05.19.19 It’s Been One of those Weeks, by Susan Adams Moffett

It’s been one of those weeks.

And it’s only Wednesday.

Hard thing after hard thing after hard thing keeps pouring into our text messages and news feeds and phone calls.

So how do we pray? How do we lift each person and request to our Heavenly Father that knows and sees all?

Boldly. Because He says we can.

Simply. Because He is faithful.

Honestly. Because He already knows.

Fully. Because we can’t fix any of it.

But some days, in some moments, the words don’t come. It’s too much. It’s not enough.

Just sit. And allow the Holy Spirit inside of you to speak and commune and intercede and stand and fight and witness and pray on your behalf.

He will. He does.

by Susan Adams Moffett, reposted with her permission

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05.18.19 Kallie Girl’s Ponchatoula High School Graduation – Part Two, the Party

On Saturday, the day after our oldest granddaughter Kallie’s graduation ceremony, a graduation party was thrown in her honor!  The location was Kallie’s daddy Ronnie Barnes and step mama Dee Dee Barnes home in Ponchatoula.  They have a back porch perfect for the band to set up and play. Also, a large open carport where we all sat to eat and enjoy the festivities! Misty and Chip and the Barnes really did it up nice!  I hope it is a memory Kallie will take with her as she goes off to college and in the future!

Kallie playing her daddy’s drums.  WordPress is causing the video to stretch larger than it should.  I couldn’t get it to shrink enough to make it clear but this is such a precious thing seeing Kallie playing her daddy’s drums I left it in and hope you won’t mind.

The band playing at Kallie’s graduation party

Here’s where the party food production took place!

Paw Paw Roy loves his sweet Kallie Girl!

Misty and Chip had a photo book made for Kallie of photos taken each year of her life.  Kallie is reading the beautiful card that went with that gift. Misty’s love for her daughter spilled over in a few tears in the last of these three photos. Class of 2019 GuestbookKallie and her bestie Madi!

Paw Paw Roy, Misty the Proud Mom of a 2019 Graduate and Daddy Chip

Kallie’s little Sissy Madisyn and Daddy ChipMadisyn, Alaina, Grannie Rosalyn and Kallie GirlMama Misty and her daughter Kallie enjoying some dancing! The Master Griller was Dee Dee Barnes brother

Kallie’s cousin DJ Redden and Dee Dee’s other brother!

Daddy Ronnie Barnes playing with his band for Kallie’s party 

Some of the party attendees enjoying the music and visiting!

Kallie’s Great Uncle LC HooverMisty’s Uncle Dennis Mumphrey and precious little Cali were quite a cute dancing couple!DeeDee Barnes joined the cute couple dancing!

I feel certain everyone had a great day.  Lots of kids swimming in the pool, lots of old and young ones eating delicious food and visiting.  Kallie’s now graduated from high school and will be on to college next year at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, MS.  We love you Kallie Girl!  Go make us proud!

 

 

 

 

 

05.14.19 Kallie Girl’s Ponchatoula High School Graduation – Part One, the Ceremony

 

Our oldest granddaughter, Kallie Barnes, graduated from Ponchatoula High School on Friday evening.  I‘m thankful that the next graduation will be 7 to 8 years from now as this one stirred up a lot of emotion in my heart!  Ponchatoula High School is in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  It is where both of our sons graduated from lots of years ago. They are 37 and 40 years old so it’s been almost 20 years. Wow, they are old!!!! I’m not but they are!!

 

Back to Kallie! I tend to get sidetracked and go down memory road. Friday night at Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center we were blessed to see this precious young lady graduate.  A big milestone for any young person.  These are some photos from the big event!

Kallie in her beautiful white dress for under the graduation gown!

Kallie and her bestie (from childhood to present) Madelyn Crowley. Madelyn goes by Madi in real life! Yes, they are pretty inseparable! They even plan to go to Southwest Mississippi Junior College together, majoring in Nursing!

Kallie’s cousin DJ Redden, her mom Misty Chauvin, her stepdad Chip Chauvin, cousin Haylee Perrotto and little sister Madisyn Chauvin waiting for the big event to begin!

Kallie’s nieces Raylynn, Alaina, her sister Stephanie Barnes and Stephanie’s boyfriend Travis Hahn. There were other relatives there supporting Kallie, I just didn’t get their picture!

The Ponchatoula High Orchestra

After all the graduates marched in the Pledge of Allegiance was said by all in attendance.  We are proud to live in an area where this is still respected.

