Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In Loving Memory of my Grandmother

Just a week ago I was reading on my friends blog how she lost her grandmother. I decided to stick a card in the mail for her this week, and not only an hour after I did that, my father called to say that my grandmother wasn't doing so well and they were calling in hospice. Within one day of hospice being with my grandmother, they called my dad and told him he needed to come down and say any last words to her. On Sunday Cain, and I went to visit my grandmother, and nothing could prepare us for how she looked. I left there asking God to just take her very soon and peacefully. I got my wish. Within 8 hours my grandmother got to go to heaven. My grandmother had so many battles with cancer throughout her life and we thought for sure that cancer would be the thing that would take her life, but darn that lady she was a fighter, and old age is what took her. We celebrated her 90th birthday this last September, so I can honestly say that she lived a good life. I was close to my grandmother and the best way to describe her is fun, and exciting! That women knew how to laugh and how to bring a smile to people's faces. I will never forget all her practical jokes she played on everyone. She was loving and was always there if you needed help with something. I'm honored to say that I got to grow up with her in my life. Most of all I am so thankful that I know I will see my grandmother in heaven one day. That brings a peace to me like nothing else could.

Here is a great picture of my grandma and grandpa that was taken at my wedding in 1995. This is how I want to remember them both! After my grandfather passed away within a month my grandmother had her 3rd battle with cancer. They found a golf ball size tumor behind her eye, and the cancer was also in her nose. After they removed all of the cancer, they had to do reconstructive surgery. She recovered from it but she never quite looked exactly the same!

My grandma with Andrew and Megan!

Here is a picture of me with both my grandmas, but we were celebrating my Grandma Johnson's 90th Birthday!

Both my grandmother's get the biggest kick out of Andrew! He brings a smile to every one's face!

Nice Family Photo at my Grandmother's 90th Birthday Party!
A not so nice family photo and notice neither of my grandmothers are to sure how to act for a picture like this one!

Grandma you were so pretty on your birthday! I want you to know that I loved you very much, and I'm so glad your with grandpa and your son now in heaven. I know you dreamed of the day you would see them both again! You were a wonderful grandma, and you always made me laugh! I will cherish all the times I came to visit you for a week in the summer when I was growing up. I have some wonderful memories that I will hold onto for a lifetime! I will see you again one day!

Love you, Kim

Friday, April 17, 2009

Daddy and Andrew's Day Together

Last week when I got home at 2:30am in the morning from my fiasco trip to Chicago, Cain had a story he wrote and printed up sitting on the counter. It isn't often anyone gets to hear about Andrew in daddy's words, and I didn't want this story to get lost anywhere, so what better place to put it then on my blog. You can tell Cain was getting tired towards the end and needed to end it, but I thought it was great to hear about Andrew and Cain's first weekend alone together. Andrew will enjoy reading this story one day.

