Monday, December 15, 2008

My Christmas Letter

To all my dear friends and wonderful family,

This year has been an eventful one, to say the least. It was a year that I never even thought would ever happen. Really, it was fun.

First I need to send my apologies out to each one of you, I am very sorry I didn't get gifts in the mail this year for the holidays. With Chuck's surgery, my working a lot more hours than I am used to, PJ's Christmas Program, Eric's projects for school, and maybe just a little bit of down time, I didn't have the time to make the things that I wanted to make for each of you. Trust me, after the New Year, you will receive something in the mail. It will be like Christmas all over. I really am sorry, I thought I would find the time to do what I wanted to do, but lost all of it somewhere.

This year was hard on me. After losing my job of four years, searching and being rejected for all the jobs that I applied for, I went to work as a delivery driver for Pizza Hut. If it wasn't for Chuck, I wouldn't have gotten that job either.

We took a nice long vacation to St Augustine and Daytona Beach. Spent the time relaxing and enjoying a very peaceful time as a family. It had to be the best vacation that we had together.

School started in August for the boys. Eric is now in the 7th grade and very successful in all of his school work. His next report card will be straight A's. We are so proud of him. PJ is in the 4th grade and doing ok for him. He knows that he can do better, but just doesn't want to do any more than what he has to do.

I have really enjoyed delivering pizzas. I discovered some excellent back roads of Bradley County. Beautiful places to take pictures, especially in the Fall. These old barns against the colors of Fall. It is so worth the ride that I get to go on all the time. I took the boys on a journey one day and they loved seeing the way that people live in the country.

Thanksgiving was wonderful as always. We spent it with Chuck's family. They all came over here and we ate and ate. The food was wonderful, the laughs were contagious, the love was all around, the conversations were endless. It is always a time for us to share time and treasures together.

This year we celebrated milestone birthdays with my parents. My mom turned 75 in January. I greeted her with "Happy 3/4 of a century birthday!" Luckily she is a good sport and didn't say much to me about it. But she is a treasure to all of us, the boys adore her. PJ can't wait to talk to his Grandma Letty. He thinks that she and Lenny are just too cool. My dad celebrated his 70th birthday in November. He keeps going and going, just like the Energizer bunny. He discovered a new hobby this year, bees. He loves going out there to take care of them. He had the best garden this year due to the bees. We traveled to just north of Newport TN to pick them up. That was an adventure! But he keeps his mind active, warding off old age I guess.

December 12th, Chuck and I celebrated 19 years from our first date. Wow~time does really fly!

As for me, well, I try to find the time to crochet, quilt and whatever else I try to find relaxing. I did take some time this year to write a children's book. Thankfully, the artist in the family, my mom, is doing the art work for me. PJ's Pillow is based upon our son, PJ. It is basically about him and his pillow.... Once I find a publisher, I will let everyone read it.

So, for us, we are well. We are healthy, thankful for the roof over our head, and in this dwindling economy, for the jobs that we have. We are thankful for our parents and our children. We have been blessed this year.

We look forward to a new year, leaving 2008 in the past, but taking the memories with us. We know that we all will turn a year older, another anniversary, and time with our families. We are so thankful for the friends that have come into our lives and the family that we hold so dearly.

May you be blessed and you have blessed us. Have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Chuck, Patti, Eric and PJ

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just a little update

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything or even read anything. I have been a little busy with everything. The holidays, work, school programs and Chuck's surgery.
Let me start with school program, PJ's program is tomorrow. I can't wait to see him up there singing with everyone. And although he didn't get a solo or a part, there is always next year. He called me crying that he didn't get a solo. I was a little upset, but he doesn't have to try out for chorus next year and when he is in middle school, well, he has an open door to get into choir and drama. Way to go PJ!

Next, the holidays. Oh how I love this time of year. Usually I would be looking at 2 weeks off, but that won't be happening for a while for me. So, I have to put everything around my work schedule. I have missed some of the shows that I wanted to watch, I haven't had a chance to make cookies or anything with the boys. And the mini gingerbread village, turned out to be a disaster. I think gingerbread men will work just fine. I plan on getting them this week.

The new pre-lit Christmas tree is up. And how that was a pleasure to put up this year. Usually I spend about 3 hours just putting lights on the tree. There are more
than enough lights on this tree, it was fun to put up with PJ, while Eric sat on the computer looking for Christmas music.

See, Eric did help to put his ornaments on the tree. That was fine. It was something that PJ and I got to do together.