The Senior Choir sang a combination of classical and hip hop music

The big moment arrived when the seniors lined up to receive their diplomas!  Here is Kallie waiting in line for her turn!

Drum roll please!!  The PHS Senior Kallie becomes PHS Graduate Kallie!

Only a mama (Misty) could get this picture, picking her daughter out of the hundreds of graduates!

And in our area prayer is still a respected moment.  This was taken right before they prayed. A student gave the closing prayer and I know God was smiling!

All Ponchatoula alumni in the audience participate in the Alma Mater.  The video pans to Chip participating with his finger held high!  I love this part of the ceremony, the graduates are all so proud to graduate from such an excellent school!

greenwave

 Ponchatoula Alma Mater

Ponchatoula, Alma Mater, we love to sing thy name in praise,
And we cherish pleasant memories of all our happy days.
We love thee dear old Alma Mater fair
In our heart’s a song for you we share
Through the ages sing the praises of dear ol’ Ponchy High.

And the most fun moment of the night when the graduates celebrate and throw their caps in the air!  This is always a special moment in any graduation and this was Kallie’s graduation’s special moment!

A few photos were taken after the graduation outside the University Center with Kallie’s mom Misty Chauvin, her Dad Ronnie Barnes, and her cousin DJ Redden

After graduation we all went to Don’s Seafood for an after graduation dinner.  The food was delicious and the family visiting was even better! All the young girls want a place on Paw Paw Roy’s lap. They let me in the picture too!

Sweet Alaina got Paw Paw Roy to take a picture with her inside Don’s!  Stephanie’s girls have claimed Roy who is Kallie’s Paw Paw as their new Paw Paw!

Madisyn and her Paw Paw.  I couldn’t decide which photo I liked best so here is Roy hugging on his granddaughter Madisyn Ann Chauvin.  Grannie and Madisyn

I planned to include Kallie’s Graduation Party in this blog post.  I changed my mind and it will be in a blog post all its own.

Ya’ll come back now for Part Two!

05.05.19 A Quiet Thought, by Bro. Bob Adams

Our culture screams with fear.

We are constantly told that sure disaster is ahead, attended by pictures of disasters in faraway places.

We are warned to buy or not buy certain products and take certain actions or our future is probably doomed.

All this makes fear a dominant factor in this present day.

Unless we guard against it the fear that runs our culture will run our lives.

Even though we sing about trusting Jesus we may panic like those who have no great, living Savior.

The fear of the Lord is the only appropriate fear in a believer’s life. This is not a fear that terrorizes us, makes us cringe in the corner, or slump in despair.

Fear of the Lord is a deep trembling in the soul, often beyond words, that comes from seeing some measure of the Lord’s infinite power, holiness, and love.

It is being overwhelmed with His glory.

It is the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos falling down like a dead man when seeing Jesus in all His glory.

Let us fear the Lord and live boldly! Grace to you.

Written by Bro. Bob Adams

04.27.19 Easter, Senior Adult Luncheon, and Baseball!!!

We enjoyed a great Easter at our home with some family members of our daughter in law Misty.  The weather was magnificent and we enjoyed visiting with Misty’s family and their neighbor Ellen who brought me a beautiful daisy plant!  It wasn’t until after they left that I realized I had planned to hide Easter eggs and play some games. I can only shake my head about that one…

Misty, Chip, Madisyn and Kallie
Gary, Connor and Haylee

 

Thursday we enjoyed a wonderful Senior Adult Luncheon at our church, Trinity Baptist. The food was delicious and we were treated to hearing Rev. Bobby Holder speak to us.  I got to sit next to an older couple from our church that I did not know. It was nice getting to know Sheila and Sammy!  Also, I got to sit across from my friend Cindy and her husband Bobby.  I always say that when I grow up I want to be like Cindy!  She is such an inspiration and I enjoyed getting to catch up on life with her.  I did not take one photo.  I was talking too much!

Saturday we went to see two of our grandchildren play baseball. They are so precious!  They played on two different fields right next to each other.  We sat between the two fields and our necks turned in whatever direction the action was happening!  Wow!  Our grandson, the older of the two grandchildren, played last year and plays really well this year.  He got some good hits, scored, played excellently in the field and their team won.  He’s the tallest on the team! The younger ball player is a granddaughter whose first year playing is this year.  Her focus and attention to the game was impressive for a first year player. She got a couple of good hits, she scored, made some good catches and was just flat out adorable!  Her age team doesn’t keep score but she was a winner in our eyes! We got a big smile and hug from our precious grandchildren and loved it! Sorry, no pictures, per their parents!

