March 30, 2012

Our New (to us) Car!

I am so excited to introduce you all to the newest member of our family. "She" is going to help us on our all of our journey's on the road! Taylor & I have chosen to lovingly call "her" Perry the Catmobile (Perry in honor of Phineas & Ferb's pet platypus & Catmobile was what Daron came up with). The shape does resemble Perry the Platypus (see the last set of pictures)....LOL

After 2 weeks of intense research on my part - comparing "her" to other vehicles, searching local dealership websites for the best price on a used one, gas mileage, etc....We welcomed "her" into our family on March 27, 2012! Here are some photos of our newest member -- a 2009 Ford Flex.

Taylor & I with Perry after bringing her home!
Taylor thinks Perry is "Awesome" & "Rockin"

Perry the Catmobile!!

Driver & Passenger Seats - Yes, all the seats are leather. I was iffy at first, but this will make it easier to clean them.
2nd Row of seating

3rd Row of seating-- Holds 7 passengers total comfortably!!

Another View of Perry the Catmobile!

Ok, I had to do a comparison picture so that you knew what Taylor & I were talking about. Here is why we call her Perry. Take the tail off of  Perry the Platypus & you have our car. LOL No I am not going to paint it to match Perry the Platypus.

March 28, 2012

Sad To Say Goodbye

My prayers are extended to the Taylor/Antis family. Daron's Grandma, Dorothy (Antis) Taylor passed peacefully in her sleep on March 23, 2012. She was a wonderful woman who loved her family & her Lord more than anything. She has now been reunited with her beloved husband & I am sure that she is happy & at peace. Click here to view her obituary & leave a message or prayer for the family.

The funeral was held on Monday March 26 in Fenton, MI. Daron was able to attend (Thank you again to Uncle Jon & Aunt Caroline for taking him). He was glad that he was able to say goodbye as well as see family. I am glad that he had a good day & was able to be there. I am sorry that Taylor & I were not able to attend due to different factors that kept us at home.

Below are two pictures of Grandma Taylor from our wedding.....

Picture from our wedding with Grandma Taylor.

Grandma Tilburt (left) & Grandma Taylor (right) at our wedding. They are both in Heaven now.

March 20, 2012

Trying To Keep A Positive Outlook......But It's So Hard!!

Today started out wonderfully. There was a beautiful sunrise!! I got to babysit my favorite 4 year old & one of the cutest 3 month old's ever (Sorry Jen.....I have to say my nephew is a little cuter)!! Taylor had the best attitude on the way to school - which is rare!! I was gonna have an awesome day.

Then the phone rang......

I received a phone call from the social worker at the VA who is in charge of the contracts between the VA & nursing facilities - like Laurels of Kent where Daron is. I hadn't talked to her, so I answered the phone with a happy "Hello!" That's when my smile faded & the shaking started. She told me that I have to fill out the application to the Vets Home & turn it in to get Daron on the waiting list.

Ok, before I go on, let me explain more of the phone call. When I answered the phone, she asked me if I had received the application from the Battle Creek social worker in the mail. I said that I had, but that I had destroyed it because Daron is not going to be moving to the Vets Home. Apparently, Daron & the Battle Creek social worker had filled out the application together prior to his move to Laurels of Kent. He had been told that the move to Laurels was only short term & he would then be permanently placed in the Vets Home. Well, I had no knowledge of this taking place & when the application came in the mail, Daron did not remember having had that conversation or filling it out. So that's why I destroyed it.

I had told the staff in Battle Creek that his move to Laurels had to be his last move due to his dementia progressing. I mean, he takes a little while to adjust. But the VA social worker I talked to this morning told me that was never agreed upon & he actually doesn't fully meet the state requirements for Laurels. I told her that if I had known that prior to his move, he would have staying in Battle Creek until he did meet the requirements for Laurels. I only wanted him to move once.

Unfortunately, I did dump all of the negatives from Daron's care at Battle Creek on her & was rude. I did apologize & explained that I am confused as to what is truly going on because I was never included in anything while he was in Battle Creek. I also explained that Laurels is a good fit for him right now & I would rather he stay there. But......since he doesn't fully meet the requirements, he can't stay there. Now we have a walk through scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Vets Home & I have to turn in the application to get him on the waiting list.

Does anyone realize that while he is on the waiting list he will get more adjusted & settled at Laurels?? Does anyone realize that after he is adjusted it will be difficult for him to move to the Vets Home?? Of course not!!

