Hello friends! I trust you all had a nice Christmas, as we did as a family. The month of December had plenty going on. We came into December, with my birthday celebration as well as getting ready for Christmas. It was a very fun month and worth looking back on, so get ready for lots of pics!
I grabbed this pic of Mark, Daisy and me when we were dressed festively for Christmas.
My dear friend, Vicki, and I both celebrated our 65th birthdays in December. We are exactly 1 week apart and her anniversary falls on December 4th. I was in her wedding 40 years ago and her family planned an outing for lunch that Sunday, so Mark and I went to celebrate. Definitely worth a celebration for 40 years of marriage!
I’m sharing lots of random photos from the month, so hope you enjoy. Miss Daisy continues to delight us and we are so glad she is a part of our family.
She’s the best little dog and we love her dearly. She will turn one on January 11th.
Our little Daisy girl got plenty of attention over the Christmas holidays. Lauren and her family stayed with us for a week and the girls really love this little dog. She gets a lot of attention from them.
Mom and dad are continuing to settle in at Dogwood Forest assisted living. Dad is still doing amazingly well and no longer talks about going home at all. It seems that the house and car/truck are really fading from his memory, but he has asked about a house in Panama City where he was raised. He has asked a few times what happened to that house and when he describes it, it’s their Marietta house. Mom had been praying that he would forget the house and it seems like that is happening. It’s definitely fading which is amazing since they lived there for 50 years.
We got the house completely cleaned out, everything valuable was sold and the house got put on the market right before Christmas. With the brisk real estate market here in Atlanta, it went very fast over a weekend for above asking price. The best thing is, a family is buying it to live there so that makes us all very happy. We did not want it to go to an investor. The house will close in a couple of weeks and that chapter will be behind us. Mom is more than happy about selling the house. Of course, we aren’t talking to dad about it, we don’t want to agitate him.
Santa came to Dogwood and we got pics with mom and dad. That was cute!
Dad is still doing so well and we haven’t had any more issues with him wanting to leave or being angry. It’s just such a blessing how well he is settling in now. This is what we envisioned. This is a family, the Henrys who were in my dad’s church for many years and they are dear friends of the family. Dad really enjoys when they come to visit and they try to come every week or so. The weather has been so good this month that they’ve had lots of opportunities to sit outside.
Dot is mom’s best friend and this is their daughter, Kathy. Kathy dearly loves mom and dad. It’s a joy that they have these friends in their lives and I’m so glad they come by to visit. Dogwood has so many great outdoor spots to sit and that’s so good for mom and dad, especially dad who loves being outside.
Little Alex is growing up, she’s 16 months old now and walking like crazy, so we had to watch her with the breakables. She’s a fun little thing, so cute and sweet!
We had lots of opportunities with Lauren and the girls to visit mom and dad and I took some pics to remember it.
Dad loves sitting by the fireplace in the lobby.
I even take Daisy in there often and the residents enjoy seeing her too. Parker is a delight to those seniors, they really have taken to her and love it when the girls come in.
Mom and Alex in mom’s room.
Lauren and Parker.
At the urging of some of the managers there, we have started taking dad up to mom’s apartment. He has no memory of being here at all from their first weekend in Dogwood. He admired it and told her she is living in style. It’s definitely more spacious and more well appointed than the memory care side, but dad gets all the care he needs over there. He talks about his room and says it’s just fine. We had thought it might be possible for him to move back with her, but as time goes on, it’s evident that he needs to stay in memory care. As his memory continues to deteriorate and get worse, he needs the structure and care that he gets in the memory care wing. He would never be able to find his way around by himself in assisted living.
He doesn’t seem to mind it over there at all and there have been times he has chosen to stay there instead of coming with us or going back to mom’s room. So there is definitely something comforting about his routine there and we let him make those decisions. I’ve heard that they really thrive on routine and I’m glad he has settled into a good place in there. Mom can see him every day and I stop by often too and see them both. It’s such a good set up. Mom goes and gets him and takes him out to sit by the fireplace or they can go back to her apartment and visit. She usually goes awhile before lunch time, so she can visit a bit and then it’s time for his lunch. He’s always ready for the next meal! I’m glad he has that to look forward to.
