12.31.17 Reflections on God’s Blessings in 2017

December 31, 2017 – Roy and I just completed our fifth year of living on the road and at home in Amite, Louisiana.  As in past years, we saw many of the beautiful sights God blessed America and us with.  We traveled 5,172 miles through many of the central and western states, traveled Route 66 from Williams, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then headed home to Amite, Louisiana! Here is a map of the path we traveled this year, 2017.

Each year putting this particular blog post together is a big undertaking. However, each year this blog post reminds me of the wonderful adventures Roy and I were blessed to experience during the year. As always we are excited to share it all with you.

I had a difficult time this year putting this together.  Places we stopped at and things we saw are not really in exact order.  Even a couple of blog post topics I just knew I wrote about, I learned I didn’t.

Here it is! Our 2017 in one place!

Each month of the year below is a link to Dora and the Explorers posts for that month. If anything below makes you want to find out more, please click on that month’s link to take you there! It will open in a new window so you can always come back to this page.

JANUARY 2017

The most important thing that happened to the United States in 2017 was the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump!

Roy got more involved in remote airplane flying and built an amazing box in the truck bed to keep his new remote control plane in.

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We had a leak in the top of the passenger side slide out in our motor home. Roy worked diligently to fix it and this is me giving a little help!

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Roy continued his construction management job in Baton Rouge.

Roy developed pneumonia which really took a toll on him.  After several rounds of antibiotics and lots of rest plus lots of prayers he got well and was able to get back to living his life!

FEBRUARY 2017

Chip’s wife Misty, his daughters Kallie and Madisyn and myself drove to Vacherie, Louisiana to visit Oak Alley Plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River. We enjoyed lunch there, toured the plantation grounds and the plantation itself.  We had such a great time of fellowship that day!

We celebrated the love of God and His love through our lives on Red Sunday at our church, Trinity Baptist Church. Roy and I are on the fifth row from the front.

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The Chauvins from Amite went with the Chauvins from Ponchatoula to uptown New Orleans to ride a streetcar and see a Mardi Gras parade.  The streetcar ride going and coming from the parade was very cool.  We saw many of the huge mansions along St. Charles Avenue. I haven’t ridden a streetcar since I was much younger.  After putting this blog post together I was reviewing it and realized I put several pictures for this one event.  Couldn’t decide which to cut out so here they all are!

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20170218_150843We finished that day off  by visiting the church I grew up in, Roy and I were married in, and we all went to until we moved to Hammond,  Harbor Community Church (previously Lakeview Baptist Church.)

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MARCH 2017

I created handmade birthday cards and handmade Easter candy for our family this year.

Dora was treated to a whole new set of shoes (tires) this month.

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Roy dug a 150 foot trench to our storage building that so we can have lights, an outdoor spotlight aimed towards the pond and an indoor electrical outlet.

We had our last Sunday with Bro. Bob and Mrs. Janice Adams at Trinity Baptist Church. Their genuine love for our church members has shown in everything they’ve done during the 18 months of dedication and service to our church.

Madisyn had her 8th birthday at the local bowling alley.

Kallie had her Sweet 16 boiled crawfish birthday party.

Three of the houses Roy was restoring were completed.  Here’s one of them

Roy’s one month follow up x-ray from when he had pneumonia came back clear!

Dr. Valdes added Toujeo (insulin injection) to my diabetes medicines.  At my visit with Dr. Noguchi (eye specialist) the scans of the back of my eyes that were taken, show the macular hole that previously appeared to be growing was now getting better!

APRIL 2017

Roy completed replacing parts on the wonderful zero turn radius one of his house remodeling customers gave us.   We added a hammock to our little slice of paradise in Amite

Roy and I began getting our medicines in MedPaks from Thrift Town Pharmacy in Amite.

Chip and Misty got us a new mini motor bike to ride around the various RV parks we visit.

We picked blackberries down the road from us and in one picking almost filled an 8 quart pot with them.

It’s always a fun time when we get a visit from my sister Harriett and brother in law George! We’re two sassy chicks!

Our sons and their families gathered at a nearby campsite for dinner and fun.

Roy, Madisyn, Misty and I went to the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula.

Roy and I enjoyed a lot of delicious crawfish this month, mostly at B&J Seafood in Hammond.

MAY 2017

Me passing out, an ambulance ride to the hospital and a 5 day stay filled with several tests, and two units of blood resulted in finding out I have a bleeding ulcer.  Our plans were for us to leave Louisiana a couple of days after I was hospitalized.  This postponed getting back on the road by several weeks.

Jeff Craddock, owner of Absolute Auto Glass replaced Dora’s two front windshields!

Roy put up a rustic fence for me! We plan to decorate it with metal art on the fence and in the garden.

We took some of the time we had to stay in town to attend church with our son Chip and his family at Soul’s Harbor Church in Hammond.

I developed a staph infection in my elbow which resulted in six doctor visits, having it drained many times and a lot of pain and strong medicine.

For Mother’s Day Chip’s family brought a huge box of boiled crawfish, potatoes and corn. Misty’s mama Vickie and Misty’s brother’s children Haylee and Connor (who live with Vickie) joined Chip, Misty, Madisyn, Kalie and us for our family Mother’s Day.

Roy added a Search feature to our Dora blog!

JUNE 2017

After over a year of searching for a new Pastor at our church Trinity Baptist, the search committee presented Bro. Avery Dixon to our church in June of this year.  After he preached a Sunday morning sermon to us and we shared a delicious meal together, and a time for the congregation to ask them questions, the church voted to call him as our Pastor.  And he said yes!!!