Ok....Ok.....let me make something clear.......I am a HUGE supporter of Veteran Health care. I have never had any issues with any of Daron's doctors or the care that he has received at the VA. I only have a problem with the lack of communication & disregard for Daron's safety that happened at Battle Creek while he was there. That is my huge issue & concern. He got great care otherwise & was well taken care of. However, there is a massive difference between the care he received in Battle Creek & the care he is getting at Laurels. The care is 1,000 times better & I am so happy that he moved. I really don't want to see him have to move again due to a technicality that could have been cleared up a month ago if there had been proper communication between the staff at Battle Creek & myself!!

But what am I supposed to do now?!?!? Well, I am going to contact some people high up in government & see if they can help me keep my husband at Laurels & keep his contract between the VA & Laurels. I am not going to release the name or names of the people I will contact, but I am going to contact them. I need to be Daron's biggest advocate for his care whether the VA likes it or not. If I don't then who will?!?!? Daron is my husband & I will do anything & everything in my power to make sure he gets the best care possible!!!! I don't want to be the complainer, the nag or the annoying wife who makes everyone upset. I just want to do everything I possibly can to get Daron the best care. I did that while he was in Battle Creek & they moved him to Laurels. Whether it was to get him the best care, get him closer to home or just to get rid of me, I don't know. All I know is that my annoying, strong-willed attitude pushed their buttons enough that it happened. Now I get to do it all over again in order to keep him at Laurels.

Granted, I will visit the Vets Home & get Daron's opinion of the place. But if he says he doesn't like it or doesn't care one way or the other......I will fight to keep him in Laurels!!

Please pray that the Lord will give me the right words to say & the proper attitude through all of this.
Please pray that everything will happen according to God's will - that is the most important thing through everything that is going on.
Please pray that God will be glorified through my attitude & my words as I go through this process.
Please pray that God will open the correct doors, & direct me to the correct people to help me through this situation.

March 16, 2012

Interesting, Crazy, Emotional

Those are the 3 words that best describe this say the least. Part of this post might sound like complaining, but I am venting how this week has made me feel.

On Monday, I got to hang out with my dear friend Deb. I love you tons. I was so excited that she was able to come over & see how I have massively rearranged my living room & dining room (I will post pictures, don't worry). We got to sit & chat for a little while. I always enjoy having girl time with my dear friends.

Shortly after she left I got a phone call from Daron asking me if he could come to the house. I tried to explain to him that I was cleaning from the hectic weekend (don't even ask) & that I wouldn't be able to make it work for that day. Plus, I loving reminded him that he needs time to adjust to the new environment. Well, he told me that a buddy of his had come & picked him up & that he offered to bring him to the house. I'll be honest......I WAS FURIOUS!!! First, I had only very briefly met this friend of his. Second Daron's parents & I agreed that he need time to adjust -- that meant staying in the facility for a month & having all visits remain there.

So I calmed down & let him come over so I could meet this friend. Also, I wanted to tell the friend in person that I was worried about Daron doing that. Thankfully he understood where I was coming from & agreed to contact me on facebook to set things up in the future. I was only worried because Daron is in a wheelchair & has dementia. That in itself makes his decisions hard to trust at times. I know that the friend had good intentions when visiting Daron & was not mad about that. I was just upset that Daron requested that of someone & then expect me to be on board with it as well. This is just a new phase of life I guess.

That was just the start of my week.

Tuesday & Wednesday I spent babysitting all day -- I love the 4 year old that I watch & now I get to watch her 3 month old cousin....a little cutie!! Wednesday night was AWANA - the kids were crazy from this nice weather we have been having. Thankfully, we took them outside for games to try & release some energy (didn't quite help).

Thursday I babysat for part of the day & then ran to Lowell to pick up Daron's dirty clothes. Just before 3pm I received a phone call letting me know that Taylor did something that got him suspended from school for Friday. I won't go into details, but I was very hurt, frustrated & mad about what he did. After picking Taylor up we had to go to Lowell to take Daron's clothes back to him. We weren't there for long since Taylor had gotten into trouble (plus I didn't want Daron to find out about what Taylor did. There's no point in telling him something that will upset him). When we left we decided to go to Millennium Park with my Mom & walk the trials for a little while. That helped me to calm down & it helped Taylor release pent up energy.

