Monday, December 14, 2015

Last week I had a birthday and my kids had the best party ever.  Our daughter Jane and her family flew down from Chicago. They went all out and I felt so blessed and thankful for such a loving family and group of friends.  The food was wonderful!  Casey and John hosted it at their home and several people contributed with the food.  They put a video together with several pictures of me in the different stages of my life.  Getting older sometimes is difficult to come to terms with but I am thankful to be here and thankful for such a wonderful family and friends.

I Had a Birthday Last Week

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

John Had a Birthday!

This past Sunday was John's birthday.  The photo above was taken last Christmas.  John is a great son, father and husband.  I couldn't be more proud of him.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Last Friday Brooke turned 20 on the 20th. We had a small family celebration at Olive Garden. (her favorite) Every year I marvel at how fast the time goes and how quickly the grand-kids have been growing up.  As a Grandmother I have to say there is nothing any better than to be a part of that if one gets that opportunity.  That has been a blessing for me and I am so thankful.

Brooke's 20th Birthday Cake on the 20th.

Austin and Brooke on Brooke's 20th Birthday

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bob and I have a friend from Chicago who has been working in Norman OK.  Bob was on the phone with Joe yesterday and we asked him if he would like us to meet him for dinner.  The drive from here is nearly 3 hours so we got a room at the hotel and stayed the night. It was really good to see and visit with Joe.  It was also really nice for us to get out.  On our way home we were redirected from highway 35 to another highway for a while because of construction and high traffic back ups.  The picture below is Turner Falls.  We would have never have seen that if we were not redirected to a different route.  What a blessing for us!  We got a chance to stop and smell the roses.

Turner Falls

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy Birthday young Bob!

I love this picture of Robert (Bob) and his sister Angie!  Young Bob is 40 today!  Wow!  He was 10 years old when I married Bob (Old Bob)  Time goes by so quickly.  We love you Robert!  He likes being called Bob now but it's hard to break old habits.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

R.I.P. Bob Pershing

If you have been keeping up with my blog lately you may have noticed we have sadly said good-bye to too many friends and family.  Rob's Dad (Joy's father-in-law) passed away a few days ago. He was also our friend and we are going to miss him.  After suffering for the past few years with heart problems, cancer and leukemia I know he is in a better place and no longer suffering. Bob was a really nice man and will be missed by his wife, children, grand-children, extended family and friends.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yesterday was our Grand-son Austin's birthday.  He turned 17.  It seems like yesterday when they moved to Texas. Our daughter-in-law flew to Chicago to get Austin and Brooke and the kids stayed with us over the weekend while Joy and Rob moved here.  I mentioned to Joy that Austin crawls like an army soldier. (using only his arms and elbows) Joy said "What?"  He has never crawled before. He is a tall, handsome and sweet young man now.  We love him very much.


Austin's 17th Birthday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A few days after I returned home from Indiana and Chicago Bob and I took a short trip to Galveston. The purpose was to get away from therapy, doctors, working in the gym and the same oh same oh to spend some focused time together.  It was really nice.  We both relaxed a lot. Bob got into the pool for the first time since the stroke.  He did very well but had to hold on the the edge of the pool.  Since then he got into the pool at the rec center. Bob said he used muscles he hasn't used for a long time. While in Galveston we had an early dinner at Gaido's Restaurant for sea food.  The restaurant opened in 1911.  Our waiter had been there for 42 years and said he loves his job.  The food is awesome.  It is a must visit should you go to Galveston.

Bob in Galveston

Jane, Ben, and Draven

Jane and Ben with second cousin Draven.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bob insisted I drive to Chicago for a day to see Jane, Ben and Jake since I was that close before heading home.  I am glad I was able to do that.  While at Jane's my brother Sy and his family visited for a while.  The picture below is of Sy and Hollie with their daughter Lisa and her husband and little boy.
Hopefully next time I go north Bob will be able to go with me.

Silas, Hollie, Draven, Lisa and Nick

About a month ago my Aunt Geneva passed away.  She was 91.  May she rest in peace. Aunt Geneva was the last sibling in my Dad's family.  One of the sweetest memories I have of her is when I was a young girl in the 7th grade I had to walk a mile to school.  I struggled with walking due to having Polio when I was four years old.  Many times my Aunt would just happen to be driving by my school and offer to drive me home.  She really had a big heart and I will never forget that about her.

