Sunday, January 21, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Is it a phase? Will it be permanent? Will we endure? Are we adjusting again? Help me people! Our precious daughter has decided over the weekend to drop her nap. She napped fine on Friday for our dear friend Samantha, but Saturday - Monday has been NADA! She will lay in the bed and cry, scream, talk, play, anything but sleep. So, we warned the school today, but I don't quite know what will happen. They are on a schedule and all the other little children will sleep. What will my child do? I must inquire about this with my father. My mother said that I dropped my naps pretty early, but I don't know if that was 4 or 2. Eeek! Be prayerful for us as we adjust. It isn't so much that I mind her not napping, it is that she will probably reek havoc at school for the teachers. She has tended to show "Terrible Two's" signs over the weekend as well. She has the temperament of her mother and father - God help us all!
My students have rose above the occasions and presented projects despite of the stench. I applaud them all. Whew!
Monday, January 08, 2007
As most of you know, the beloved title of Jeremy's grandparents on his mother's side is MomMom & Grandpa. They LOVE Jeremy and therefore, they LOVE Emma. So our visits with them are always pleasurable. Grandpa is a retired military official who spends his time now constructing porches, patios, and ramps for those in need in their beautiful community of Hopkinsville. They both have such giving hearts who so many benefit from, but especially their families. For Christmas this year, Grandpa made Emma a table and chair set. (I must also remind you that he made her first cradle that she used when she was brought home.) He is an extremely talented craftsman who also wears the mask of a musician in a bluegrass band and a animal whisperer as he entertains a multitude of the local residential wildlife with peanuts and gospel hymns. Make sure to note the squirrel escaping in one of the pictures. It just took a peanut right out of Emma's hand. We got the biggest laugh out of watching her amazement with these small creatures and watching her attempt to mimic Grandpa call the squirrels to the porch. "C'mere squirrel!" WE LOVE MOMMOM AND GRANDPA!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Emma took some time to get warmed up to the new surroundings of my Nana's house, but in soon, she was loving on Nana and trying to talk to her. My amazing grandmother would get down in the floor with my toddler and entice her to play. It was beautiful. They took care of us with gracious hospitality, as always.
Was it hard to be there without Mom? Definitely. Will it ever be the same? No. But why would we want it to be? There is a pillar missing from the front porch and there is no longer symmetry. However, our constant prayer is that the remaining beams will withstand this storm and remain connected and strengthened in our time of newness. We have a very loving family that are a joy to be around. We will continue rearranging the dynamics of our bond so we can provide the love and support needed for our journey here.
Monday, January 01, 2007
BTW, if any of you have experiences with Assisted Living Facilities, I would love to hear about it. This was my first experience. I have only been in actual nursing homes prior to this visit. This place was phenomenal. It was a spacious little apartment that was connected to a large living environment where socialization and emotional care was evident. I was quite impressed. Maybe this will be a road for Jeremy to put me when I become too much to handle. Oh wait, that's now! Seriously, there were women sitting together at the entrance like a little sorority of greeters. There was another group of women receiving manicures and facials in another location. There were some men watching football in another corner and countless other little activities. It was very nice. We are very happy for Grandmother.
Where have we come? Well, in February 2006, Emma celebrated her first birthday. It was fabulous and we all had a splendid time. Shortly thereafter, we celebrated March birthdays. During our time with my parents, we came to the discovery that my mother had another nodule in her shoulder. After having it examined, they decided to quickly have a biopsy performed. Her cancer had returned with a vengeance. Despite taking a daily chemotherapy pill, it had found a few places to grow and cause trouble again. It explained months of struggles with other ailments that could now be linked to the location of this cancer.
She began an intense chemotherapy that caused her great discomfort with constant nausea. As a result of this return, Miss Gail's Music Studio closed it's doors for good ending a 50 year love affair with music teacher and students. Thousands upon thousands found themselves under the musical leadership of Miss Gail at one point in their life. Now it was time for Miss Gail to rest.
