We celebrated Chad's birthday Sunday with a barbecue. The day was extra special as Mom and Dad were able to come down. Momma hasn't been able to get in my house for months. Dwayne and Chad had a ramp for her wheelchair and she's now able to walk some on her own. Very happy for that.
Todd barbecued and Michael, my nephew, helped set everything out. Desmon was with Chad and happy to see Mom and Dad there.
My 90 year old Father washing dishes!
After eating, my dad started rinsing off the dishes. Mom said he was just showing off so we would all brag on him. I told Dwayne what she said and he said she's probably right. Which she was, but no matter, how precious it is that your dad is helping clean the kitchen at the age of 90?
We had a nice evening visiting and I'm sorry to say, I accidentally deleted the picture of the family with Desmon in it.
I am grateful for my son's birthday and the celebration with family.
December 12, 1978
I have so many favorite pictures of Chad. Here is just a few of them.
First day home from the hospital.
People used to tell me I looked too young to have a baby. I would get so mad, thinking I was not young, I was 21 years old!! Now when I look at this picture of me holding Chad on the horse, I think I look around 14 years old. Funny how time changes your perception of how you look or how old you feel.
First Christmas Card:
Picture at Grandma & Grandpa Elrod's and Chad's 1st Birthday:
Chad and Dwayne.
We were so excited at the birth of our first child. Chad was due on December 12th and promptly arrived on his due date. When Chad was born his hair looked platinum instead of blonde, it was a really pretty color. I worked for Dr. Stricker at the time of Chad's birth and he came to see us in the hospital. (Quite a first for Dr. Stricker as he normally didn't remember any of his help's first names) He looked at Chad and said, "Well, Snookims you have the same color of hair as mine". Dr. Stricker had more of a silver color of hair than gray. That was probably one of the longest conversations I've had with Dr. Stricker. I feel honored that he came by to see us.
Chad was an easy baby to care for. He loved being around people and would reach out to most anyone. We joke now that that is still a trait of Chad's, never meets a stranger and is always reaching out to someone. Chad was very obedient. He minded very well and usually just a strong word or a "look" would be all it took to make him behave. Chad has always been a littlegrownup. We went camping at Moreland's Resort when they boys were small and Chad would go out with Dwayne at midnight to check the trot lines. He was only 3 1/2, we never thought anything about him going. He just always seemed older than his age and we treated him as such. Chad loved helping Dwayne work, anything his Dad was doing, he was right there beside him. That is one think I miss most about us having our own construction business; Chad at a young age running the backhoe, helping Dwayne with any job, big or small.
Chad is a very caring person. He still gives hugs to his grandparents and even today I never see Chad without him giving me a hug. Chad has the biggest heart, anyone in need, he is there to help them. Chad is exceedingly protective of his brother and sister and I am very proud of him for his loyalty to his siblings and family.
It is so hard to believe my first born child is now 36 years old.
Happy Birthday, Chad!!
I lost a precious friend this week. Carmen and I used to go to Sunday School together. There is quite an age difference and we hit it off. Our lives were quite different also. Carmen's daughters were grown, she had a career, and although as nice as can be, appeared to be prissy. (Looks can be deceiving, which is why we (I) shouldn't judge by appearance) Wherefore, I was a stay at home Mom, kids not quite grown up yet and though I'm very talkative, shy at meeting people. We were just good friends. Sometimes I would stop to visit Carmen if I was making a trip to Jefferson City.
I called her sometime over the summer and told her next time I had an appointment I would stop by. She said, "Oh, please do". I stopped last Tuesday. I was sure in a state of shock. I didn't know Carmen had had multiple health issues and major surgery since I spoke with her last. A girl answered the door and I said I was there to see Carmen. She said she was in the bedroom. I thought that was odd, so I asked if Carmen was sick. She said she wasn't. I thought Carmen was taking a nap and she would tell her I was there. She said I could go on in the bedroom. SHOCK!! Poor Carmen was in a hospital bed and you could tell she had had a stroke. (Remember those symptoms so well from Grandpa Andy). I walked over and held her hand. Her face lit up and she grasped my hand and held it the whole time I was there. She tried to talk to me but darn it, I couldn't make out what she was saying as hard as I tried. I'm sure she felt frustrated. I went ahead and carried on a conversation about April and my new grandbaby, talked about Shelby's wedding, etc. She had tears in her eyes as I was leaving and held my hand in a tight grasp. I am SO GLAD I stopped. There are times we are in a hurry and think, I'll stop another time. But I had made up my mind that morning I was stopping. Whenever you get a nudge to visit someone, that nudge is probably from God. I have found that to be true more than once. I will miss Carmen, but I'm glad her suffering on Earth has ended.
I am grateful for the chance friendship I developed with Carmen.
We went out to eat at Sput's with our friends, Kim and Ramey. It's nice to get out of the house and see others. We get in a rut of just staying home and really need to get out more. Saturday:
I did chores around the house and Dwayne started digging post holes to put in our new yard fence. Made me a happy person as he started last Spring!!
Mid-afternoon, Dad called to say Mom was really upset over Wayne and he was afraid she was getting sick again for me to come up. Judy was already there and we tried to console Mom. As weak as Mom was, she wanted to go to the cemetery. (It was cold and misting out) She had never been to the cemetery yet and wanted to go put Christmas flowers on Wayne and Mark's graves. Troy came up and helped us with safely getting Mom to the van. When Troy was younger, he spent a lot of time with us. Every Memorial weekend, we would go around to cemeteries and put flowers on our friends and families graves. First thing we would do was clean all the weeks off and clean the tombstone. Troy and I automatically went to the grave to clean off old flowers and straighten things up. Mom did good while there. We then went to the Davis Cemetery to put flowers on Mark's grave. Mom can't walk very far so Dad drove right up through the cemetery to get as close to Mark's grave as possible. Once again, Mom did well. I think all the emotions of losing Wayne caught up with her and the crying made her weak. We all get scared everytime she's weak she'll get pneumonia again.