This month was my introduction to and falling in love with painting and hiding rocks to bring happiness to others. Some of the first ones! This hobby became something I’ve done almost every day this year!

I became lightheaded earlier in the year and with everything else happening I didn’t address it until now.  I had another MRI, a Holter Monitor test and a carotid artery ultrasound. It turned out the lightheadedness was due to my dementia medicines so I had to get off of them.

My sister’s family came to visit one day and we had so much fun!

June 22nd we had the last visit to all three doctors and were given the okay to get back on the road!!!

Here we are getting ready to pull out and get back to our traveling!

We called this our Route 66 journey.  We started out heading north then west and then getting on Route 66 in Arizona going eastward to Oklahoma City, then we headed home.

First stop was Chicot County RV Park in Lake Village, Arkansas

On to Hot Springs National Park – Gulpha Gorge Campground

We visited Hot Springs Mountain Tower

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Roy removed a broken slide motor and put in the new slide motor.

We went to Garvan Woodland Gardens, the 210 acre botanical garden of the University of Arkansas is nestled in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas.

We headed to Shirley, Arkansas. It is near Mountain View, Arkansas which we love!  We stayed at Golden Pond RV Park and visited several places while there.  First was the Chow Hall  BBQ which is right in the RV park!

Roy discovered a local remote control flying club called Lake Area Fun Flyers Squadron. They let him fly there and he enjoyed it a lot!

We discovered an amazing creek called Weaver’s Creek where we gathered a lot of rocks for painting!

Natural Bridge near Clinton, Arkansas was beautiful and very historic

Once again we visited Mountain View, Arkansas strolled around downtown and enjoyed listing to the music played there all around town! We enjoyed eating again at Kin Folks BBQ and having ice cream across from the town square.

We went to Clinton where we found The Pottery Shop and picked out a cool piece of metal art for our garden back home!

We went to Cherokee Village, Arkansas to visit some life long friends and family, John and Barbara Tate.  We had a really nice time of visiting and catching up with them.

This was when we changed our travel plans from traveling Route 66 from east to west to doing the exact opposite later in the year when the weather will be cooler there.

Roy’s plane got stuck in a tree at the flying field.  After several unusual type attempts to get the plane out he finally got it out using a fishing pole and line.

Roy made friends with several guys at their local flying field, this one is Rick and to say he is a talented flyer does not do his flying abilities any justice.  We both enjoyed watching him fly.

We had to replace the hitch pin that holds our TOAD (the truck we tow behind the Motor Home) locked in place. We also had to replace the rear air conditioner blower motor.  We also had a flat tire so we purchased two brand new tires which makes all four tires new on Boots our Toad.

Next we went to Branson, Missouri where we stayed at Treasure Lake RV Resort for almost two weeks.  We’ve stayed there before and really enjoyed it both times.

We visited the College of the Ozarks in Hollister, Missouri where students work to pay for their tuition. While there we visited the Keeter Center which houses a lodge, dining room and fresh ice cream shop!

We also toured the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks.  We saw the original Beverly Hillbillies car, very cool. We kinda looked like hillbillies that day so we felt right at home!  We hid several painted rocks around the campus!

While in Branson we also went to see their show and eat at Dixie Stampede.

We also went to the Sights and Sounds Theater to enjoy seeing the production of “Moses.”

We explored downtown Branson where we found Dick’s 5 and 10 which is a unique place with gifts you won’t find anywhere else, one-of-a-kind collections spanning generations, toys from yesteryear, items for the home, games, hobby supplies, sewing, an aisle of the quirky and fun and so much more.

We then discovered Peter Engler Designs. Roy found him a new buddy! He costs $22,000 and took 5 years to carve!

In Ozawkie, Kansas we stayed at Perry State Park for two nights. They are right on a huge lake which was simply beautiful.

We then stayed at Fossil Creek RV Park for three nights, one night in Sutton, Colorado and then two weeks in Monument, Colorado at Colorado Heights RV Park.

AUGUST  2017

We love Colorado Springs and were so happy to be back there!  A friend of mine from high school in New Orleans and her husband (Sue and Lou) were staying at the same RV park (Colorado Heights) as us so we got to visit with them and had a nice time catching up!

Focus on the Family welcomes visitors to the ministry’s Welcome Center in Colorado Springs.

We revisited Garden of the Gods’ to see that amazing and natural creation of the one and only God.

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 from a desire to preserve Colorado’s Wild West era for generations to come. This ghost “town” is an indoor collection of the very structures that were left to decay around the Pikes Peak region, all looking much as they would have 100 years ago.

The Colorado Springs Flea Market was the biggest, best organized flea market we’ve ever seen!

Pike’s Peak was a highlight of our last stay in Colorado.  This time there was very little snow, low clouds and hail.  It was still a wonderful trip to the over 14,000 foot high mountain.

 

We also went back to Santa’s Village at the North Pole, the amusement park located on the way up and down from Pike’s Peak.

The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are comprised of Anasazi ruins that date back 800 to 1000 years.

Magic Town in Old Colorado City is a 3,000 square/foot, 1/6 scale miniature city. Simply amazing and fun!

Our friends, Sue and Lou, and Roy and I all went to the Pinedale Aquatic Center which we loved from our last visit.  It’s a pool, lazy river, super slide and hot tub!

