her in to buy a little Christmas tree for our hotel room. I was 13 and I was so sad that my grandaddy was sick and we weren't home for Christmas.

This year is one of mixed blessings for our family and it's difficult sometimes to wrap my mind around. I pray that as you enjoy the next few days-- eating big meals, opening gifts, and thanking God for the birth of his Son-- that you have some memories to look back on. Merry Christmas. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Critical Windows Update

I try not to combine blogs, however I did want to take a moment and mention a posting that I just finished on my Tech Blog. It's regarding a critical windows update that came out yesterday (12/17/08). Please take a moment to read it and follow it's advice. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's the most chaotic time of the year...

Neither of us has been able to post in several days, so I thought I would write a quick update today. This is the first weekend in three weeks that we will be home and I am thankful for that. After San Diego and Thanksgiving, we spent the weekend seeing Jack's grandmother who was in the hospital out-of-town. If you follow Jack's prayer blog, you know all about that. Bless her heart, she and her family need prayers right now...but that's another story.
Last weekend we went out-of-town to celebrate Jack's mom's 60th birthday. Her twin brother and his family joined us too. We participated in some holiday events while we were there including looking at giant Christmas trees and decorating gingerbread houses and cookies.

The gingerbread cookie thing was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Jack's cousin-in-law did the most creative one which is the "gingerbird" complete with a beak and yellow claws. My sister-in-law's was pretty good too. She is a nurse so she made a ginger patient with a neck-brace and cane. Good times.
December seems to be going unusually fast for me this year. I adore Christmas and everything that goes with it. Taking down my tree in early January is depressing to me. As I have been grading final exam papers, I've been listening to the all-Christmas radio and trying to get in the spirit of the season. This year, though, everything is so different and busy that I haven't been as excited as usual. I made myself put up our tree. I only have a few gifts bought. We haven't decorated the outside of our home at all. Bah-humbug. Hopefully after some much-needed rest and a few days off I can bring myself to enjoy this Christmas. If not, maybe I'll just make my gingerbread man walk around quoting lines from Shrek.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunny San Diego

Yesterday (Monday) in the wee hours of the morning, Jack and I returned from a wonderful work/vacation trip to San Diego. I thought I'd share a little bit of our trip today, which will continue the tradition we have unwittingly started of blogging on Tuesdays. :) Also, this post will include our first photographs (which has now caused this post to actually go up on Wednesday).

San Diego has long been one of my favorite places to vacation. There are wonderful things to do, the weather is always beautiful, and it reminds me of Hawaii without having to cross the ocean on a plane. (I hate to fly.) Since my national conference was in San Diego this year, I convinced Jack to take a day off work and come with me. Here are some of the highlights.

One of the great things about this trip was getting to see some of our friends that we rarely see anymore. We spent Friday with one of them and took a break from the conference. Since all of us had been to San Diego before, we decided not to rent a car and instead we went to things we could walk to which began with a trip to Horton Plaza (a shopping mall). At Horton Plaza we learned the reason why Cinnabons are so good:

Yes, that yellow ball in the middle of the dough is butter. All butter. Paula Deen would be proud.

Another interesting site we saw while at Horton Plaza was the outdoor ice skating rink. Yes, I said outdoor ice skating in San Diego. It was a beautiful, and rather warm, 74 degrees when I took the picture of these people ice skating:

I taught them how to do that.

After Horton Plaza, we went to Petco Park and got a behind the scenes tour of the park. It was actually very interesting. We sat in luxury boxes and seats worth $43,000 for the season-- something we will never do again unless we pay another $9 each for a tour.

The rest of the weekend, we still got to see friends and I spent some time working. Sunday we packed up to come home. I think we could have both stayed another week and not complained. On the plane flight home we met a nice man our age who works at a gun store in Las Vegas. We spent some time talking to him about almost everything and before we parted company he gave us his phone number and said if we were ever in Vegas we could come by the store and he'd teach me how to use a machine gun. Those of you who know me are probably laughing out loud right now. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What did you say?