Lauren and Iris in mom’s apartment. Mom is as cozy as she can be in her little apartment. It gets lots of light so it’s a cheerful space, plus her balcony is an extra bonus.
Back at our house, the girls had good weather to play outside. This jeep was at my parents’ house, but we brought it back over here for the girls to ride when they are in town. They love that thing!
Mom came over for lunch one day and we enjoyed the visit. She read a book to the girls.
Mom in her Christmas top Lauren got for her.
Christmas day on the sofa. Lots of popcorn was consumed while the girls were here. We watched quite a few Christmas movies that week and that little Iris can eat more popcorn than any other child I’ve ever seen. That’s what they are eating.
Cutie pie Alex has all the clothes, with lots of hand me downs from her sisters and cousin. She had a different Christmas outfit on every day. Being the caboose has its advantages!
We had a delicious Christmas breakfast at our house with an egg casserole, sweet rolls, fruit and coffee and that was plenty for all of us. Starting last year, we decided that we’re not going to cook a big meal on Christmas day anymore, because if was just too much after a big breakfast. So now we are all going out for Chinese on Christmas late afternoon. Mark has been doing this with his girls for years (I always go with him) and now my family is doing the same. We all went out and enjoyed Chinese at different restaurants.
I think daddy really enjoyed his Christmas outing with the family. He might not remember it in a week, but we know that it’s cherished time together.
Lauren and her family in front of the tree Christmas morning. Of course, the girls had a big time opening their presents. They still believe in Santa and left out cookies and milk on the coffee table.
Cute cute family! The girls loved staying in the new guest room space with the daybed and trundle. It’s the perfect place for them to be.
On Christmas Eve, we had Mark’s family over. Not all of them could make it this year, but this is who did make it. Mark’s 2 daughters/son-in-laws (from Left: Tony, Traci, Rose and Patrick and McKenzie, plus niece, Allie in front and his mom, Joan. We had a really nice time and Mark and I cooked a whole turkey for the occasion.
Christmas morning with my family and we all looked so festive in our mostly plaid shirts (except Mark who wore a solid.) I loved how we all coordinated.
We had a couple of extra warm days after Christmas and I visited with mom and dad on mom’s patio. She loves having it and dad loves it out there too.
As you can see, it was a blessed Christmas for us this year. We sure don’t take these holidays for granted and know that anything can change in a minute with all 3 of our parents. So we celebrate and cherish the moments with them as long as we have them. At their ages, every year is a bonus and we are grateful we have had them so long.
I’m especially grateful that God helped us through this past year, getting mom and dad settled in assisted living on October 1st and all of us getting the house ready to sell. It’s been a very busy year, with me also getting my old house ready to sell and getting that finalized in July. What a year it’s been! I thank the Lord for all his blessings and how he has been so gracious to all of us and I pray we go into 2022 with hope and expectations of good things to come. I refuse to live in fear as the media portrays so much fear, doom and gloom. But rather, I trust the Lord to see us all through. No matter what comes, He is our answer! He is ever faithful!
Kathy Elmore says
I have Loved keeping up with your sweet parents and family. Miss seeing your Dad in the garden and helping with your house projects.
Now I am thankful for them being safely in their new home. So glad he has adjusted now. Happy for your family!
Diane Moore says
You said it perfectly, Kathy! I concur.
Well said! I feel the same way. I loved all the pictures. Thanks for sharing them and news about your family. Your mother looks so beautiful in the pictures.
Your closing about having hope really resonated.
I always love your post on your parents! Having taken care of my parents and other older loved ones, I can relate to the many emotions that go with it. I am so happy for you that they have settled in and had such a great Christmas. I love being able to see your nieces and keep up with their growth , as well.
Praying that you and your family have a healthy, happy New Year!
Lynne Taylor says
I enjoyed seeing all of your family pictures and so happy everyone was able to be together. You have accomplished so much this year with your house, your old house and your parents old home and new. I would be ready for a much needed rest! I hope 2022 is good to everyone!
You are right to cheerish the celebrations that have family. Having your parents there and celebrating is something so special. I lost my mother this past June and it hurts like the dickens. It was this holiday season I sensed the loss of my mother and father ( four yrs ago in October 2017). I was thrilled to be able to celebrate Christmas with my husband and one brother and a cousin.