Terry Bison RV Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming was a very cool one night park we loved!

We were blessed to be able to see the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore in the same week. The first photo below is from the beautiful ride we enjoyed going up the Rocky Mountain.

The next is a panoramic photo from the top of the Rocky Mountain road called Old Fall River Road.

We stayed in Three Flags RV Park in South Dakota. This is one of the views from our trip to Mount Rushmore.  We got up close and personal which was a surprise!

While there we went into Sturgis, South Dakota to see the city famous for their annual motorcycle rally. Roy brought our mini bike with us just so he could take this picture!

There is an awesome place called Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.  We spent hours going through the place which was nothing like what I expected.

SEPTEMBER 2017

Roy bought a cool windmill for me while we were in Wyoming for my birthday.  It will go in our garden when we get back home.

When we went from Wyoming to Utah  you could immediately tell you weren’t in Wyoming any longer. Wyoming has some mountains but mostly hills. Utah is one giant mountain after another and is so beautiful.

We took a trolley tour of Salt Lake City which included the Mormon Tabernacle. The trolley was a great way to see a lot while letting someone else do the driving!

We toured the Utah capitol building where Rosalyn addressed their congress!

From there we went on to Bryce Canyon National Park, in southern Utah.  It is known for crimson-colored hoodoos, which are spire-shaped rock formations.  We took the free (for Seniors) Bryce Canyon shuttle bus to see as much of this beautiful place that we could!

Here’s what we saw leaving Bryce Canyon, going through Red Canyon on our way back to Paradise View RV park in Panguitch, Utah.

Next we went towards the Grand Canyon and boondocked over night on the road between the North and the South Rims. There is no better place to boondock than this!

We only visited the South Rim this time.  Every inch of the Grand Canyon is amazing and took my breath away yet again!

This is when we started our real Route 66 journey!  Route 66 starts in California and goes all the way to Illinois. We drove the portion from Williams, Arizona to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

We stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post on Highway 66.

Holbrook, Arizona where the Wigwam Motel was a motel chain in the United States built during the 1930s and 1940s.

 

We next spent seven nights at Hidden Valley Resort in Tijera, New Mexico. We drove through the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in Arizona.

We saw many lava beds along the interstate.  That is what the black hole is in this photo.

Sandia Peak Tram in the Cibola National Forest affords an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment.

We really enjoyed the Musical Road which is part of Route 66 where you ride along it at 45 miles per hour and hear “America the Beautiful”.

We enjoyed dinner that night at the Route 66 Diner in Albuquerque, NM

At Gabriel’s Restaurant in Sante Fe we enjoyed having guacamole fixed for us at our table!

We discovered our first Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe and loved it!

The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa. The Blue Hole is one of seven sister lakes connected underground by a vast system of water.

Route 66 Auto Museum also in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Many old cars and Route 66 memorabilia.

The Route 66 Museum was closed but we did get a photo!

 

The Blue Swallow Motel brought me back to the times I’d go on vacation with my parents.

OCTOBER 2017

At Jack Sisemore’s Traveland we enjoyed seeing all of the really old and some famous RVs in the RV Museum. This is the Gornicke’s RV from the movie RV.

National Route 66 & Transportation Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma was one of the last Route 66 sites we saw before leaving Route 66 to head south!

Back we went to Golden Pond RV Park in Shirley, Arkansas.  Roy flew with the remote control group there, we both gathered a couple hundred rocks from the creek we like and we enjoyed BBQ from Chow Hall.  We even brought some BBQ Ribs, Baked Beans and Potato Salad home . There was no water in the creek this time!

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While in Shirley, Arkansas we also went to Clinton where I got a metal Cow for our garden!

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NOVEMBER 2017

When we got back home in Amite we visited with both our son’s families and were so happy to get back to our home church family.

Here’s most of our metal yard art in our rustic fence garden.

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Roy found out the cataracts in both eyes are at the point they need to be taken out.  The first eye will be done in December.

Roy installed system that will lock all the drawers when the motorhome’s engine ignition is turned on. This solved a big problem we had while on the road traveling.

Had my first visit with a possible new neurologist, Dr. Patricia Morgan.

Here’s the rocks we collected during our last stay in Arkansas.

Madisyn’s school had a Veterans Day service were Roy and other family members that were in the military were honored.  Roy is speaking and Madisyn is standing up in this photo.

Misty, Kallie, Madisyn and I helped our Misty’s church’s Thanksgiving Servolution putting together 1,200 meals.

We enjoyed a family get together with Misty’s family first and then with our oldest son’s family at Chip’s house.

Misty, Roy and I went to Ponchatoula High School’s presentation of Annie to see Gracyn and Kaylon Willoughy! They and the play was awesome!

We had dinner with Chip’s family for Misty’s birthday at Mi Patio!

DECEMBER 2017

God gave us a very surprising and unusual winter snowfall.  We had six inches of snow which made everything here so beautiful.  This is down by our pond.

Roy and Chip pressure washed our rental house and it looks great!

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Our neighbor Daniel gave us his paddle boat.  We’re waiting for some warm weather to take it out for a spin around the pond.

I had a three day video ambulatory EEG/EKG to see if I a having seizures and the results show I am not!

Our granddaughter Madisyn sang in the 3rd grade chorus at Ponchatoula’s Christmas Lighting.We were there and were so proud of her!  We had hot chocolate at the Methodist church with Madisyn afterwards.

Roy’s first cataract surgery, on his right eye, was Tuesday the 12th.