I’ve asked Roy to write about his eye surgery done on the 18th of April and I hope to get to post that next!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

 

04.28.19 My Two Mothers, by Joann Snow Duncanson; and a personal note

Your Mom with dementia may still be here or she may have passed on. She will always be with you, as close as your heart. Bless us all in this journey 💗

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Two Mothers Remembered, by Joann Snow Duncanson

I had two Mothers – two Mothers I claim
Two different people, yet with the same name.

Two separate women, diverse by design,
But I loved them both because they were mine.

The first was the Mother who carried me here,
Gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.

She was the one whose features I bear,
Complete with the facial expressions I wear.

She gave me her love, which follows me yet,
Along with the examples in life that she set.

As I got older, she somehow younger grew,
And we’d laugh as just Mothers and daughters should do.

But then came the time that her mind clouded so,
And I sensed that the Mother I knew would soon go.

So quickly she changed and turned into the other,
A stranger dressed in the clothes of my Mother.

Oh, she looked the same, at least at arm’s length,
But now she was the child and I was her strength.

We’d come full circle, we women three,
My Mother the first, the second and me.

And if my own children should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes and the old goes away,

I’d ask of them nothing that I didn’t do.
Love both of your Mothers as both have loved you.

For support for this journey of dementia, join Memory People on Facebook. All the members, both dementia patients, and dementia caregivers, walk this with you, each step of the way. You are not alone. 💜

This is the link – Memory People on Facebook It is a closed group so you will need to join to see anything. I don’t necessarily feel that this is the “Best” Facebook group about Dementia but it is a very active group and you get to learn from others there.

On a personal note, the dementia I have has been on a roller coaster ride recently. I am still on the strongest dose of the medicine Galantamine. About two weeks after passing out due to my blood pressure being low I started taking my blood pressure medicine again. My blood pressure stopped being so low and is back to normal to a bit above normal. I am now taking my blood pressure every morning to see how it is that day and if I need the medicine or should skip it that day. This is so totally out of the norm for me and is just another weird thing my shrinking and holely brain is doing.

I’ve had difficulties recently putting my thoughts together or even having thoughts to allow me to write a blog post. Even things that other people wrote that I repost just don’t bring any thoughts to help me post it and share with ya’ll why I am posting it. It is a terrible feeling to start to do something I’ve done almost a thousand times now and nothing happens in my brain. I think nothing and that’s something that has been going on

from the beginning, just not all the time. I use to describe my dementia as not being able to think and that is a really accurate way to describe how it is sometimes. It’s not always that I can’t remember something, a lot of times it is that my brain won’t begin the thinking process to get to what I need to know.

I get great anxiety when I go to social events and want to talk to someone but then my brain stops thinking, I panic and can’t say anything. I just want to go in a corner and cry. I have never in my life had a problem talking. Anyone who knows me knows that talking a lot is probably something I was mostly known for. In addition, I can listen to others talk but when they get complicated with their talking my brain stops and I get anxious about what I will reply because I don’t know what they said. If this happens I don’t say anything to the person talking, just nod or smile every now and then and hope my brain starts working again.

I ask that when talking to me please tell me the basic substance of what you want to say not all the details leading up to it or surrounding it. Oddly enough I have always been a person who did exactly what I am asking people not to do. Please don’t avoid talking to me, just please try to understand how I handle conversations best. The frequency that all of these things are happening let me know that this small and holely brain thing is progressing. I am thankful that God has seen fit for this to be a slow moving brain thing and not a quick downward disease. I was first diagnosed in 2011 which is 8 years ago. Vascular dementia has a time span of between 8 to 12 years and I’m hoping I’ll be a special case and hang on longer than that!

I want others to learn about dementia from my experience but don’t want to sound like I am bitter. I do hate having this and would prefer to be able to think clearly and not have to avoid some social settings. But I know it’s all part of God’s plan for my life and He will be with me every step of the way. I did not intend to write so much today but when it comes into my brain I want to share! Hope each of you has a very Blessed Week!

04.17.19 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die – ever. Do you believe this? John 11:26

Susan Adams Moffett shared this piece below on Facebook recently.  Her sister Lisa died from cancer just a few years ago.  She wrote about that in her book “My Sister,Her Cancer, and the Cross.” She says “This is the story of walking the journey of my sister’s cancer…but it’s more than that. This is the story of God’s grace because my faith is weak and imperfect, but He is so good.”   I found what she wrote in the article below to be very meaningful. I hope you do as well.