It was actually a healing day for all of us.
Troy, Judy, Mom and Dad
Saturday night, we went to our friend's, Mike and Susan's for a Christmas party. Once again, good to get out of the house and catch up with friend's. I admit I'm a wee bit jealous over Susan's Christmas decorations. They are beautiful and she adds to them each year. My excuse is she works from home so she has more time. lol Sunday:
Out of the house again!! Dwayne and I drove to St. Elizabeth. April and I went shopping at the lake and Grandpa babysat Cash. We had a great time shopping and eating lunch. We used to do this all the time. Although, we love Cash, it was nice to just shop and not juggle getting him in and out of the car seat and shopping carts. My Christmas shopping is done. Mike fixed supper of sloppy jos for us. Watched TV and then headed home. Monday:
My weekend wasn't over yet. I took my last vacation day and wrapped presents. Took a nap and just enjoyed my day off.
I am grateful for family and friends. I need to get out and visit more often.
Dwayne had a cold and didn't go with me to April's. Cash wasn't too excited when I got there. I told him Papa didn't come over. He kept looking around me to the door looking for his beloved Papa.
See how I rate..... lol
April wanted Christmas pictures taken in front of their Christmas tree. Cash was having no part of it!
We tried two different times but no luck. I think Cash might be in the temper tantrum stage. But then again his ear is still bothering him so he just might not be feeling well.
I remember when I was pregnant with April, a friend told me she hoped I had a girl but girls whine and cry, throw temper tantrums, etc. I smugly thought, your does but mine won't!! Oh, how I ate those words!! I always though a parent could control their child when they had temper tantrums but I sure learned a valuable lesson-some kids just have temper tantrums. I tried spanking April, sitting her in another room and walking out, holding her tight, speaking sternly to her to stop. All to no avail. Thankfully, that phase didn't last too long.
Be careful what you say or think, it just might come back to bite you.
Cash and I still had fun tossing balls back and forth and playing with his toy cell phone. Can't believe how a grandchild can make you all silly and goofy. I guess that's me, the silly goofy Nonnie.
He still gives me aws (kisses) and hugs.
I am grateful for a safe journey over to St. Elizabeth and back on dark, misty roads.
Pat is my brother, Wayne's first wife. I was only ten when they got married and I idolized Pat. Pat and Wayne had just met each other in December and got married I think January 1st of the next year. Then Wayne was shipped overseas to Vietnam.
Pat would come out to the house often and most times I would go home with her for the weekend. I have such fond memories of those times. Pat and her cousin, Patty Mae would let me tag along with them on outings. I loved Patty Mae and in my ten year old mind, I was going to name a little girl Patty Mae one day.
Pat's Mom, Gladys was such a likeable person. She worked as a cook at UMR and then would come home and cook up a HUGE meal for whoever happened to be at their house. They were a big family so there was always visitors. We used to visit on weekends sometimes and the house would be full with Pat's sisters, Joyce and Judy's families. They both lived in St. Louis and came home for the weekend. Now I can see all the work Gladys did with cooking so much. I don't think I have the stamina for all that.
Our first meal at their house, we ate in the dining room with the table set all formal. I loved it!! I hadn't been to a house with a dining room and it made quite an impact. Their house was a huge rock house built by slaves in the 1800's. The rooms were huge and truly was in the plantation style.
Now, back to Pat. She has the same big heart as her Momma. Her house is always open to any family member and she cooks for all of them, too. The thing about Pat is she can't use her right arm. She had polio as a baby and it affected her right side. The arm and leg on the right weren't quite as large as the left side. She never let it affect her. She could empty gravy out of a heavy iron skillet easier than I can with two hands. Gladys said after Pat had polio she made up her mind that Pat would have to become independent and I guess as we would say today, tough love. Her family would get mad at Gladys as she wouldn't pick Pat up every time she wanted. She said, no, Pat needs to learn to walk and do things on her own. I don't think Pat would be where she was today if not for the love and guidance of her Mom. People that don't know Pat had Polio wouldn't really notice. But as Pat has gotten older, she limps more and I really think her arm bothers her but she would never let on.
Wayne and Pat divorced in the late seventies. I was crushed!! Pat and I (and Wayne) have always remained good friends. Pat's son, Tim calls me Mom and Mom and Dad have always treated Tim as their grandchild. They are Grandma and Grandpa to Tim. Actually, Tim went to see Mom more in the hospital than my own sons did.
Wayne married my present sister-in-law, Bobbie in 2003. As you all know, my brother, Wayne passed away in July due to a drowning. Bobbie has diabetes really bad and cannot drive. She stayed a couple months with my sister, Katie and they rode to work together. Bobbie is getting a trailer but it's not available until April. (Their house was very primitive and no running water). Bobbie then went to live with guess who? Wayne's first wife, Pat!! Now that proves what a big heart Pat has.
I love my sister-in-law, Bobbie. She says I'm her sister from another Mother. We have a great relationship. I think my first sister-in-law was like a first love. Special and always holds a part of your heart. It didn't hurt that she spoiled me, too!! lol
I am so grateful for both of Wayne's wives and the joy they've brought to our family.
We've changed some since 2008. We celebrated 35 years of marriage at our daughters wedding in September of 2012. We've added a family member, Desmon who lives with Chad. Desmon is now nine years old and a big party of our family. Our dream of becoming grandparents one day finally came true with the birth of April and Mike's baby boy, Cash Michael on October 12, 2013. We couldn't be more happy.