Thursday, April 21, 2011

new friends

Friday we leave for Spain.
Please remember us in your prayers.
I have written a few posts
to be posted in my absence
and hope to blog a bit 
while I am gone.
Between the time change and just me
I figure I will be awake with time on my hands.
Sleeping has not been my thing 
thanks to my friend, menopause.

On Tuesday I accompanied
Annie, Everett, and Ollie
to St. Louis for Ev's appt.
to have his cast removed.
Aubrie had a date with Grandma RuRu.
We also had the chance to meet 
some very fun people 
from blogland
Courtney and her
If you haven't met them they are a hoot.
Courtney is hilarious and the "two squibs"
make me smile.
Courtney has been such an inspiration 
to Annie and our family.
Both her littles had the same heart defect
that Ollie has.
Both had surgery.
Both are flourishing.
She has given us insight and lots of laughs.

First we saw the doctor.
They removed the cast, did an x-ray and sent us on our way.
Ev loved getting his cast off.
The tech said it would tickle as he "sawed" it off.
Everett laughed the entire time.

After we were given the green light
we headed to the cafeteria 
to meet L.C., Jace and Courtney.
My pictures are not great
as I was so excited to get my hands on them.
They arrived in a little red wagon of cuteness.
 L.C. walked through the room waving at her adoring fans.
Jace wowed the ladies.
He sat on our laps and stole our hearts.

L.C. sat on the table and entertained.
She is tiny and simply adorable. 

Seriously, they had many adoring fans 
in that room in a matter of seconds.
We shared snacks and quick stories.
They had ear appointments and had to hurry off. 

The visit was short and we hope to see them again soon.
Check out Courtney's blog. 
She took great pictures of the day
and there you will see her babies' personalities.
She captures moments with her photos.
She is as adorable as the two kiddos.
You will love them all.
I pinkie swear.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our twin sons.

 Easter is usually an emotional day for me.
Not only is it the day
that I am most thankful for,
that Jesus died for me
and washed away my sins
so that I might live eternally 
but also it is a day I remember 
with gratitude and sadness.
On April 22nd, 1984
they were born
on Easter Sunday
at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis
by an emergency cesarean.
They were 6 weeks early.
They were twin boys 
with red hair like their mom.
We welcomed
Daniel Stephen and Douglas Stuart Fox.
They were lovingly named after 
their dad's two older brothers,
Douglas and Stephen.
They were a combined weight 
of 8lbs.7 oz., and were 21" long.
You see, they were conjoined.
They shared a heart and part of their livers.
They were joined nipple to nipple
and down to their navel.
A very small connection when
you consider the size of a newborn.
It was a scary day,
with a huge team in the delivery room.
At least 25 people were present.
Some were for me, some for them.
I got to see my babies in a incubator 
before they were taken away.
A lot of it is foggy to me.
I think the drugs and stress
caused a big part of this.
 I had a large vertical incision
for their delivery
since they were so large.
It was a pretty tough first few days.
They were taken to Children's
and I was in Jewish/Barnes.
I could go visit in a wheelchair 
after a few days.
Stuart got to stay in my room which
was really unheard of in those days.
I was released after a week and
 we stayed in the Ronald McDonald House.
Finally, I got to hold my babies.
As soon as they were in my arms
they opened their eyes.
We hadn't seen their eyes open before.
They knew me.
I cry joyful tears remembering it.
The doctors did lots of tests
and consulted with
doctors around the world.
The consensus was not good.
There was no fixing the situation.
Their heart had 4 chambers at the top
but only 2 in the bottom.
Since the top does the storing and
the bottom does the pumping
this wasn't good news.
There would be no separating them.
The fact was they were going to live
until their combined heart gave out.
There was nothing anyone could do.
We visited the unit and sat with them.
It was really difficult,
because Annie was 20 mos. old
and back at home over 2 hours away.
I wanted to be both places.
Stuart and I were blessed 
to have both our moms there the entire time.
They kept us fed and kept us loved.
After our experience with Ollie Faith,
I now realize how difficult it was for them also.
We would call in the night to check on the babies.
After about two weeks,
they were having really hard nights.
We were told they were 
getting close to heart failure.
The doctors said we needed to make a decision.
We could leave them in the unit
and take the chance that
we would be with them, 
or move them to a special room
and unhook the machines
and be with them when they died.
I went in the bathroom.
I wanted to scream.
I cried out to God,
how do we decide this?
We prayed and we decided the latter,
because we absolutely wanted to be with them
when they went home to Jesus.
Our entire families came.
Everyone held them.
Everyone loved on them.
Then everyone left the room.
Stuart and I took 
our sweet sons and held them
while sitting in a window seat in the sun.
A nurse came and explained that
she would take off the oxygen.
She said they would gasp a few times 
and then they would be gone.
We kissed their faces.
We told them how much we loved them.
We promised we would see them again.
We told them how much more
Jesus loved them than we did.
The nurse came in and did what she explained.
It happened just as she said it would.
They were 17 days old.
It was my Dad's 65th birthday.
Eventually, the days got easier, 
although the grief never goes away.
However, the experience has blessed us immensely.
We had Abbie 2 weeks short of a year later.
We had Maggie 20 months after that.
We grew in our marriage
and we grew in our faith.
Our families bonded with each other.
When we couldn't find strength
Jesus carried us.
When we couldn't find words to pray
the Holy Spirit prayed for us.
We learned what is important in life
and what is just stuff.
It formed our character,
 gave us perspective, and real compassion.
I wouldn't change a thing. 
God's plan is always the best.
I am trusting God's promises.
 I am seeing my twins again one day.
We are spending eternity together.
This life on earth is short.
Eternity is a better deal.
It is the one deal I know I can count on.
You can count on it too,
 if you will give him your heart
and give him your life.
For God so loved the world,
he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Monday, April 18, 2011