Something interesting has happened over the past 24 hours that makes me want to talk to you about the subject I study-- communication. Even if you haven't spent an unnatural amount of time in classes and the library learning about communication, there are probably a few things that you know about it. The thing I want to focus on today is precisely what I am doing now, communicating online. When you send e-mails, Facebook or MySpace messages, there is a HUGE amount of room for error. The other person's background, mood they are in when they read what you've written, and circumstances surrounding the message can have a large impact on how they interpret what you say.

So, my friends, be careful. Nonverbal cues like smiling, tone of voice, and gestures are not easily interpreted in written, electronic messages. I suppose that is why we invented emoticons. :) But even then, the possibility of being misinterpreted is still greater than in face-to-face communication. Think before you type and if you aren't sure how your message will be taken, hold onto it before you post/send it. Maybe later you will feel the need to make some modifications. Never use online communication as a substitute for things that need to be said face-to-face. Try to be sure you are clear in the message you are trying to get across. Jack is excellent at that as he usually will take extra time to reiterate his message and be sure it is coming out the way he means for it to. My business training causes me to lean towards brevity, although writing a 200 page dissertation did help me be more thorough and expansive... but I digress.

Technology is a great blessing, but it can also cause us to open up a can of worms. I hope as you continue to write e-mails, blogs, and Facebook posts that you think before you click send. And if you are on the misinterpreting end (as I was in the past 24 hours), take the time to clear it up with the person you misinterpreted. Thankfully, my friend did express what she really meant to me and I had the opportunity to explain why I reacted the way I did. Hopefully our relationship is not damaged. I also hope that your relationships are not damaged by something as simple as miscommunication.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanking the Veterans

This post really isn't about what's going on in the Mister & Doctor family, however more about what is going on today in our great country. Today as we all know is Veterans Day. The day that we salute and honor those men and women who were in the armed services.

While I (Jack) never was in the service I do know several people who were. And even though I would like to put their names on here to honor them, I am going to pass on that opportunity for privacy sake. However I encourage each and every one of you who know someone who was in the service to thank them for their willingness to serve.

May God continue to bless our country as He so richly has in the past and may He bless all of the men and women who lay their lives on the line for this country each and every day.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This weekend was really extraordinary. Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night, we attended a church event and spent hours in song. It really reminded me how much praising God in singing helps me feel close to Him. Here are some of my favorites:

For the Lord is a Righteous God
How Deep the Father's Love for Us
May My Steps Be Worship
Holy Ground
Above All
Can He Still Feel the Nails
Faithful Love
Mansion, Robe, and Crown
Good to Me
He Knows Just What I Need

This is a very short list in no particular order, but I wanted to share with you some of the songs that make me feel close to God and often uplift my spirits. I'm a big fan of Christian Contemporary Music too, but I'll save those favorites for another post. What are some of your favorite worship songs? Please share them with me in the comments.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Staying with Granny for the first time.

On Tuesday night Fran & I stayed with my mom's mom (i.e. my maternal grandmother or Granny H for those that are part of the family). Granny has been in…well…let's call it "fair" health for several years now. And like several people who are up there in their years, we have had to have someone stay with Granny during the day. However the last few years someone has had to stay with her at night as well. Because my grandparents were blessed enough (or crazy enough - you pick) to have six children, her children have been the ones to mainly stay with her at night. Lately because of other family member’s health issues, the ability of her children to stay at night has been limited to just a few of the kids.

Now that we are back in the heart of God's country, we are able to help out from time to time and stay with my grandmother. Last night was our first night to stay with her. To say that we were both a little nervous would be an understatement. Because what the heck would I do if something happened? How would I handle the situation? What if I didn't hear her in the middle of the night if she needed help? ALL of these questions, plus more, were running through both of our heads. So we thought, and prepared, and planned, and cooked, and researched, and prayed, and thought some more, and the day came. Tuesday. The day we elected a new president. The day we elected the country’s first non-caucasian president.