We had an appointment at 9:15am, so we could not dilly dally around. I (daddy) decided to fix myself and Andrew (my son) some eggs and sausage . This will come up later. Actually about 10:00. Well we left on scheduled with all the appropriate things for Andrew.
We arrived at the car dealership where my truck needed some work, pretty much on schedule. This is where I slowly and painfully learned that my wife is normally right in her suggestions to care for my son. If you ever come in contact with her, please do not mention that I said this. She suggested that I bring a stroller for Andrew as we wait in the car dealership unless I would like to run after him all day. I did not bring that stroller that was suggested.
Originally the appointment was supposed to take around one hour or so. Not so kind sir, not so. Remind me later, to tell you how long we were at the car dealership if I forget to tell you. Andrew loved the fact that there were cars and trucks everywhere he looked. For now we were on the inside of the dealership. First we sat in the really big truck. First the passenger side. Then the driver side. Then the back. Then back to the driver side. Oh yes, he did beep the big horn, but that was later when we were in the truck for the 3rd or so time. After the big truck we looked at other cars and trucks. Hopping in and out, pushing all the buttons, and pretending to steer of course. I was really proud of Andrew because he always wanted to put on his seat belt.
They did have toys at the dealership, but he could not be tied down too long to any one thing. Andrew really loved to just walk or run wherever he pleased. He would say hi to most of the people he would meet, or at least just wave. We did have banana and milk time, but that only slowed him down for a few minutes. Back to exploring for Andrew.
Andrew was particularly fond of a little red car. The seats folded down it the back, and I think that intrigued him. He went back to this same car three times during the morning. The salesman whose desk was next to the red car really took a liking to Andrew. He shook his hand, so of course Andrew said hi back to the salesman. On once of Andrew's later trips to see the red car, he spotted a pretty lady. First the ladies man gave her a wave from thirty feet away. Then he preceded to run to her and giver her a big hug. The lady said that Andrew had made her day. He is a heartbreaker or a heartthrob no matte how you look at him.
At some point I smelled a foul odor from Andrew's diaper. I think that the eggs from earlier were coming to the surface. No changing table in the men's bathroom so the floor had to do. He behaved during the chore, and I was quicker than normal.
We had many more rounds of car looking. We also took a nice walk or two outside by the cars, but it was kind of cold so we put a limit on that. Did I tell you that Andrew liked to bang his hands on the outside of the big truck. Yep. It only cost about $40,000. Of course all of the salesman were very busy (not really) staring at their desks while my little boy was cutting loose. Also more waiving and more hi's.
We did start to leave about 2 hours later. We took my, just worked on truck, around a couple corners in the parking lot and heard some clanging around the tires. The dealer had just replaced the rims so this was a problem I could not ignore. Back in we went. Another hour went by as I tried to contain the slightly irritated little boy. More car looking and more waiving. We played a Nintendo type game for awhile.
Back on the road again. Some rust got into the rims which was causing the noise. We proceeded to drop off papers to the accountants office and then to a couple stores. A lady at the store had to tell me how cute little Andrew was as he walked beside his daddy. She said he would take a couple little steps and then one giant step to keep up with daddy. We decided to go to Wendys, since Andrew had a very boring morning. He deserved a reward. Of course he said hi to some teenagers who then gave him a high five.
On our way now. Andrew, was in no hurry with his food, but I knew that it was past nap time. He finished his food in the car which helped keep him awake until just before getting home. Andrew went right to sleep for 2 1/2 hours. We had snack time later. Yogurt was a big hit. Most of it goes in his mouth.
Now we are off to a couple stores. I did promise Andrew that we would go to the big playground, so we did our shopping quick. More waiving from Andrew to people he likes. He really likes the women. He made an old lady smile at the store.
The rest of our day was pretty normal. We did spend some quality time at the park. Then it was home for dinner. Andrew did his best with the spaghetti. We watched a little TV, and before long it was time to get ready for bed. Speaking of which, Andrew's daddy is a little tired. I love my son! He brings so much joy to my life. He brings so much joy to other people lives. Without him, I think there would be a hole in my life that 100 separate people could not fill. Good night sweet Andrew. Daddy loves you!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Stahnke's Happenings!

Well a quick post to give some updates on things going on. First of all my van that broke down in Indiana is beyond fixing at this point. It did very good getting us to 194,000 miles so I can't really complain about that, but there still is never a good time for a vehicle to die. So here I am stuck in the house with no way of getting anywhere. Luckily Alisha since she is doing post secondary this year (that is doing college in place of high school and getting credit for both) only goes to school on Mon. Wedn., and Fri. That does give me the option to do all my running around on those two days around her schedule and drive her car. I'm not use to planning everything in my week around my daughters schedule. My husband and I still have to make a trip back to Indiana to clear the rest of the stuff out of my van even, and this is my husbands busiest part of the entire year with work! AHHHH!!!!! Is all I can say. So my first priority is to just get Megan to and from school each day, and keep food in the house. My second priority is to get to Indiana to get our stuff. The mechanic there is going to just take our van, since it is worth $0.00, unless we spend $1,200 to fix it. Then after I get pass all that stuff, when my husband has a spare moment we will start to go look for something new for me to drive. I'm thinking at the rate we are going it could be over a month of sharing a vehicle with Alisha. Thank goodness it is warming up outside because I will go crazy if I'm stuck in the house for days at a time.