In February, we also welcomed a new family member to the Powell house as we purchased a charcoal grey Miniature Schnauzer. He is registered as Barnabas Oromashodu Powell, but we affectionately refer to him as Barney. Barney was brought about to assist Scout, our dachshund, with the adjustment of a toddler in her life. Unfortunately, after 4 months, we had to let Scout go after she made continual negative reactions to Emma.
At the close of the school year, Jodi was to travel to Alabama for her high school class reunion. Two days before the journey home, Jodi's mom would trip and fall in her living room fracturing her tibial plateau on both sides. Jodi's mom had surgery that Friday, June 2, to place 2 pins in her knee to assist in the healing of this break. She would never walk on this leg again.
Jodi's reunion was great. It was fabulous to see the many faces that did show up and it was sad to not see the many who could not make it. Everyone has beautiful children and families that boast of their accomplishments since their 10-year split at graduation. It makes her miss the simplicity of life in Alabama all the more. How fast time flies and how fast we grow up! What did you predict about yourself at graduation? Where did your see yourself 10 years down the road? Surprisingly, some of my predictions were on target. I hoped to be married to a God-fearing man with my first child and thoughts of my second. How about that? Didn't think I would be in Texas though.
At the end of June, we took a trip to the beautiful mountainous West with the Alexanders. We were invited to assist with a wedding in Anaconda, Montana and decided to make a vacation out of it. My previous entry is about that trip and the fun we had. I will add more pictures and stories about that journey in a later blog.
Jeremy was diagnosed with a Lung infection in early May. This resulted in monthly visits to the NIH to monitor the growth of this infection and to change medication as needed.
Jodi made another trip home in July with Emma as she tagged along with the Skippers to visit their families. That trip - as with any Powell trip had it's own stories. Rolling poop and Big Rig hostages to name a few. I will also try to elaborate on those. The trip itself was another treasured moment with my Mom. She was still strong and in a fighting spirit. However, it was obvious that she was tired and bothered by a difficult illness.
August brought about the beginning of school and many changes. Jeremy and Jodi went to DC so that Jeremy could have a biopsy performed on his lung infection. This resulted in a week trip that was very trying on them by awaiting results and suffering from distance from Emma. She spent a week with her friend Drew and hardly missed us.
Jodi dropped coaching in order to have more time to be a Mom. Emma started school 2 days a week at the Children's Courtyard. It was an emotional time for Mommy and daughter. The school experience has been fabulous for all parties involved, even grandparents. This school provides webcam access to the students so grandparents can tune in and watch. So we are 800 miles from them all, and yet right beside them.
The school year proved to be eventful even with the dropping of volleyball. Many challenges and obstacles left Jodi with a time of great reflection on her future career goals. She is still contemplating returning to school for her master's, but the question is when and where.
Jodi's mother gradually found no improvement and in late October, early November, they found that the cancer had indeed spread to her brain in an inoperable situation. She would move to a rapid decline from this state and after 16 days of radiation, she ended her battle with this beast on November 14. God was gracious and allowed the entire family to be present for this closure. A lovely celebration of her life and her legacy was celebrated in a service at their home church of Enon Baptist Church.
Jodi's father and brother joined them in Texas for Thanksgiving and life was celebrated in a new way. Life will be new for us from this point forward. New roles and new challenges and new goals. As this year closed, we celebrated our first Christmas without Mom. Her absence was evident in countless ways. She is irreplaceable, and yet she would want for us to continue with fond memories and new memories in celebration of her love.
The Powells rushed around Alabama and Kentucky trying to see all they could and missing so many. We literally spent 2 days in each location and it was definitely not enough. If we missed you, please know we MISSED YOU. Meaning, we drove away in Mother's Yukon listing the people we were hoping to hug and love on and trapped in the necessity to get home to Texas.
We are hoping this along with other venues will get us closer to you. If you're reading, drop me a line and a way to connect you. My email is changing and I would like to reorganize my address book. I will send you the new one when established.