Now for those of you who don't know me very well I think of myself as a person who tries hard not to be prejudiced. However keep in mind my grandmother (who is almost 90 years old and not in the best health - mentally or physically) grew up in a time in which, well let's just say that she's 90 years old. And we stayed with her, on the night that we elected our first non-caucasian president.

To say the least it was interesting, I bet I heard the words “oh me” 27,000 times. Actually it wasn't that bad and neither was the evening. Wasn't nearly as bad as I thought that it might be (both regarding the election and staying with her in general). Fran made a wonderful potato soup for us (joined by my dad since Katie & mom decided that they needed to go shopping in a town about an hour away) and Granny enjoyed it so much she had a small second bowl. After dinner we spent most of the rest of the evening watching the election results. Granny slept through the whole night, and I know this for a fact since she snored 98% of the time, and in the morning she got up on her own, and gave us a kiss, and we left for work. Hopefully we will be able to stay with her some more in the future. I just hope that it's not on another election night! ;)

Love you Granny!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hopping on Board and Halloween I learned yesterday that my husband wanted to start a few blogs. As you may have already read, we have talked about this before but compared to our blogging friends it seems that our life may not include many blog-worthy moments. We don't have any cute children stories/pictures, exciting vacations, pregnancy-related changes, or hurricane fiascoes (like Mandy) to talk about. However, we will give this a try and create a presence in the online world apart from our facebook pages.

Sitting here at my desk, avoiding grading papers, I began to think about Halloween. When I was a kid I loved Halloween. Scary stories fascinated me. I loved the imaginary world of ghosts and creepy dead things lurking in the graveyards. My favorite books were the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Since my mom was an elementary librarian, I had access to those books almost any time I wanted to read them. I think I scared Jack this morning when I revealed to him that I used to decorate my room with skeletons that I had cut out of paper and other frightening decorations that would have made me disturbed had my child been decorating her room that way. I think my mom knew I just had an active imagination. Anyway, it's interesting the way Halloween changes as you get older. Dressing up was a highlight of my childhood (even when it was too cold to wear the costume without a jacket, which always ruined the look of it). In college, inner-city children would come trick-or-treat at our dorm rooms. One year I bought those fangs you can glue to your teeth so you look like a vampire. Otherwise I dressed normally, so when the kids came to our door and I smiled at them they would scream and run away. It was fun. Last year we had a trunk-or-treat event at church and I dressed up like a tree (don't ask me why). Then I dusted off my old balloon animal skills and made swords, hats, flowers, and dogs for the children. I don't decorate my house for Halloween like I used to decorate my room. But thinking about that does make me wonder what our own children might do when they encounter Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blogging Rules

Check out a resent post I made on my tech blog. (

Remember always be careful when blogging. You never know who is watching. Dum dum dum! (playing of cheesy organ suspenseful music)

Seriously, the rules I posted about blogging are excellent rules. Please take a look at them and try to practice safety while blogging.

Hello World!!

Hello everyone. Well we have officially bit the bullet. Even though I would consider us pretty tech savvy people, we have been putting off getting a blog because we didn’t think that our lives were interesting enough to have a blog. And in order to clear the air, there is NO big event that occurs after 9 months of cooking that is causing us to have a blog. We are NOT pregnant! However, I’ve been thinking about blogging for a while. I know several friends, family members, and religious brothers and sisters who do blog. In reading their blogs I began to think more and more about how I could use a blog. I felt God pushing me to blog. I know that sounds silly, however clarity can be found in one of my other blogs. I began to think about having just one huge blog in which everything was put. However the more and more I thought about it I felt that it would be best to break it up. So today I bit the bullet (and dragged Fran along with me) and created not just one, not just two, but THREE blogs (this being the third one).


Oh well. We’ll see how long it lasts! ;)

So what will this blog contain?

Well I haven’t cleared everything with the boss (aka the wife) yet, however I invision this blog being the blog about the two of us. Things (either together or separate) that we experience, are having to deal with, are on our minds, or just a general sounding board for our friends and family.

So here we go, off into the wild blue yonder!