Our oldest granddaughter Kallie made a professional of faith, giving her life to the Lord.  She was baptized at their church and we were blessed to be there! The absolute highlight of this year.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoorChristmas at Trinity was very special this year.  It always is! The Children’s Choir and the Adult choir put on beautiful musical presentations.

We were also treated to an evening of songs sung, instruments played and a lot of Christmas music blessings.  Even Ms. Louise Traylor sang for us.  The hit of the night!

Christmas Eve 2017 was spent at our son Chip’s home with his family and our oldest son’s family.  The hugs and sweet voices of our six grandchildren were the very best part of my Christmas!  They are also the very best medicine Roy and I could have!

In case you’re curious, Yes I still am very happy that President Trump is leading this country.  More on that in a separate blog post!

Louisiana is experiencing below normal temperatures as this year closes.  The first year of 2018 will see lows in the teens for several days!  Louisiana is also very excited about the amazing play of our New Orleans Saints.  It’s been exciting to watch them this year. At this time we know we’ll be in the playoffs but not if we’ll lead the division.  Either way I just know they’ll make it to the Super Bowl again and make the beginning of 2018 oh so exciting!

Our plans for the future are simple.  Not as much traveling.  We’ve seen everything we wanted to see, some of it twice.

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Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 are below.

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Happy New Year everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin!
We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2018!

 

 

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12.26.17 – Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Baby dolls for Dementia patients are therapeutic, published 02.10.17

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 – While reviewing the original blog below, I did more research into this and found an article titled:

“Grandmother with dementia reacts with sheer joy as her granddaughter places a child’s doll in her arms in a touching video that will move you to tears.”

I love having clear thinking days like this when I can get something like this accomplished without frustration.  I spent Christmas eve playing with and snuggling with my grandchildren which I believe is the best medicine I could ever have.  thank you to my sons and their families for giving me so much joy! After a 12 hour night of sleeping I am doing wonderful today and thank God for this.

Don’t forget to click on the red links throughout the original blog.  Great information at those websites.

I recommend that in addition to reading the original blog, you check the link below and read that article too. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3379099/Grandmother-dementia-reacts-sheer-joy-s-given-child-s-baby-doll.html
Original blog published 02.10.17 –  On a personal note, Mama had two beanie babies she loved.  Dementia folks have fidgety hands.  The beanie babies gave her fidgeting hands something to love.  We even buried her with those beanie babies.  If I am ever at this point I really want a baby doll to love.  A couple of beanie babies would be a nice first step!dolls for dementia

Baby dolls for Alzheimer’s patients are therapeutic

A helpful, non-drug way to calm and soothe seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia is to give them a soft, lifelike baby doll to cuddle. These therapy dolls can even be effective in calming older adults with severe agitation or other significant behavioral issues.

Why therapy dolls for dementia work

Therapy dolls help seniors feel useful and needed and give them something positive to focus on. Similar to the effect of soft toys like stuffed animals, hugging something soft helps someone with dementia soothe themselves.

Another reason therapy dolls are helpful is that they bring back happy memories of early parenthood for both women and men. Having a child to care for can also ease feelings of isolation and sadness. After all, most of us have seen or experienced the way that interacting with real babies can quickly lift spirits and calm nerves.

Many older adults will enjoy rocking and cuddling their doll. Some even adopt the baby as their own and make caring for it part of their daily routine.

Tips for introducing doll therapy to your senior

The best approach is to casually introduce the doll to your senior and let them decide if they like it or not. If they have no interest in the doll, don’t make an issue out of it.  They may change their minds in the future so you could always give it another try in a few weeks or months.

A few tips:

  1. Don’t act like the doll is a doll, refer to it as a baby and treat it like a real child.
  2. Get a lifelike doll, but one that doesn’t cry – that could be upsetting.
  3. Don’t force it, allow your senior to get to know the doll slowly.

Some caregivers find dolls controversial

We’ve heard from many caregivers who say their older adults are much calmer and happier now that they have their own baby doll. They’re relieved to have found a non-drug solution that eases their senior’s dementia symptoms.

Some people are concerned that giving their older adult a doll would be demeaning or patronizing. But when someone has dementia, helping them feel safe and happy in their current reality is the top priority. That’s why we sometimes need to consider unconventional approaches like baby dolls, fidget blankets, and other simple activities and toys.

Of course, the decision is entirely up to you since you know your older adult best. If you think a therapy doll might help them feel better and enjoy life more, why not give it a try? It’s an inexpensive “treatment” with no side effects.

By DailyCaring Editorial Team http://dailycaring.com

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

2-corinthians-5-17

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Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published randomly

12.24.17 Wacky Wonderful Christmas Eve! Happy Birthday Jesus!

  

 

 

 

    

WORTHY OF OUR WORSHIP

“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” —Matthew 2:10–11

The wise men, these followers of the stars, met the Lord Jesus Christ who created the stars. They were occultists, yet God reached into their dark world with a star to bring them to their Creator.

Matthew’s gospel tells us, “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (2:11).

Everyone worships at Christmas. There are no exceptions to this. Christians worship. Atheists worship. Skeptics worship. Republicans worship. Democrats worship. Independents worship. Everyone worships at Christmas, but not everyone worships God at Christmas. Some worship material things, which they never seem to have enough of. Others worship their bodies. Others worship their families. But everyone worships something or someone.