weekend festivities

The weekend went great.
I, of course, forgot to take my camera
to the wedding. 
I will post some later as I steal them from others!
I have a couple from facebook to share.
 The bride and her mom 
made all the attendants and the bride's bouquets
from wiring trogether old brooches.
It was cold, but lovely.
Truly a wedding that reflected that couple.
It was very personalized.

My Maggie is the redhead at the back.
Casey even made an adorable belt
to accent Mag's baby bump.

Sunday was a incredible day.
Church with Mom and Dad and then lunch at my house.
Gifts opened and lots of time laughing.

I have got to get better at taking pictures!
jackie and baby brother John
Butch(Judy) and Stuart
John, Cindy(John ) and David(Linda)
 They are always holding hands or touching the other's leg.*tear*
 Cindy and Judy
 David, Mom and Linda
 My yard is  still a judgement please.
Brent the CPA (or CPR as Mom calls him)
was MIA for the final tax work day.

Linda and Judy 
gathered lots of pictures
and made a file folder.
In each is one for each sibling.
Inside theirs is one for each of their children and 
inside the grandchild's are small ones 
for the great grandchildren.
Really cute.

Then Linda put together a DVD.
I cried all through it.
My Dad was so handsome and Mom was a beauty.
They still are.
To see how much the world around them
changed in 70 years
is so something to see.
Cars, fashions, Mom's hair!
It is long but I am posting it for family to see.
Thanks for allowing me into your lives with mine.
I am a lucky girl.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hold the presses

I lost my camera last week.
I got it in November before the trip to Disney.
It is just a point and shoot.
Picture taking is new to me.
I never took pictures.
I am the mom who attended 
every HS graduation and college graduation
while leaving the camera
on the table at home.
I searched high and low
but to no avail.
I accepted fate and got this.

 A little better version but pretty much the same.
Same camera case as before,
and a new camera card.
I was over it.
Today, my predictions came true.
This is the deal now.

Yup, it has been found.
The details will not be divulged.
The guilty party will remain nameless and blameless.
I told you I thought it was a leprechaun.
That's my story and I am sticking to it.
I have 15 days to return the second one
for a full refund.
Someone's living right.
I am pumped.
I am returning it and 
spending some of that cash
on a English/Spanish dictionary.
I do not want to push my luck!
Actually, it was under a chair.
I looked under the couches, tables, and chairs etc. 
However, in my defense
I have lots of chairs.
Dern leprechauns are messing with me.
Send prayers and meds!
Oh, and maybe a keeper.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It is a party weekend.
Saturday a close friend of mine
is having her first granddaughter's wedding.
The granddaughter is one of Maggie's
dearest friends.

Casey the bride -to- be, my Maggie, Miss Brittany
The wedding is at the Chautauqua Bldg.
in our local park.
It is an awesome architectural design.
We have full day on Thursday
finishing up the decorating.
Grandma and the mother of the bride 
have been at it since Sunday.
Lots of Ethel Edith furniture and
lots of vintage treasures of my friend's.
I am on board for some cakes.
Sheet cakes....Texas sheet cakes
to join in with lots of other desserts.
Then Sunday 
we have a wonderful day of celebration
planned with my family.
We are celebrating my Mom and Dad's
70th wedding anniversary.