Carol Ray says
So happy to see a smile on your dad’s face again.
Beautiful family memories! I like the idea of Chinese on Christmas Day! I am exhausted after Christmas Day meals and this year it was a week of it for me- not one day. I am praying for a solution for my family. I always enjoy your posts, and your importance of family. It does mean so much! Happy New Year!
Myra Evans says
I love reading your blog and getting updates on your sweet parents. You have a beautiful family and glad you all had such fun together. Also, enjoyed following your home decor this past year.
Wishing you, Mark and your family joy, happiness and good health in the new year.
Susan Graben says
Your dad looks so happy now. I am glad he has settled down and your mom can see him whenever it is convenient. My mom went into an assisted living herself and then when she realized she needed more supervision, moved to AL to be with me. I was so blessed to have her make the decision but know that any kind of change/upheaval can be hard to deal with.
Vicki Davis says
HAPPY NEW YEAR MY DEAR FRIEND! I so enjoyed your review of your busy month! Thank you to you and Mark for taking time to celebrate our 40th anniversary with us. Having you there was such a surprise and made it even more special! Yes, praise God for how well your parents have adjusted to the move and for the quick sale of their home. I truly know what you’ve been through and am so happy it’s behind you now. Yes, 2022 will be a healthier and happier year for us all! V
So glad to hear things are working out for your mom and dad. Looks like you had a lovely family holiday season. May you have a very healthy and happy 2022. Thanks for sharing all your lovely family photos.
Cindy N. says
How wonderful seeing all the love.
Blessings and Happy 2022 to you and your family.
Rhoda, what a wonderful Christmas! Thanks for sharing the photos (beautiful family); I’ve loved keeping up with your family over the years. So happy your Dad is adjusting to memory care and your mom is happy. May God continue to bless you and your family. Happy 2022!
MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says
Rhoda, thanks for sharing your precious family — and Mark’s family, too! You captured each special moment together with beautiful pictures. How nice to see your dear Dad smiling! I know this made all of your hearts so happy. Your dear Mom looks so happy in her new place. So happy that they have the care they need. What a blessing this is! We continue to pray for your dear parents.
The pictures of Daisy are so cute! I’m so happy that you gave her a home! I always say that every home needs a precious pet to warm the hearts!
Your little gals are growing up so fast! How nice you had them come and stay with you! They are going to have so many precious memories of the times spent with you and Mark — and little Daisy!
Rhoda, we pray that you and Mark will be blessed with a wonderful year! How great that we know the Lord and have placed our trust in Him! We know that no matter what this world holds, we are assured that He is in control! Bless you both!
Love your sweet family
francis c moore says
Thanks for the wonderful post. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of your parents. Thank God for the time you get to spend with them. At age 79 I think I am seeing myself in them, which probably doesn’t make much sense to you.
Emily Baker says
Well, I feel like a cousin or lost relative to your family! I’ve been following you on your blog through the good and the not so good. And yes, as you said, we need to trust it the Lord in all things and He will see us through. Love seeing pics of all the family, your Dad and Mom look so rested and at peace in their new place. May the New Year be good to us all!
Debbie in TX says
Rhoda, thanks for sharing the photos. Daisy is a cutie, and it’s fun to see how the girls are growing. Really glad your parents are doing so well, and I know how relieved and happy that makes you. Happy New Year!
Dreams do come true. Sometimes the road to happiness is not what we planned, but God always sees us through to the end. Thanks for the post. Love the stories on your parents and extended family. Many blessings for 2022. #No #Fear
I’m so thankful, too, that your dad has adjusted and your mom is doing so well. What a blessing!!
Becky in 'Bama says
Enjoy seeing your family photos, and this post was no exception. The trials and tribulations of your parents’ move this year, has come to a place of restoration and peace. Happy for you and your sister!! Christmas day, my husband and I enjoyed a local authentic Chinese restaurant here in the ‘Ham, and I hope to make that a tradition, too. We were tempted to go visit our daughter and grands out of state, but glad we stayed put – as they ALL had COVID over the Christmas holidays. Thankfully mild cases with no serious side effects. Happy New Year and God bless. Ironically, your closing remarks are very much what our pastor shared with the congregation yesterday! 🙂