Bob had appointments he needed to keep so I drove to Lafayette Indiana for the funeral and to spend some time with family.  I stayed with Tim and Linda.  Tim has had about five open heart surgeries and has also been fighting cancer for the past seven years.  He has been having a very difficult time with treatment and I wanted to spend some time with him.  The picture below is my brother Tim, my brother Stan and his Grand-daughter Reah.  That was the first time meeting Reah.  She is so precious.
Seventeen hours is a long way to drive by myself.  I stayed near St. Louis with my son-in-law Rob's sister Carrie.  I just love her.  Not only did I not have to go to a hotel by myself but I got to visit and spend time with Carrie.  On the way home we went to a near by Cajun Restaurant "Who Dat."

Even though Bob is doing really well I was concerned about leaving him home alone.  He is not able to cook for himself but he can warm things in the microwave.  The kids were very gracious and had Bob to dinner almost every night.  When I called Bob he would tell me of things he was doing at home and I think even though he missed me he was excited about his independence.

Tim, Stan and Reah

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Anniversary Angie and Brent!

Married in Oct. 2011 it doesn't seem that much time has passed.  We wish you many more happy years together Angie and Brent.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Until things changed for Bob and I we hosted most of the holiday parties.  This past Labor Day weekend Casey and Joy took over.  Casey had a pool/barbecue party and Joy had a party at the lake house. We all brought some meat in a crock pot and a side dish. Our thanks to Rob for giving boat  rides to the guests and our thanks to Joy and Casey for hosting. They both opened their home not only to family but to friends. Thank you so much.

Something happened at the lake house I want to share.  I was so proud of Joy who gave one of the guests the Heimlich and saved her life.  I'm not going to mention the name of the guest to possibly save embarrassment to that person.  But, I couldn't believe what was happening in front of my own eyes in a matter of a few minutes.  That person is alive today because of what Joy did. It was surreal.

Joy made the sign for Casey, pictured below (Larson's Lounge) for her birthday.  John and Casey have a living area on their back patio next to the pool.  I think the sign completes the area.

I didn't get pictures of everyone but below are a few.  Click older posts to see everything.

Barb (me) Taryn, and Chris

Larson's Lounge

(bottom row) Tamara, Barb (me) and Joy (top row) Angie, Casey and the photo bomber

Lincoln, Sydney, and Emerson

Liam and Logan

Sydney, Tamara, Taryn, and Emerson

John D.

Jack, Peyton and Jordon

Brent and Angie

John and Rob

Luke and Bill

Bob and Joy

Bob and Tamara

Casey and Joy

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Happy Anniversary Joy and Rob!

Today is Joy and Rob's anniversary.  You may have noticed I posted three anniversaries of our kids over the past few days. They were all married one year apart over the Labor Day Holidays.  I guess that is a popular time to get married.  So, John and Casey celebrated 19 years, Jane and Ben 20 years and Joy and Rob twenty one years.  I'm starting to feel old with my kids married that many years.
Happy Anniversary Joy and Rob!  We love you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy Anniversary Jane and Ben!

Twenty Years!  We love and miss you both.

Monday, August 31, 2015

This morning I had an appointment with my cardiologist.  I received an excellent report.  My open heart valve replacement was in 2008.  They don't know how long my bovine valve will last. Beginning in 2018 or if there are any problems before that I will have to have an echo cardiogram every year just to keep a close eye. If any problems arise he said it is most likely the fix will be less invasive.  I really hope that is true.  Actually, ideally I would hope not to ever have to have anything done in my lifetime.  I am so thankful things are going well.  

Happy Anniversary John and Casey!

I'll just use the picture below for John and Casey's anniversary congratulations. They have been married for nineteen years and have two children, Peyton and Jack.  Happy Anniversary John and Casey!  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Casey!

Yesterday was Casey's birthday. Sometimes it feels weird to call her daughter-in-law because she is more like a daughter.  We love you Casey.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Last week we were visited by Bob's sister Mary Ann and her family.  They had previously attended a gaming convention in Austin.  They must have really enjoyed it.  The kids said it was the best vacation they ever had. It must have been fun for them considering they are a family that goes to Disney World every year. We enjoyed having them here.  It was nice to have some one on one time with everyone. When we do see them it's only about once a year and for two or three hours.  The photos below are of an evening at Eagle Mountain Lake.