 It is actually on the 28th but with Easter
and the Spain excursion
we moved the party up.
We are going to church with them 
then heading to my house for a lunch and 
lots of visiting .
Maybe I could get some elbow grease
on that project in the back yard...
We are surprising my mom and dad
with a bottle tree for their gardens.
Mom saw an iron one last year
at a garden and iron place, 
but it was pricey.
She has remembered it fondly ever since.
Shhhh.... surprise remember.
It holds 52 bottles.
I posted on facebook
I needed wine bottles
or colored bottles.
The little Saturday bride suggested I call the winery.
An hour later I was picking up
30 bottles for 50cents each.
Clean but with labels intact.
I only got 30 so Mom and Dad 
could get some on their own and 
my siblings could bring some 
to commemorate the day.
I soaked and soaked the bottles.
The red ones' labels slipped right off.
Who knew there were red bottles?

Aren't they pretty?
The green ones were difficult.
The blue bottles were a nightmare.
The labels were cemented on.
I need a manicure now.
But all clean and lined up
is a sight to behold.

I'll take pictures Sunday 
of the finished product.
We are having a card shower too.

If anyone wants to send a card
to them it's:
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Adkins
RR 2 Box 96
Tower Hill, IL
or you can email me or 
leave a message in the comments
and I will copy them off and put them
in the scrapbook
 my sisters Judy and Linda have made.
We are truly blessed to have
our parents both still living.
You can read about them here.
They are an example of love 
for the long haul.
They are their vows in the flesh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

adios amigos

My nephew Joel is living abroad.
He is in school
and is studying in Alicante Spain.
He is my sister Jackie's youngest.
Jackie, my sister Linda,
and Linda's husband, David 
are going to visit
on Good Friday 
until the following Saturday. 
They booked the trip in February.
I wanted to go
but was waiting to
hear how Miss Ollie checked out
at her doctor visit last week.
She was doing well, 
so I set out to book it with
my saavy daughter Abbie's help.
We had me booked on the same flights.
We were thrilled.
The transaction wouldn't go through,
so I tried a different credit card.
I thought maybe my 
fraud detector wouldn't allow it.
Still it wouldn't work.
Ab called the airlines.
It seems the airlines 
were raising prices and
wouldn't accept any flights at that price.
It went up $800 right then.
I couldn't do it.
Too much $ because
it was already $400 more
than since they had booked.
I was so bummed.
Then I got over it.
 I was going to miss Easter. 
I missed it last year because
this same band of people
went to Vegas to see Jackie's #2 son.
I was going to miss the girls' EE show
that is taking place in my yard.
I had fun stuff coming up
so life was still good.
I had prayed if it is meant to be 
let Ollie's check-up be good.
 I said, well if I am meant to go,
a flight will open up at the original cost.
Jared the #1 son of Jackie
was going to fly from Switzerland 
if I was coming and make it
a family reunion.
Today I got home
and my genius daughter, Abbie
had found a flight.
I am going!
I am flying another airline.
I will be 15 min behind them
at my arrival in Spain.
I will be 4 hours behind them when 
we arrive home in Chicago.
They are going to wait on me.
I have a 6 hr layover in Oviedo Spain.
No biggie.
Language barrier, shmlanguage barrier.
I had 5 years of French.
Maybe that will help.
Jackie and I went to Mexico
for our 45th birthdays
with college friends.
One girl spoke decent Spanish.
She was interpreting
the taxi drivers advice to us
and I said, Lori you do so great.
How do you even understand what 
he was saying to you?
She replied, Janie he was speaking English.
Start praying for me now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Camp Town Lady

 I promised pictures.
I replaced my camera tonight
and she is charging.
This picture is from my phone today.
She is pretty sweet.
She is a 1964 Layton.
I googled top names in 1964.
She is named Lisa Patricia Layton.
I am setting off a bug bomb 
first thing in the morning.
I don't want any surprises 
when I am cleaning her.
I am thinking she is getting
a new coat of pink paint.
She needs to match her sister.

You can see I have a lot of 
planting and rock moving to do also.
I have a busy week
keeping grandkids a couple of days,
helping a friend with a wedding,
re-doing a room 
with Annie for a client,
and hosting
an anniversary party on Sunday,
so I don't expect much progress 
to be made on either of these girls.
But next week 
it's on like Donkey Kong.
I need a name for the playhouse.
Any suggestions??
I got nothing.