The other thing that is going on is getting all the details together for Alisha's mission trip to Kyrgyzstan. It is so exciting to be able to help the kids in the orphanage, but yet I'm so far away. We have been in contact with Jayne Schooler, and John Wright and both of them have been giving me some great ways we could help the kids at the Tokmok Orphanage. Right now we are hoping to raise enough money over my daughters exspences so that we can have a playground put in for the kids there in Tokmok. John said for $600-$800 he could have it built while Alisha is there and have it done by the time she leaves. What an awesome gift that would be for the kids there. So God has blessed so much already, but now I'm praying for even more money so that we can do something there that will really make a forever difference in those kids lives and the ones that have to come there after them. Please check out my daughters blog to see how to get involved. It isn't to late. She just needs to have the funds by the time she leaves which is in the first week or so of May. And to any of you who have already helped support my daughter, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We couldn't do this without help from others.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Memories!

We were a bit tired, but we made it to church. Andrew wasn't quite himself, but I think it was because I was gone for two days. I have never left him for more then a few hours, so me disappearing for two days had to be a bit tough on him. I called Cain several times, and he would hear me on the speaker phone and he would keep saying Ma Ma! I never saw him so excited to see me! It made me feel so loved! However, we were in a whirlwind to get out the door, and snap a quick few pictures. Then when we got to church I had to put Andrew in nursery. I don't think he was to happy with that. After church we headed off to Panera bread for a quick bite. We then headed home to decorate eggs, and then off to my mom and dad's house. We fit in a birthday party today also while celebrating Easter at my parents! All in all a good day, but boy the bed was calling my name!

Alisha and her boyfriend Josh!

Last week at church we had an Easter Egg Launch. It was great! They had a big launcher that would shoot 50 eggs into the air at a time. Then the kids would run and grab the eggs. We split the kids by age groups and we launched a total of 2,000 eggs so every kid got plenty of candy. My brother who is the pastor of the church started it last September. We had been averaging around 75-100, but we need to start seeing some growth in the church. So the church decided to have the event the week before Easter right after church to hopefully start pulling in some new attenders. So 600 people showed up for the event so I guess you can see it was a sucess! There was food for everyone, face paintings, tricycle races, and 4 inflatables for the kids to jump in. It was a great time, and we already saw many new faces at church this week!

My friends Shanna and Joy came to visit at church and enjoy the festivities!

Time to eat!

Andrew with Grandma right before he dumped the lemonade on himself!

Megan brought two of her neighbor friends with her that day, and then Shanna's daughter also enjoyed time with all three of them.

Chicago Fun and Fiasco!

So back in November me and some of my friends, that I do a Bible Study with, decided that we would take our girls to Chicago and enjoy the American Girl Place, shopping and many more things. I think my Megan when I told her was more excited about our trip for spring break then she was about Christmas! Anyways I was very proud of her she saved all her money since then, and she also sold most of her toys on ebay so she would be able to buy things while we were there. She had $167.00 to spend. You go Megan!!!! Anyways, the day finally came and we all got up around 4am to meet and hopefully leave by 6am. We came close to our deadline. With three vehicles, and twelve people in the the middle of the night, that wasn't going to be an easy task, but we pulled it off. Me and my friends stood in the street and we said a prayer for our safety, and boy did that prayer pay off!

So here are the girls in my van with their American Girl Dolls!

Here I am driving and trying to stay awake!

Here is my friend Shanna who did an awesome job keeping me awake while driving!

My friend Mary driving the other van!

And here is Sally driving with my Alisha and her teenage daughter Sarah!

Wild and Crazy!

Finally they went to sleep! This was the quietest moment of the entire trip, and it only lasted about 30 minutes.

So we finally arrived after 7 hours of traveling and we all shouted for joy when we saw the sign on the street that said American Girl! The store was so big and so overwhelming. All of us mom's split up with our girls because they all had things they wanted to look at. It didn't take Megan long to find what she was wanting, and she had no problem spending all her money.

Me and Megan with her doll!
What a wonderful day!

Me and Alisha in the parking garage!