The wise men worshiped Jesus. And what does it mean to worship? Our modern word worship comes from the old English word worthship. We worship the One who is worthy. A god of our own making isn’t worthy of our worship, but the true God is worthy of our praise.

Two words often are used in the Scriptures to define worship. One word means to bow down and do homage, which speaks of reverence and respect. The other means to kiss toward, which speaks of intimacy and friendship. So when we put these two words together, we get an idea of what worship actually is. To worship is to bow down and have reverence, and it is also to have tender intimacy.

Jesus was born, He died, and He rose from the dead so that you and I could come into a relationship with Him and become God’s adopted children. Simply put, we should worship the Lord because He deserves it—every day of the year.

Found at: https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/christmas-devotionals/

 

 

WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT

Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. —Isaiah 9:7

As we look at our world today, we realize that part of the promise of Isaiah 9:6-7 has not yet been fulfilled. The Son has been given. The Child has been born. But He has not yet taken the government upon His shoulders. We do not yet have peace with judgment and justice. But the good news is that there will come a day when Christ will return. He will establish His kingdom on this earth. And it will be the righteous rule of God himself.

Before Jesus could take the government upon His shoulder, He had to take the cross upon His shoulder. Before He could wear the crown of glory as King of Kings, He had to wear the shameful crown of thorns and give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The first time, a star marked His arrival. But the next time He comes, the heavens will roll back like a scroll, all of the stars will fall from the sky, and He himself will light it.

Christ came to this earth. God came near to you so you can come near to Him—to give your life purpose and meaning, to forgive you of your sins, and to give you the hope of Heaven beyond the grave. Christmas is not about tinsel or shopping or presents. Christmas is not about the gifts under the tree. Rather, Christmas is about the gift that was given on the tree when Christ died there for our sins and gave us the gift of eternal life.

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

This last two photos are of our precious dog of many years, Nacho Marie Chauvin.  She’s no longer with us but since she always put up with us dressing her up, especially at Christmas, I wanted to share her with ya’ll.  We miss you sweet Nacho.

 

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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12.22.17 – 11 Undeniable Habits That No Louisianian Can Ever Unlearn

Friday, December 22, 2017 – If you grew up in Louisiana like I did, then you’ve most likely picked up a few habits that you won’t find in any other state. Here are 11 undeniable habits that no Louisianian can ever unlearn. But to be honest, would we really want to unlearn them?

1. Holding doors open for strangers

http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/louisiana/undeniable-habits-la/

These things, and so much more, are what makes Louisianians a most blessed culture! I believe that good manners, politeness, kindness, generosity and family love are all things Louisianians are raised with.  It’s not necessarily something we were taught but something we learned from examples set by our parents and grandparents, to those in our circle of family and friends all doing these things very naturally!

Hope you all enjoy reading this.  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

12.20.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wild Wacky Wednesday

Image result for My dear precious Jesus, I did not mean to take your place,SANTA’S PRAYER

My dear precious Jesus, I did not mean to take your place,
I only bring toys and things and you bring love and grace.
People give me lists of wishes and hope that they came true;
But you hear prayers of the heart and promise your will to do.
Children try to be good and not to cry when I am coming to town;
But you love them unconditionally and that love will abound.
I leave only a bag of toys and temporary joy for a season;
But you leave a heart of love, full of purpose and reasons.
I have a lot of believers and what one might call fame;
But I never healed the blind or tried to help the lame.
I have rosy cheeks and a voice full of laughter;
But no nail—scarred hands or a promise of the hereafter.
You may find several of me in town or at a mall;
But there is only one omnipotent you, to answer a sinner’s call.
And so, my dear precious Jesus, I kneel here to pray;
To worship and adore you on this, your holy birthday

 

I heard a story about a train traveling through the night in a very violent rainstorm.
The lightning flashes were almost blinding, the rain hitting the windows was deafening and the strong gust winds rocked the train from side to side.
When the lightening flashed and lighted up the darkness, the passengers could see the rising water along the tracks.
This created terror in the minds of the passengers.
Several passengers noted that through all the noise, lightening and wind, one of the passengers, a little girl, seemed to be at perfect peace.
The adult passengers couldn’t figure out why the little girl was so calm during all this excitement.
Finally, one passenger asked her, “How is that you can be so calm when all the rest of us are so worried about what might or could happen?”
The little passenger smiled and said, “My father is the engineer.”
End of story.
That’s the beauty of knowing that our God is in control everything. Like the little girl in our story, she’s at peace and calm despite people around her are panicking because her father is in control. Trouble is,…the world is full of sins that feeds our mind unconsciously or subconsciously. That’s why we should be more active and aggressive in meditating God’s Word whenever and wherever.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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12.19.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD Memory People – Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 – This was posted on Facebook’s group Memory People on December 4, 2017 written by Rick Phelps who has had Early Onset Alzheimer’s for five years since he was 57 years old.  His viewpoint as the patient makes everything he writes very special to me. My personal update is at the end of today’s blog.

Image may contain: outdoorOn top of everything else a dementia patient deals with, along comes Christmas.

All the lights, the people, the noise, and the chaos. Most of you know, or will, that anything out of your loved ones routine can cause all kinds of problems.

Christmas, is out of ones routine. Putting a tree up, having flashing lights, having lights that don’t flash, really doesn’t matter.

We do a tree every other year. This year we put a tree up. Although it bothers me, not to the point to where I can’t stand it. Yet.

Just moving the furniture is dramatic too me. Where on of our front room chairs goes, there will be a tree this week.