Pinky Tuscadero?  No.
Remember her?
She annoyed me.
Ponder it, and get back to me.
I am off to practice my Kum bay ya
so I am ready for the campfire
when Lisa Pat is finished.

birthday recap

Well yesterday was the big day.
If you think it is the last 
you will hear of it,
think again.
I celebrate for the whole month,
and I am just getting started.
I started Thursday
for dinner and a gift exchange
with my college roommate.
Hers was in March,
and our schedules finally worked out.
I shopped with Jackie and Abbie 
on Saturday at the nearby outlet mall,
then on to Mom and Dad's 
for an evening with 
Jackie,  and Stuart and the folks.
Sunday after church,
we brought home my latest project.
It is an adorable little camper.
She needs some love.
She isn't going to travel.
Instead, she will reside 
in amongst some trees and
host the grandkids  and me
partying it up.
Then, dinner out with my kids
and an evening service at church.
A special speaker talking 
about creationism/evolution.
Check out
Really good stuff.
My camera is still MIA.
I have searched, 
the house, my car, the yard,
the Gator, the basement,
jacket pockets, the barns, etc.
A friend suggested looking in the fridge.
In her defense, it is where 
I found my cell phone once.
I have had it since the Coopkeeper 
was here so, she is off the hook. HA
I am blaming a leprechaun.
Everett gave me the idea
and I think he is on to something.
He uses them as scapegoats
and I think it is genius.
So what if he is 3,
he knows they are sneaky little dickens.
I was working in my playhouse
and wanted to get pictures.
I wanted pics of the trailer.
I am going to buy 
another one tomorrow.
The other I just got in November,
and I am betting
I will find the missing one
soon after I purchase a new one.
Until then, I will hope
you have not been bored to death.
You all know just how epic
my photog skillz are.
Bear with  me,
I'll have pictures
of my finger and the camper 
by tomorrow night.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Let them eat cake.

Sixteen Fifty-two candles. 
Sunday is my birthday.
It is my twin Jackie's birthday too.

It is also my middle daughter Abbie's birthday.


And it is Stu's oldest sister Jennie's too.

It's a party up in here.
I'll be back when the fireworks are over
and the crowds clear.

I am off to tear some tissue paper
and get my flour-less, sugar-free
chocolate cake on.

  Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Children learn what they live.

I have shared with you
that my faith comes from my mom.
She was an example of a bible reading,
church-going, Jesus-loving mom.
But, she also gave me 
a sense of humor.
People say I am funny.
Some say crazy.
In a good way that is.
I have told you all 
I am the funny one in my marriage.
I'll fight him on this one.
I have taught him
everything he knows.
But, let's keep it to ourselves, K?
He is under an illusion and
I don't want to rain on his parade
or to take away his will to live.

I learned funny from my mom.
She set the bar high.
At 87, she still laughs a lot.
When I told her about
this post topic she laughed
so hard re-living it.
She is a gem.
When I was a kid
she did silly crazy things.
She and her pals 
would make a cake 
for her birthday club.
However, her cake was made out of
a big round sponge.
They would put icing on it 
and decorate it all nice and pretty.
When the birthday girl tried to cut it,
it was a hilarious sight.
Mom and Dad were square dancers.
(remember I told you, 
I took lessons in Jr. High,
 you now see my parents were 
the root of that humiliating fiasco)
Anyhoo, one weekend,
a square dance caller and his spouse
were coming to town for a dance
and staying overnight with 
my Mom's best friend's family.
My mom spent the whole day
moving pieces of furniture, 
tables, lamps,
her whole dining room set,
straw bales,
curtains, and home accessories
to an old dilapidated house 
on one of our farms.
She set it all up 
like a kitchen, dining room,
and a living room.
That night after the dance
they took the caller and his wife 
and some friends of my folks
to their friends' fake home.
They had to unlatch a gate 
and drive through a cow pasture.
On the way into the "home" 
many cow pies had to be dodged.
They walked in and Mom's friend said
"Oh, I forgot to pay the bill,
they have turned our power off."
They lit a lamp and 
went into the rooms.
Old wallpaper was 
hanging all wonky,
every surface was filthy.
The fellow and his wife were flabbergasted.
Their eyes were bugging because
they believed they were
 going to have to stay in this shack.
Mom and Dad along with their friends
sat down on the straw bales
like it was not uncommon.
They continued the hoax until 
they couldn't hold their laughter any longer.
The man and his wife laughed the hardest.
I bet they never had that happen again.
Thanks Mom for the training.
You're the master.
I love you.
your Grasshopper

P.S. That sweet coopkeeper
blogged about me again.