The one year anniversary of Bob's stroke was last week.  Bob is doing really well.  He walks more smoothly and most of the time he goes without a cane around the house.  His speech is much better but he still sounds like he has an accent because he has trouble pronouncing his L's and R's.  The speech therapist graduated him a couple of weeks ago. There is more work to be done with his hand and arm but he makes improvements every day.  He works diligently and is so inspiring to everyone he meets.  It is starting to seem normal again.  Sometimes I forget he can not do certain things.  He started driving himself everywhere and I can't even say how much help that was to me and how much of a sense of freedom it gave Bob. When Bob and I look back on this time last year and realize everything he has been though and where he is now we are both so thankful and grateful to God for giving both of us strength and for His healing power.

Mary Ann, Barb (me) and Joyce

Rob and Andy




Monday, August 10, 2015

I just want to take a moment to say "rest in peace" to Becky and to Bill who passed away last week.   They were classmates of mine from high school.  I went to an extremely small school. We were close and although we went our separate ways all of these years we kept in contact and also attended a few reunions to catch up. Their families are in my thoughts and prayers.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Joy!

Today is Joy's birthday.  I was looking for a picture of just her.  It's hard to find.  Joy is always with someone.  She is really a people person.  I thought this was a nice photo of her and Rob.  They went on vacation to Galveston for a few days so we will celebrate when she returns. She is due a nice get away.  Joy, have a great vacation and birthday.  We love you.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Rob!

Our son-in-law Rob had a birthday yesterday.  I would say 45 looks pretty good on him.  Some of us went out to a Mexican restaurant last night to celebrate.  It is always nice to take some time to give special attention to those we love.  And, we love you Rob, lots and lots.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Congrats To Our Niece Joyce for Graduating From High School This Year!

I mentioned previously I would post a picture of our niece Joyce.  She Graduated this year from High School.  We wish you the best Joyce as you further your education and enter into a new phase of your life. We are proud of you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Did You Ever Wonder Why People With Amnesia Can Still Talk

The above video will show improvements to Bob's speech during the past few months since his stroke.  He is explaining why the speech part of his brain is causing difficulties with pronouncing words.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 4th 2015

How was your July 4th weekend?  Ours was low keyed but relaxing.  We went out the lake house on Eagle Mountain Lake and had a barbecue with family and a few friends.  There is not a place I would rather be than sitting on the porch watching the fireworks on the 4th.  It is so awesome!  There are fireworks all up and down the lake and they can be seen near and far. The only thing is, no one knows when to stop.  They are going well into the early morning.  I can't help but think of the cost of all of that shooting into the air and then, GONE!

Bob continues to work very hard going to therapists, getting various kinds of massages, working out at the NRH Rec Center and going to doctors.  He saw a specialist this week regarding his pinkie finger. There may be a torn ligament in the finger but they are not sure.  It is just kind of floppy and doesn't move like the other fingers.  He is wearing a figure eight splint to see if that will help before they do anything else.
Bob has found several machines that are helpful to his leg, arm and hand at the NRH Rec Center.  I usually go twice a week to walk in the current pool but Bob goes almost everyday. He seems to really enjoy it and has made a few friends.  He was telling me that a young man ran up to him as he was walking up the stairs and said " I just want to say that you are such an inspiration to me."  There have been several incidents similar to that and I think that though these people are encouraged by Bob, Bob is encouraged to see that his struggles are encouraging to others. It's funny how that works.  I am so delighted by his progress and so happy for him. I really need to do a video of that progress to show the difference and I will soon.  Even Bob's speech is improving dramatically.

This has allowed more time for me also. I have been busy with some paintings for some shows coming up.  It feels so good to feel almost normal again.   I am so thankful.    

Monday, June 29, 2015

If you are lucky you may have some friends that you may consider as family.  They are always there blending in.  They show up to family events and are just there for you. You let them in as a part of your family because you have become to love them as one of your family.  That is what Jeff was to me, my brothers and sisters for the past thirty five years. When Bob and I would go to Lafayette Indiana to visit he would many times call and say "hey, I heard you are going to be in town!" "Would you like me to call everyone and have them to meet at such and such time at such and such place?" Jeff knew everyone's schedules and how to get a hold of them.  (don't forget I come from a family of twelve kids) He called himself number 13 kid.  Jeff was also very hospitable, offering us a place to stay at his home.  When Mom was sick we took him up on it.  These seem like little things but it meant so much to us. God took Jeff home Saturday. We are really going to miss him. Jeff had a good sense of humor and was very kind. There will be a huge feeling of emptiness with out him.    