When Lisa died…
I asked Tim, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Dad, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Mom, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked friends, “What is this ‘O death, where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”

But I knew that scriptures couldn’t be wrong.
I felt like something was missing in my understanding.
Maybe I was grieving wrong.
Maybe I had to work harder to get over it.
Maybe I didn’t believe enough.
Maybe I wanted to hold on to the sting because it’s all I had.

Then I read the story of Lazarus for the 378th time.
But it was like for the very first time.

Jesus said, “Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever.”
Ever. Never. Ever. Die.

In that moment, I heard and understood. Death had no hold on Lisa.
She did not die!

She isn’t here.
That brings sorrow and loss and grief so deep.
But death has no hold on her.
Death has no sting to it. It is powerless!

Lisa isn’t here. Most of my grandparents aren’t here.
Several dear friends aren’t here.
But they didn’t die.
They are all fully alive! More alive than they ever were here.

Maybe today you have a sting.
Or a grief.
Or a maybe.

Let’s walk this week towards the cross, watching, looking, listening to the work of Jesus.
We have to walk this week, so we can deeply celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
(Spoiler…Death is about to be defeated. Keep watching.)

Ya’ll have a Blessed Holy Week!

04.16.19 Passing Out, Soggy Brain, Easter picnic preparation, Painted Cross Rocks, Easter church music, Roy’s eye surgery on Thursday

Oh my, could the title above be any longer!  I started off writing about passing out and then lots of other things started pouring out in my writing so here it is!

Saturday before last I ate a good breakfast, three homemade blueberry muffins, water, and coffee.  I went outside to plant more of my precious little sprouting vegetables in the main garden.  I was sitting on a small stool so there would be no bending over and mostly so I wouldn’t resort to sitting my but in the dirt while planting.  I began feeling lightheaded but since I was just sitting I figured it wouldn’t get worse. It did.  I went to get my phone out of my pocket to call for Roy and had difficulty doing that.  I got it out and called Roy.  He didn’t answer.

I called again and heard him come out of the house saying he was on the phone with someone about $2000 being charged to our credit card fraudulently. I dropped the phone and things are foggy after that.  I heard through the fog that he told the phone caller we had a medical emergency and he’d have to call them back. I don’t remember how but I know he got me to a nearby chair and he put a cold towel over my head.

Roy later told me that while sitting sprawled out in the chair I passed out with my eyes rolling back in my head and that lasted a while. The eye rolling back thing happened when I had to be rushed to the hospital two years ago because of a bleeding ulcer. Both times this scared Roy a lot. I don’t remember getting inside but I know that I stayed in bed for a long time that day.  Roy took my blood pressure and it was low for me at 90/50.

I take blood pressure medicine, Avapro 300 mg once a day.  I’ve taken it for 20 to 25 years and it always keeps my blood pressure at 120/80 which I have always been very happy about.   This was the first time ever that I can remember that it has been low.  Because every time I go to any doctor or hospital my blood pressure is always perfect I never attribute feeling bad to low blood pressure so it’s never been taken at that time, before Saturday.

Sunday I still felt bad but not nearly like Saturday.  My blood pressure was more normal each time Roy took it.  I never thought to stop taking my blood pressure medicine, duh………….

I love, love, love this song!

Roy “allowed” me to go outside in the garden for no more than 30 minutes at a time and then had to stay in bed or on the sofa for a while after that.  He helped me more than usual with the gardening and it allowed me to get more done with less effort.  He’s kinda good like that!  He knows I usually prefer to handle it all myself but he pitched in when needed.  All of the remaining vegetables were planted and today they are all so happy and growing beautifully.

Last Monday when I contacted my doctor he said for me to stop taking the blood pressure medicine for two days, drink 6-8 glasses of water and take my blood sugar and blood pressure often.  Being the brilliant lady with dementia that I am, I took my blood pressure medicine Monday and Tuesday because I forgot I wasn’t supposed to.

Anyway, I made a sign on fluorescent pink paper that said to not take my blood pressure medicine so on Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t take it.  My blood pressure has been fairly normal both days.

This medical event sent my dementia into a tailspin.  Last Wednesday I was, however, able to have a nice visit with our pastor, Bro. Avery, down by the pond and I was thankful for that. Later I realized I bounced all around in our conversation and told him things he may not have wanted to know (!) but he didn’t run off which I appreciated!