Watching TV will be a distraction for me, because there’s a tree in our front room. It’s out of the norm if you will.

Remember these things. The only thing good about my situation I’m still capable of telling what drives me crazy. Most family members know. Noise is a big thing this time of year. And yes, those lights.

I am not a Christmas Grinch, I’m sure your loved one isn’t either. It’s just that the holidays are extremely stressful on a dementia patient which will make care giving extremely stressful as well.

What makes Christmas time worse? It starts for me about a week before Thanksgiving, and lasts through January 2nd, or 3rd.

That’s a long time for anyone having to deal with anything. We got through Thanksgiving dinner. Our kids, aren’t kids anymore. The youngest of the girls is eleven now and the grandson is ten.

We don’t have the running through the house thing anymore. So that‘s a plus. But even the adults talking can be challenging.

Imagine in our instance fifteen adults all having conversations at the same time, about many different topics. It’s confusing to someone who doesn’t have dementia.

I know this happens, and we want it too. Have family around during the holidays. But you have to be in tune with a dementia patients needs.

Make sure there is somewhere you can take the patient too, a bedroom or something, where they can get away from the hustle and bustle.

I step outside. Many times, matter of fact. Just a few minutes outside usually is good for me to continue. Sometimes not so much. You have no choice.

You have to deal with this disease. It makes it somewhat easier if the caregiver or family members can read the stress on one’s face.

Certainly we want everyone to have the happiest of holidays. But dementia doesn’t take a day off because it’s that time of year.

It never takes a day off. And that is the problem…

© Rick Phelps 2017

For support for this journey of dementia, join us at Memory People, on Facebook. We’ll walk this with you, each step of the way. You are not alone.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/180666768616259/

I am aware that there are not clear paragraphs below. There should be. I know how to fix it but the fix isn’t working. I’ll continue trying to get it fixed!

On a personal note:  We went to Dr. Morgan yesterday to get the results of the 3 day EEG and EKG.  I didn’t see the doctor but I saw the Nurse Practitioner.  Not sure why I didn’t see the doctor because the NP went out of the room to consult with the Doctor a few times, so the doctor was available. That’s something I’ll have to ask about.

The EKG didn’t show any heart problems, yay! The EEG brain test didn’t show any of the type of seizures they thought the test would show.  It did show some abnormality but I think she said it was not anything of concern.

I have to admit, the appointment became very stressful and confusing for me.  I wasn’t my sweet little happy self.  There were mean words coming out of my mouth and a good bit of crying.  To go from my original doctor that I saw for 4 years  diagnosing me with dementia (he was wonderful the first four years and only in the last year did I choose to leave him). It took me years to accept it and my constantly increasing symptoms had confirmed this diagnosis.  Now to see a new doctor who has not reviewed all of the original test results and other tests I’ve had over the years.  She doesn’t seem to know what medicines I’m already on which gives me concern and makes me doubt their ability to help me.

However, they want to rule out other things so I’m going to do this.  If we can find some other cause of my symptoms, that is a good thing.  I would love to find some other reason for my symptoms but being in limbo and not knowing is a rough place for me to be in.

I’ve always wanted to know what caused my dementia.  Because the symptoms of dementia can be caused by many different things she wants to address the causes that weren’t originally tested one at a time.  Since I’ve tried and am now off of the regular dementia medicines, if there is a medicine or other treatment that can help the symptoms I have I’ll be glad to try it!  She gave me a prescription for medicine for the first possibility that we are addressing;  I will be on it for the next month and then I’ll go back to see her. I’ll keep ya’ll informed as we go through any new phase of treatment testing.

I get no where trying to handle this myself so I’ve given all of this uncertainty over to God.  He is my rock and will get me through whatever all this turns out to be.

I am still uncertain if Dr. Morgan is who I want as my ongoing neurologist  If she can find something other than dementia, something that can be treated, she’ll be my favorite doctor.

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

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12.14.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Eight things someone with Dementia wishes you would not say to them, published 02.01.17

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – I’ve found a wonderful Facebook group called Memory People.  It is a group for those with dementia and those who are caretakers of those with dementia.  I will be writing about that group next and a very important conversation thread I recently read there.  It kinda goes with what is in the original blog below.

On a personal note:  The EEG/EKG results from the 3 day test several days ago are ready and I have an appointment with Dr. Morgan next Monday, December 18th to get the results.

 

singleactofkindnessquoteameliaearhartOriginal blog 02.01.17 – This article was found on http://blog.thealzheimerssite.com/.  There is lots of information about dementia there.  Check it out for yourself! I found this information to be quite true and helpful, I hope it will help you as well.

Speaking to or about an Alzheimer’s patient as if he or she is not really a person is a pitfall many of us fall into. When our parents and grandparents lose their memory and, often, certain aspects of their personalities, it’s hard to regard them as the same people we once knew. It’s also nearly impossible to keep from correcting someone who has Alzheimer’s; it’s just our nature to want to help “heal” our loved one’s memory by fixing the errors we hear in their words.

However, just because someone has Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings. So think twice before you make any of these comments that may unintentionally cause more harm than good to a person with Alzheimer’s.

8. “You said that already.”

You don’t really get how this disease works, do you?

medication blues

7. “Do you remember me?”

Way to put a person on the spot. Maybe I do and maybe I don’t. What’s it to you?

wrinkled face of senior woman

6. “Use your words.”