R.I.P Jeff

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Joy and Rob are renting the lake house. We went out for Father's Day on Sunday. The second round of flooding was more than I have ever seen. We went from drought to flooding. The water reached up to two steps down from the porch. Everyone was joking you could fish from the house. The water is going down now and I really hope there will be no more flooding. It is scary to think the damage it could cause and has caused. I imagine the boat house is going to be in need of repairs. They took the boat out of the boathouse and tied it to the railing by the pier. There is a picnic table on the boathouse completely covered by water. Rob said he placed heavy stones on top of the table to keep it from floating away. There is much debris and green moss floating on top and washing a shore. We are so glad Joy and Rob are there to help us with everything. There is no way we could physically do it right now. Pictures do not show the reality of really being there. We had a small Father's Day celebration but it was nice.

Flooded Waters at Eagle Mountain Lake

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bob had his 60th birthday!

 There's nothing quite as delicious as an ice cream cake!
Bob had his 60th birthday yesterday.  We had a small family dinner/swim/party. When Angie asked what she could get for her Dad I told her Bob has been asking for a Johnny Jump Up.  So, she made this card for him.  It is about the closest thing he is going to get to having one.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Catching Up!

I have a lot of catching up to do!  I am going to try and put into sequence the things that have happened in the past few weeks and soon I will post some pictures.  I caught a virus that lead to a sinus infection and have had a cough for about five weeks. I am just now getting over it. Even though there has been a lot going on I have had very little energy.  I guess a sinus infection will do that to you. Hopefully this will explain the void in my posts.

Our friends Joe and Char from Chicago came for a visit for a weekend before we went to Chicago.  It was great to spend time with them. We have had a lot of company since Bob had his stroke.  It has been so appreciated because until last month traveling for us was not an option.

The week before we went to Chicago we were informed our daughter Angie had melanoma.  From birth she had a mole on the top of her foot.  It was itching and oozing.  When she had it looked at they found that she had melanoma. They did surgery and we waited a few days to make sure it had not spread through the lymph nodes.  It did not spread and we were so thankful and relieved.  They grafted some skin to place over the top of the open wound.  The mole was pretty large and they dug very deep and wider than the actual mole in hopes to get it all.  As of now, the skin graft did not take but the doctor said it is healing from the bottom up.  This will cause a slower healing time.  Angie's boss is allowing her to work part time from home.  I think this will make the recovery much easier for her since she now has other things to think about.

After that, we drove to Chicago to see our daughter Jane graduate from college.  She went four years to college but never got her degree.  She changed her major and needed more credits.  She got a very good job so she put school off until now.  She didn't want to make a big deal about it but we are very proud of her.  She is a mother, works and has a lot of responsibility for work outside her regular hours. It was not an easy task for her and she was on the Dean's list the whole time and graduated with honors. While in Chicago we had a little dinner and invited some relatives and a few friends to celebrate our anniversary.  Bob and I celebrated 29 years of marriage.  It was also Mother's Day.  We thought we would leave the following Monday but I became so sick I went to the doctor there and was in bed for about a week. Unfortunately when we left my daughter, her husband and son got sick.  I felt so bad.  I have not been this sick in years.  Bob did get it but I was very happy it wasn't too bad and only a few days.
The trip to Chicago was the first time we had gone anywhere since Bob's stroke.  Bob did very well with the traveling.  We only drove 5 to 6 hours per day to make it easier and to get out and stretch.

Bob's niece Joyce graduated from high school a couple of weeks after we left. I wish we could have been there.

Since we have been home Bob has had a lot of therapy, doctor visits and both of us have become very active at the rec center.  I usually walk in the water for exercise while Bob has found some machines that work for him. He also walks.

Tomorrow we are having a small family party for Bob.  He is turning 60.  I will post pictures of that later.  


Saturday, April 18, 2015

The YouTube link goes to a video of Bob opening and closing his hand with some finger movement. This shows progress of the eighth month after his stroke.  He attributes this after many repetitions.

Bob's last UT Study Testing was this past Thursday.  We hope it was helpful to the study.  It was also helpful to Bob in many ways.  Although it was many trips to Dallas and we are happy not to have to make that trip we will miss the people involved.  They are a great bunch of people and were a lot of help to both Bob and I.

Because of insurance purposes Bob is trying to get all three therapies (physical, OT, and Speech) all in one place and together.  I hope it all works out well.