Today......plans changed drastically & I wasn't thrilled, but I dealt with it. I wasn't supposed to babysit, but was asked to at the last minute. With Taylor being home from school I knew it would make for an interesting day. That was an understatement. While trying to punish Taylor, I ended up having to take him to my Mom's house so that he could help her as punishment. I just needed a Mommy timeout from everything having to do with Taylor & his suspension. Plus, I needed a way to take some things out of his room without him being home to whine about it.

I am soooooooo incredibly thankful that the Lord never takes a timeout from me when I disobey. That is something that I have to work better at. I end up getting so upset & frustrated with my son not listening that I have to remove myself from the situation before it escalates. If I let it get out of control on my end, then we are both in hot water. I know the Lord doesn't like it when I disobey, but He never leaves me on my own to figure it out. He walks beside me & lovingly guides me to do what is right. He also walks with me & punishes me along the way for what I have done wrong -- in a loving way. I am striving to do this same thing with my son. Most days I fail drastically because I am a sinful parent myself. Other days I am able to keep control & things work for the best. I pray that I will continue to grow in this area of my life with my son. I just need to remember that I cannot make it through this situation or this life without God's help every step of the way!!

**By the way, Taylor is standing right next to me watching me write this. He has made a few comments along the way. I hope that he has realized just what a sinful nature can cause someone to do in the heat of the moment. Plus, I hope that he realizes that God is always walking beside him & that He alone with help Taylor remember to calm down before reacting. I love my son!!!**

March 10, 2012

Transition Continues...

Well, Daron is still in the process of adjusting to his new surroundings in Lowell, MI. From what I can tell, this is going to take him awhile. He is supposed to go to the dining room for Lunch & Dinner. But, he decides at the last minute that he wants to stay in his room to eat. That means that his meal is sent to the dining room & he has to wait longer to eat. I did talk with the dietician & she will work on coming up with something that will allow him to make these last minute decisions & still get his meal with everyone else. That will be a good thing. Please pray that Daron will be willing to eat in the dining room with everyone else. That will help him meet other people closer to his age.

Also, he feels more comfortable staying in his room most of the day. There are activities that he can be a part of if he so chooses. Please pray that he will take part in these activities. That will also help him to adjust & meet others closer to his age.

I am really worried about my beloved husband. I am afraid that he might fall into a depression if he continues to separate himself from the rest of the residents around him. I know that this transition is going to be a hard one on him. He has had a lot of things taken away from him with this move. The D.O.N (director of nursing) & social worker are willing to find a way for him to work in the laundry area....but that's up to him. I am planning on talking with both of them at our next meeting later this coming week or the start of the next week. I know that this whole thing has to be tough on Daron, but I also know that he is glad to be closer to home. Please continue to pray for him through all of this adjusting.

If you are able to visit him, please feel free. He would love to have friends & family visit him. Also, please continue to send cards of encouragement to him. Thank you all so much for your support, encouragement & prayers for Daron during this time!!! It truly means a lot to him!

March 4, 2012

The Transition Begins.....

Daron is now in Lowell, MI - a 20-30 minute drive from our home depending on which way I want to take to get there!!! We are so glad that this finally happened & that Daron is closer to home. Now comes the transition period for him. Right now it's hard to tell how Daron is handling it all because it is just the beginning. I think that it might get worse before it gets better with his transition.

The first night that he was there I got a phone call about 10:30pm to inform me that Daron tried to put himself to bed & they found him on the floor. He didn't get hurt, thankfully, but they had to inform me nonetheless. I am so glad & thankful that I will be informed about anything & everything that happens to him while he is there. That is one thing that has been lacking while he was at the VA.

Please continue to pray for Daron during this time. He is coming from a facility that allowed him to do whatever he wanted & they didn't fully care about his safety. Now he is in a facility that has his safety as the number one priority & they are limiting what he is allowed to do in order to keep him safe. Please pray that he will be able to meet new people there who are closer to his age. Please pray that he will be willing to accept all that is changing around him.

Thank you all do much for your support & encouragement during this time in our lives. God has pushed us more then we thought possible, but we know that He is in control of our lives. We trust that God will help us to get through everything that we go through & we will come out stronger because of it.

Two Years...How Is That Possible?

How is it possible that two years ago today Daron left this earth and entered Heaven? It still feels like it was yesterday at times. This y...