First of all, I’m not a three-year-old throwing a tantrum. I’m not refusing to use words. Sometimes I just CAN’T use words. If you know what I’m trying to say, why can’t you meet me halfway?

A grumpy old man

5. “No, no, I’m not Meredith.”

Are you sure you’re not Meredith? You look like Meredith. Mary, maybe? Marie? Emily? Can’t you just be Meredith for the day so I can be done guessing?

granportrait 12

Well then you tell the darn story. Am I not allowed to talk now just because I can’t keep my facts straight?

Old Man in Sunglasses

3. “Oh, actually, so-and-so passed away.”

Well thanks for raining down that giant tidal wave of grief on me in that blasted matter-of-fact tone. This is fantastic.

elderly woman

 2. “I know you probably don’t remember, but…”

Again, thank you. I’m glad we’ve gotten past that murky point where we weren’t sure what I remembered and what I didn’t. Just assuming I don’t know what you’re talking about is much easier.

Elderly woman sticking out her tongue

1. “So what have you been doing lately?”

Skydiving in Egypt. Making bombs in my bathtub. Learning to juggle maracas while doing a handstand on horseback. Come on. Seriously? I have no idea what I’ve been doing lately besides sitting in this chair watching daytime soaps. Can’t you think of anything more interesting to add to this conversation?

Loneliness

So basically, try not to make a person with Alzheimer’s feel like they’re on trial or like they can’t do anything right or like you don’t care what they say. If you’re wondering what you can say to a person with Alzheimer’s, we have a few tips.

Because Alzheimer’s patients tend to remember feelings better than actual facts, it’s more important to have a conversation that makes the person feel good than one that is completely accurate.

Avoid correcting what they say and focus on things they’re more likely to remember, usually the more distant past. Ask them about their childhood or early adulthood, when they met their spouse, what their children were like as little kids, etc. And just go with the flow when they don’t make perfect sense.

This article originally appeared on ScottSlayton.net.

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from various sources. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Dementia/Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

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12.15.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Memory People

Friday, December 15, 2017 – I previously shared about a wonderful Closed (you have to be a member to comment or see the discussions) Facebook group called Memory People.  One of their Facebook pages is open to be read and shared. And I will be sharing! Most dementia groups are all about the caregivers. Since this one has both dementia folks and caregivers in it I think the information is extra helpful.

This is from their Facebook page:

Memory People™ is an Alzheimer’s/dementia and memory impairment support and awareness group on Facebook providing support, assistance, information and help for this journey 24/7.

Memory People™ was created by Rick Phelps, diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 57 with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Rick saw the need for real-time support for all who have found themselves on this journey of dementia, patients, caregivers, professionals and health care workers.

The following article was written by Rick Phelps and caught my attention as something I need to share with others. I plan to share more of the insightful things that Rick (who has Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease) shares with this group.

Rick also wrote a book with the help of someone without dementia, called “While I Still Can” which can be seen by clicking on the book below.

Patience we are told is a virtue. The ability to wait for something or someone, without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality in a person.

This phrase was first written and recorded in 1360. So, it’s been around a while. Far longer then when Alzheimers was first discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimers in 1906.

There are many things one must do and be while caring for a dementia patient. Patience is right at the top of the list.

Daily I read over the posts in Mp. And everyday without fail someone‘s patience is being tested by their loved one.

And almost 100% of time the caregiver wants to know what they can do to correct whatever behavior is being acted out.

This is because from a very early age we are taught and led to believe that there is a “fix” for literally everything. A reason, an explanation, an answer.

All one needs to do in most cases is understand what is going on, and correct it. Perhaps it’s a process of elimination in some cases.

Whatever the issue, there is an answer, a “fix” to whatever comes up. That is except for dementia. And this includes any type of dementia.

The person who has dementia has one thing in common with other patients. They can no longer think as they once could.

Their brain doesn’t react as those who don’t have dementia does. We lack the ability to make rational decisions. We lack the ability to remember things. And we lack the ability to explain to anyone why this is happening.

These are just three examples of what we lack. There are hundreds more and each of them range from subtle to severe to different patients.

Depending on when the dementia started, where it started, and how it has progressed. Personally I can make sense about 60% the time. It’s the other 40% that is the issue, and not being able to control when one can and cannot make sense is a huge issue.

I may make the most rational decisions this morning, and not be able to make any type of decision in just an hour or two.

Sadly, in time, all of our decision making is gone. This progression is slow in most cases. How fast one progresses is an educated guess at best.

The only thing caregivers need to really understand is we have trouble making decisions. Real trouble. And when we make bad decisions as in being belligerent, abusive, or just do things that are wrong, the caregiver always questions why is this happening and what can I do to prevent it.

Which leads right back to what I was saying about we have been taught that almost anything can be “fixed”. If we‘d think about it, we would know this isn’t true.

Sorta like the child who is never told no. Goes about their young life just doing what they want, when they want. Then one day reality hits, and someone, somewhere tells them no.

They just have a meltdown. The mere fact that someone would tell them know never entered their minds. This is what it is similar to when someone is diagnosed with dementia.

They have went their entire lives making decisions, and one day that ability is no longer with them. They can’t comprehend what is happening. And some just keep making bad decisions because once again, they cannot help it.

This is where patience plays a huge roll in being a caregiver. What occurs sometime dozens of times a day with a patient, will because they don’t have the ability to change what they are doing. To make better decisions.

So, the caregiver instinctively tries to “fix” this or ask others what they do to “fix” this. It’s normal. Something isn’t right, you find a way to “fix” it, or ask someone to help.