Bob is making so much progress but it has been a long, long road.  If you look back to where he began the progress is amazing!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Below is Bob with his sister Rina and her Bob.  They visited for a few days and left on Tuesday morning.  This was the first visit to the DFW area for Bob and was Rina's second.  We spent a couple of days being tour guides especially in Ft. Worth. We always enjoy doing that.  The photo below is of Bob, Rina and Bob at Gas Monkey restaurant in Dallas.  Rina's Bob is big into cars and racing.

We have actually had company for the past three weeks and that is why I have not been posting.  To start out with my daughter Jane and her family were here. After that my sister and her daughter's family came to visit.

 It has been 2 1/2 weeks since Bob had his Botox injections. He has still been in a lot of pain and hasn't seen a lot of results.  We are hoping that after 12 weeks when he gets more injections that it will be more helpful,  The one positive thing is that he has been sleeping better.  He does wake up often but goes right back to sleep.  I think this is huge because he really needs the sleep.

Rina's Bob and Rina with Bob

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bob had the Botox shots yesterday in certain muscles.  It takes 5 to 10 days for the results to appear. I really hope this will make a difference in alleviating his pain and allow him to move with more ease.

The two birthdays this month in our family are our son-in-law Brent and grand-son Jack.  Happy Belated Birthday to Brent and Happy Birthday to Jack today.

One of Bob's ex-co-workers John S. and friend came by yesterday and visited for a while. We both enjoyed his visit.  I think Bob misses the friendships of the people he worked with through the years. He has had to make a lot of adjustments.

Today our daughter and her family from Chicago arrive for a visit.  We are really looking forward to spending time with them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bob had some good news yesterday.  The doctor's office called and said there was a cancellation on Monday March 23rd.  He took that time slot to get his Botox Shots. I am so glad.  He has been in so much pain.  I really hope the shots will be as helpful as everyone says they are.

This past Sunday John and Casey had a small family party to celebrate Jack and Peyton's birthdays.  (early for Jack and late for Peyton)  The photo below is John, Jack, Casey and Peyton.

John, Jack, Casey and Peyton

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

About a week ago we saw Bob's Neurologist to get results from the MRI he got the week before. They showed no new blood which is good. Unfortunately they don't know the reason for his stroke. It could be genetic and there is a blood test for that.  He will probably get it just to see for sure because he has siblings and it would be good for the family to know.  Of course we are not doctors but none of Bob's circumstances go along with that disease.  So, we don't think that is an issue. He is still in a lot of pain. His Botox appointment was canceled because of a clerical error between the doctor's office and the insurance company.  That should not have happened.  His next appointment is March 30th.  It is such a pity he has to suffer because of something like this.  They did prescribe a pain pill which has helped only a little. Not knowing the reason is disturbing because we don't know if it could happen again but actually do any of us know  what could happen to us that would change our lives completely or even end our lives.  It is best to have trust and not to worry.

The picture below is of Bob's nephew and God Son David, Bob and Bob's son Bob.  David was visiting last weekend from Ft. Sill in OKlahoma.  We had lunch at Kona Grill and drove around Ft. Worth. We really enjoyed our visit with him.

David, Bob and Young Bob

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our weather has been very mild this winter until about a week and a half ago.  We have had snow and sleet and cold temperatures.  This is nothing compared to the North or East Coast but for us it is a problem because we do not have enough equipment to handle the snow and sleet.  Many people stay home from school and work when this happens.  I have enjoyed the down time a little.  Bob had to cancel and reschedule therapy appointments but we were happy he was able to make it to his MRI testing at UT.  We are very anxious to see where he stands with the healing of his brain.  At Christmas there was some new blood surrounding the area of the original stroke.  We are hoping that has gone away and they will find no more blood.  Bob continues to rehabilitate himself. He is so determined.  He is always working on something at home that will help either his walk or the use of his arm and hand.  Tuesday he is supposed to get some botox shots in his muscles.  I really hope the insurance company will get it all together and approved by then.  The nurse at the doctor's office said they keep requesting different forms to be filled out.  If they only knew what pain and tightness he has in him muscles.  He is really suffering which is also leading to very little sleep.  

Bob had a shirt made to wear when he enters a medical facility.  They always ask if he has been to Africa within the last 21 days even though they may have seen him the day before.  He has recieved a lot of laughs and some have taken pictures.

Bob at UT Southwest University Medical Center for MRI testing.

Bob's New Shirt