The last few days I’ve worked in the yard pulling weeds and moving some vines from one location where they are plentiful to another location that needs them, planted carrot seeds, pulled weeds and lots of other things outside. As long as I keep it under an hour I seem to be okay and don’t see any signs of possible passing out!

On one of the dementia facebook groups I am a member of I asked if others with dementia had issues with passing out from low blood pressure when they’d never had that before.  All those that responded said yes and that it was caused by a change in their brain that made the blood pressure medicine not work in the correct manner any longer.  Time will tell if this is a new brain thing for me or if it is something different.  It’s been normal every day so for now being off my blood pressure medicine seems to be the thing to do!

We are having our daughter in law Misty’s family over for a picnic on Easter next Sunday and we are really looking forward to getting to visit with them.  I’ve stuffed candies into plastic eggs for an Easter egg hunt and just finished wrapping the utensils in Easter napkins with homemade decorated paper napkin holders. I love having family visit and also love these events because I do special cleaning so they don’t think we live like slobs!!

I gave to several of the kiddos at church one of my painted rocks that have 1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given painted on a cross.  I asked them to hide them to help share with others about Jesus.

On Sunday our adult choir at church sang a beautiful Easter Cantata titled Jesus, Only King Forever.  I always love hearing them sing and especially Easter and Christmas music.

Roy’s eye surgery to remove the spidery floater is back on and will be this Thursday, the 18th in Baton Rouge at 9 am. Please pray for him and his doctor, Dr. Robert Mason.

We’ve had some magnificently beautiful cool sunny days here in Louisiana recently.  So thankful for a God that provides us with days like this!

Ya’ll have a blessed Holy Week!

 

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04.05.19 Roy’s Eyes and Heart

Many of ya’ll will remember Roy’s eye doctor issues last year.  The doctors said Roy needed a good pair of eye glasses to see if they would help with the various lingering vision problems.  Our new health insurance, People’s Health, covers eye glasses so we found a doctor in Amite, Dr. Wroten with Bond & Wroten, whom we visited to have our eyes checked.  We both liked him and ordered bifocal glasses.  Since having my cataracts removed a few years ago my vision has decreased a bit so glasses have made a difference for me.  They have made a difference for Roy also which we are very happy about. Since it seems that one doctor visit for us always leads to another different doctor visit this one did also!

Dr. Wroten’s office in Amite
Dr. Robert Mason

While Roy’s eyes were being examined he told Dr. Wroten about a spidery looking floater that’s been in his eye since the original surgery.  Dr. Wroten recommended Roy see Dr. Robert Mason in Baton Rouge who specializes in vitreoretinal surgery with the Retina and Vitreous of Louisiana.  Roy saw Dr. Mason who agreed the spidery looking floater needs to be removed and surgery was scheduled for March 14.

Before the surgery Roy had pre-op tests and visit with our primary care Dr. Hugo Valdes to get clearance for the surgery.  Blood work done at Quest was fine but the EKG done at North Oaks as usual showed Roy has extra heart beats but this latest showed more extra heart beats.  This is called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs).  Because of the PVCs Dr. Valdes wouldn’t clear Roy for surgery until he was examined by a cardiologist.  He recommended Dr. Georges Khoueiry with the Heart Center of Hammond.

Dr. Georges Khoueiry

We saw Dr. Khoueiry who ordered a nuclear stress test and an Echocardiogram.  Those tests results were abnormal, possibly showing blockages.  The eye surgery was postponed at that point and an angiogram was scheduled. If blockages were found Dr. Khoueiry would put in stents.

Roy had the angiogram this past Thursday at the Cardiovascular Specialty Care Center of Covington.  Our son Chip, my sister Harriett and brother in law George were there with me.  Roy came back with good news that no stents were needed.  A slight blockage was found but not enough to need a stent.  Yay!  But there is still the premature ventricular contractions issue, so now we go back to Dr. Khoueiry on Friday, April 5th to look further into why Roy has these extra beats.

Just came back from Dr. Khoueiry’s office.  He gave Roy clearance to have the eye surgery.  He did not prescribe anything for the extra heart beats because they haven’t affected Roy’s heart.  He did prescribe cholesterol medicine to help keep the slight blockage where it is and not get worse. Sometime this year Dr. Khoueiry wants Roy to have a halter monitor to further check his heart beats.

Back to Dr. Mason now for the eye surgery. For someone like Roy who detests going to the doctor you can imagine how he feels about now.  He’s now seen 6 different eye doctors over the last two years.  Hopefully when this is over, Dr. Mason will be the last!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!