So we were all done shopping and we headed back to the hotel. What should of been 30 minutes of driving, pretty much ended up being an hour and a half. I was the lead vehicle, with Shanna and all the young girls. All of our GPS's in our cars were not working downtown Chicago because of all the tall buildings, so we were relying on our mapquest directions that I printed up just incase. I knew the road I was suppose to turn on but some how I drove right by it. The other two cars made the turn and they were on their way. I thought no big deal we will just circle around and catch that road, but that never happened. We drove around for 45 minutes trying to find any road that was on our directions. Our GPS the entire time was wigged out so it was of no help to me. Finally we pulled up to a light and my friend Shanna said, Kim that's the road we need to turn on! The only problem was I needed to turn right and I was at the front of a red light with three lanes to my right, all taxis. I said Shanna there is no way I can cross 3 lanes to turn right here! She thought differently and rolled down her window and asked the taxi driver next to us if we could cut in front of him, he said yes but he said there are two other lanes! So we crept over where the crosswalk for people was and asked the second taxi driver if we could cut in front of him, he said sure, so then we went for the third one. He wouldn't even make eye contact with Shanna, so Shanna said Kim go! So I did! I think we might of broken a traffic law since we made a right hand turn at a red light crossing over 3 lanes of traffic! After we got on that road we were finally on our way! Our hotel was awesome. We stayed at the Hyatt and got a great deal. We had joined rooms that slept 6 people each, and it only cost each family $30 something a piece! That was awesome!

Getting ready to go swim!

Alisha and her friend Sarah!

Me and my girls in the pool!

So we thought that since it was Good Friday we needed to acknowledge that with our girls, so we read the story to them from a Kids Bible Story Book!

Me and Alisha ready to hit the town for a second time!

Me and all the ladies!

Chicago Shopping!

Megan with her new doll!

Lunch at American Girl Place!

Well about 4:00 Chicago Time, 5:00 Ohio time we headed home. We were doing great on time. We stopped for a pit stop after about 2 hours of driving. Then we made it about another hour and out of no where the oil light came on, in my car. I'm thinking that can't be good, and then the next thing I new, I wasn't getting anything when I was pushing on my pedal. My friend Sally was to far in front of me to notice there was a problem, but luckily my friend Mary was behind us in the other van. I was just coasting at this point, and I noticed that there was a gas station about 1 mile from where we were. Mary couldn't figure out why I was going so slow, so they started passing us thinking that is what we were wanting. I then started pressing on my horn, and they at first just thought we were messing around. Unfortunately on the way down I did that fooling around, but this time I really needed help! So then I rolled down my window, and my friend Cathy did the same. I yelled to them something is wrong and I have no power, and we need to make it to the gas station. Meanwhile, Shanna calls Sally and tells her to pull off at the gas station. By God's grace we made it to the gas station still going about 40. I went in the gas station and the guy working came out and looked at the van. The car was overheated so it was hard to tell where the oil level was. We put a half of a quart of oil in the van and waited a little bit for the van to cool down. I started it up and the oil light was off, but within 2 minutes the oil light came back on and the van overheated again, and I was only letting it sit there. At this point I decided to have my meltdown because I knew there was a bigger problem at hand. My friends were great and we got out of our crisis. We let the van cool down again for over an hour and we called a tow truck guy who was a mechanic to come and evaluate the situation for me. So the guy showed up and within a few minutes he diagnosed the van needing a new thermostat. That is what was making the van overheat, but the van wasn't drivable. Luckily because we had another van with us, and 2 spots open in the car we were able to fit everyone in the other vehicles. We were crammed with all our stuff but at this point it didn't matter. I was just happy to be safe. The mechanic towed my van to his place and on Tuesday I have to drive 3 hours to Indiana to pick it up. So unfortunately my Chicago adventure hasn't ended yet. We arrived back home around 2am, and I didn't get to bed until 2:30. We did make it for church however, but wow what a way to end our wonderful weekend. I do think me and my friends pulled together, and throughout that process we bonded! We say down the road we will talk about it and just laugh. I'm already laughing!!!! God watched over us and that is all that matters!