You have to get away from this type of thinking. You have to realize that what is happening to your loved one is out of your control. If you think I am wrong, then why doesn’t your love one stop making bad decisions all the time? Why do they constantly do the most absurd things, over and over and over? It’s because they can’t make rational decisions.

You obviously need to stop a patient from doing things that would put them or others in danger or hurt themselves or others.

But like the child, you must constantly be watching and trying to stay on step ahead of what may happen. Again, patience is the key.

The reason patience is the key is 99.9% the time nothing you do will work. Take arguing with a dementia patient. It is a total waste of time. Once a dementia patients mind is set on something, you aren’t likely going to change it and arguing is just like going around in circle.

It doesn’t do you or the patient any good to argue. They will because they make bad decisions. They decide for whatever reason to argue over things that they are totally wrong on. But not in their mind, and that is all that matters to them.

Shadowing is a perfect example. How do you get a grown person to stop following you every minute of every day? Follow you from room to room. You can’t get five minutes alone because you are being followed by them no matter what you say or do.

What can you do to “fix” this? The answer is have patience. Because the only way a patient will stop the shadowing is if they move on to some other symptom of this disease. Even then for whatever reason they may return to shadowing you.

Hoarding things is something else you won’t be able to “fix” that requires patience. I have went over this as a patients perspective and have said many times that patients are not actually hoarding anything.

To do this, they would have to make the distinct decision to take something and put it somewhere, to retrieve it later. And this just doesn’t happen. What they are doing, what I do is much simpler to explain.

I am simply putting things back where I believe they belong. If you find silverware in the linen drawer, it’s because that is where your loved one believes it goes.

If you find the milk in the cupboard, if you find left over food in the bathroom, or if you find your jewelry in the oven, again it’s where these things belong.

And what can you do? Patience. It’s easy to try to explain to you to have patience with your loved one, it’s very hard to do when they are up for the fourth time in the middle of the night, with them just walking around. For no reason what so ever.

There is nothing wrong with asking what you can do to try to stop some sort of behavior in your loved one. We do it here on Mp each and every day. However, being told to have patience is rarely seen as the answer.

If we as a society would put as much time into having patience as we do in trying to “fix” or stop whatever is happening, you would find it easier.

Would this solve all the issues you deal with on a day by day, or hour by hour, basis? No.

For this, you need patience, as well. I had to write these thoughts down many times to get them to come out right. That I did with patience.

© Rick Phelps 2017

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

12.14.17 Grannie and Paw Paw flag, Roy’s eye surgery, Trinity Children’s Choir, Paddle boat, almost snowless and Christmas rocks!

Thursday, December 14. 2017 – Our sweet son Chip and his wife Misty gave Roy and I the most amazing and perfect wedding anniversary present.  It now has its place of honor in our front flower garden!  I know, all you grandparents are jealous of us with our sign that Grandkids Spoiled Here – Grannie and Paw Paw Chauvin!!!!

Roy’s first cataract surgery, on his right eye, was Tuesday the 12th.  One down, and the other one coming up in a couple of weeks.  Here he is ready to make it happen!  The day after surgery doctor’s visit with Dr. Greiner went well.  Roy’s vision is still a little blurry but it was better Wednesday than Tuesday so he’s on the right path to healing.  He’s already seeing whites as being whiter than before and colors as being more vibrant than before.  We go back on December 28 for his two week check up and to schedule the left eye surgery.

Trinity’s Children’s Choir put on a spectacular Christmas musical last night.   They sang beautifully and the acting was great! How they all managed to remember their lines is beyond me.  I was in one of the children’s musical as Mrs. Christmas so I know how much they put into this and how hard it is.  Roy and I still say “I do, I do” remembering that was one of my lines back then.  This is always one of my favorite events at our church each year!

 

We were in town the other day and passed by a parking lot with several old cars.  Not sure what these will be used for but we figure it’s for a movie.

 

This was must be the one people are driving/riding in since there was one just like it all rigged up with cameras to take video like them driving in it.

There is a paddle boat that has been at the other end of our pond for at least a year.  Roy knew that our next door neighbor owned it and asked him if we could buy it from him.  Daniel, our neighbor, said we could have it free!  It was quite full of algae and other icky things but Roy paddled it across the pond to our end.  He and Chip worked on cleaning it and it now looks much better.  Can’t wait to have some nice little warmer weather to get out in the pond in it!

The snow is almost gone as you can see in these photos.  It was very special for us to have the snow event we had last week!  So many people lost electricity but we didn’t!!!

Each time we go to Dr. Greiner’s office or surgery center we hide some of our painted rocks.  You may remember Bailey, at the doctor’s office, that really enjoys our rocks.  Wednesday I hid more when we were entering the building.  By the time we left she had found them all and put some of them under their Christmas tree!  I love it!

It is very cold right now and in the past days few here in Louisiana.  High today in the 50s.  It’s been in the 40s, 50s and very low 60 for the high.  We’ve had several nights where the low reached freezing or below, very unusual here.  It is sunshiney though so that makes it a perfect winter here in Southern Louisiana.

I finished the last of my Christmas shopping yesterday and bought all the ingredients to make butterscotch/peanut butter hay stacks and snowball round cookies (Christmas edible goodies) and homemade vegetable beef soup!  Today and tomorrow will be present wrapping, Christmas goodie and soup cooking! This retirement life at home is pretty great!!

Snowball cookies
Hay stacks

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