I have been busy trying to get some shawls done for someone. Everytime that I made one, I ended up taking it out because I didn't like it, or it grew the wrong way. And although it doesn't take me long, I am still working at them. They will be done very soon.

As for Chuck's surgery, it was Tuesday, Dec 9th. Now, that was fun. He called to find out when he was scheduled for, 12:30 surgery time, had to be there by 10. Ok, not a problem. He was told it would only be a 15 - 20 minute surgery. We just didn't think we would be there as long as we were.

We got there about 9:40, got him in a room and just waited. Waited for everytone to show up with orders and instructions. Now since he couldn't eat before the surgery, I waited to eat. I hit the cafeteria while he was waiting to be taken back to surgery.

I got back up to the room and around 11:45 they finally took him away. Ok, I didn't read everything and thought they would start right away. It was an hour or more before they even got to him. They had to put him to sleep. Here we were thinking it would be a local and that would be it.

I get a page at 1, go to the family conference area and wait, wait, wait. Some Dr showed up looking for another family. Turns out I had the wrong pager, comforting, isn't it? I find out they hadn't even started on him yet. So, I head back to the room and then decide I would be more comfortable in the family waiting area, that way I don't have to rush to get to the elevator and then to the waiting area. There wasn't anyone in there, so I took my crocheting and sat there.

I jumped when the pager went off. Scared me half to death! It was loud and vibrating madly. I waited until the surgeon came in. He was very nice and very young! But he told me about the incision that was made and what he had to do. Instead of going into the joint to fix what was wrong, they cut about 1/4 inch off his collarbone and scraped bone spurs off the bone as well. Patched it up with bone wax and closed him up. We originally thought that it was tendon damage and that would be repaired. In the end, it was an arthritic end with bone spurs that was causing all the pain.

I went up and waited some more, alone, waiting on them to return him to the room. Now, I know that he was doped up, so he doesn't remember much of anything. Going to the bathroom was a challenge, and I forgot to turn on the water for him, that caused him a lot of pain. Getting things in order for him was kinda hard too, he was fussy, of course and grumpy, so I had to let all that go and just do the best that I could.

He kept the food down and we finally went home. And he didn't like the way I was driving the MB, so he mentioned for me to slow down, although I wasn't going all that fast. We got him home and settled for a bit, get the pain pills and just wait out the night.

We we at the hospital until 4:30. And we were both tired. He didn't sleep well the night before due to my legs twitching and I knew that sleeping in the recliner wasn't going to work well either, but he tried to lay down, that didn't work well at all.

Getting shirts on and off, washing hair, brushing teeth, putting on deodorant, all little things that we take for granted, is very hard for Chuck to do right now. Buttoning shirts, putting on socks, you don't think of this stuff. You don't realize how much you miss something until it is gone. And right now, he can't use his right arm much at all.

The pain today is still there. He still has his moments, and I understand. I am home until later today, and then I work tonight. I will be home in the mornings to help him get dressed and make breakfast for him. But then I have to work tomorrow and Friday until 4. The boys get home from school and they will be here to help out some too. But you know, kids really don't know what they can do to help much.

And as for me, well, I am tired. Doing it all is rough, but add a person that does need help for a few days, that is just very tiring on me. I will be ok though, it is just for a few days. Sleeping alone in bed when he is on the other end of the house was weird too. Told him to text me if he needed something. That was funny! Didn't get any texts last night from him though. I texted him when I woke up at 6 this morning. I heard the rest of the house up, so I got up too. Plus it stormed here last night. PJ told me, "I just covered my head up, I didn't want to bother you while you were sleeping." There were moments last night that the entire house shook, it was that bad!

I haven't even had time to get gifts ready to mail, to wrap or to make. This holiday season has been busier than normal for me.

I do have one comment to make though, to all that have offered to come out and help some, that offered to cook something for us, I want to thank you. For my church family, although I haven't been to church because of the fact that I have to work on Sundays, you have forgotten about me and my family. In a time of need, you haven't been there. No meals were offered from you, no help was offered either. Now, I got my list made up for groceries and I planned out everything carefully as to what would be easy for Chuck to cut up and eat. So, I took care of that. But no one called me to find out how he was doing, how I was doing. No one showed up at the hospital, my mother-in-law offered, but we thought it would only be a short surgery. But as for the church family, I haven't heard from anyone. Not even a text, only when I texted out to people what was going on. I would like to say thank you for all that you have done for my family, but I can't. I am hurt by all of this. My friends that aren't Christians have been more supportive than a church that I thought was full of friends.

I am putting my soapbox back under my bed until next time.